|Classification||5ème Cru Classé|
The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart! Rating: 98-100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (May 2020)
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A very tight, compact red that shows wonderful precision and definition with lots of blackberries, blueberries, stones and black tea. The sorting and de-stemming was all done by hand. Love the sensibility to this. Superb length and finesse. Subtle and sophisticated. No pumping over and gentle pushing down. Handmade. Very exciting and thought-provoking. Very long. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. Biodynamic grapes. Rating: 98-99 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2020)
Clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow. As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence. The tannins have unmistakeable Pauillac strength, but the structure and the subtlety of this wine is Pontet-Canet, with the amphoras having an influence in terms of the tannins feeling less silky than they do in many of the appellation's biggest wines, but still with swagger.
Back to a normal yield after the difficulties in 2018 with mildew that saw production drop to 12hl/ha. This is the last vintage under Jean-Michel Comme, technical director and estate manager for past 32 years. He has been replaced by Mathieu Bessonnet who has spent the last 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (also biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace and who was, they tell me, selected by Comme who chose him and worked with him.
100% 1st wine, as it has been for the past four years. 55% will be aged in new oak barrel, 45% in amphoras.This is a two-point score under the 2016, because it doesn't have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it's an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.
Manual punching down across the entire production. Drinking range: 2028 - 2044 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2020)
Château Pontet Canet
Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Such is the speed with which Pontet-Canet's star has risen of recent that it could almost feel as if it's a new estate bursting on to the scene. But it has a long history, in keeping with its noble neighbours, but a long history of under-achievement, a moniker it has only just shaken off. During the 18th Century, Jean-François de Pontet, and his descendants, built up a very healthy portfolio of vineyard in the Médoc. Those that they owned in St Julien were, eventually, disposed of but the large estate that they assembled in Pauillac was retained and has resisted the fragmentation that afflicted so many Médoc estates over the years. Consequently, at 80ha of vines in a 120ha estate, Pontet-Canet is one of the largest Cru Classé estates. By the time of the 1855 classification, despite being the neighbour of Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite, Pontet-Canet could "only" scrape 5th Growth status. Herman Cruse bought the run down estate in 1865 and, initially, put in the neccessary investment to realise the vineyard's potential. But, by the mid-20th Century, Pontet-Canet's production was mediocre at best. Salvation came when the Cruse family, beset with scandal, were forced to sell Pontet-Canet to a Cognac shipper Guy Tesseron in 1975. He, with his son Alfred, have, at last, allowed Pontet-Canet to blossom. It has taken a lot of work, a lot of investment, and a lot of time to perform the miracle but, since the mid-1990's, Pontet-Canet has produced wines of immense quality and longevity, much loved by Robert Parker and far exceeding 5th Growth status. Lying on a wide plateau of poor gravel soils, with Mouton Rothschild and d'Armailhac immediately to the north and the Carruades de Lafite vineyard to the west, Pontet-Canet is planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, the first classed growth vineyard in the Médoc to do so. In keeping with that, they have eschewed tractors in favour of horses, who's hooves are kinder to the soil than tractor tyres. The Grand Vin spends 16 to 20 months in wood, of which 60% typically is new. There is a second wine - Les Hauts de Pontet Canet.
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