Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews (Fifth Growth Bordeaux) 

Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews  

 

2017 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews  

Futures $114.00 (Available November 2020)

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Chateau Pontet-Canet opens with vibrant wild blueberries, black raspberries and crushed plums with notions of cinnamon stick, violets, unsmoked cigars and pencil lead plus wafts of roses, lavender and tilled black soil. Medium-bodied with very fine, incredibly plush tannins, it is deliciously savory in the mouth, with wonderful freshness and spectacular energy delivering many layers, resulting in a very long, mineral-laced finish.

97 Points James Suckling

This is incredibly transparent and refined with blackcurrant, blueberry and mineral character. Full-bodied, layered and ethereal. Tannins have a crushed-stone character. Long and persistent.

97 Points Wine Enthusiast

Firm structure supports the luscious fruit flavors—this is a richly generous wine. Finely integrated tannins are layered with ripe black currant notes. As often with this biodynamic estate, the purity of the fruit is outstanding and concentrated. It will age well over many years, but is enjoyable young.

95 Points Vinous

The 2017 Chateau Pontet-Canet showed progressively better on each of the three occasions I tasted it. Deep, pliant and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2017 exudes class. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, licorice and rose petal infuse this super-expressive and highly nuanced wine from proprietor Alfred Tesseron and technical director Jean-Michel Comme. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is aging in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% one year old oak. Tasted three times.

94 Points Decanter

This is a very charming Pauillac with texture, rippling energy and undoubted finesse. It’s deceptive, because the dark, luscious blackberry, bilberry, and damson notes are fairly fresh, with a luscious lipsmacking quality, but the tannins build over the palate. It almost tastes like a St-Julien rather than a Pauillac as they’re so fine and elegant, but the Pauillac character becomes more apparent by the close of play – there’s no hiding those swirling cassis, smoke and menthol notes. This has a really gorgeous tension and freshness without sacrificing concentration.

They used brand-new concrete vats this year, designed by technical director Jean-Michel Comme’s, for one-third of the crop. The concrete was made from sands and gravels extracted from the exact spot that the building containing them now stands, utilising geothermal heating and cooling, with as few metallic parts as possible and insulated with hemp. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak, 35% concrete vats and t15% in one-year-old barrels. They have made nearly no second wine again. Just 1% frost loss in 2017. The Merlot was harvested from 18 September, block by block over 10 days, then deleafed. The Cabernets were picked from 28 September through until 4 October.

93 Points Wine Spectator

Starts off high-pitched but fills out steadily, featuring red currant and crushed plum fruit carried by fresh acidity and a bright iron note. Reveals a lingering savory streak on the finish. Built on purity rather than density, with the minerality lingering.

2016 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews  

Futures $150.00 (Available November 2019)

99 Points James Suckling

Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!

99 Points Enthusiast

This wine is so dense and concentrated, with magnificent fruit. The tannins are velvety, but, at the same time, the wine has a dry side that will allow it to age so well. Juicy blackberries and great tannins work in harmony. The estate is in its seventh vintage certified biodynamic.

99 Points Vinous

The 2016 Chateau Pontet-Canet has been absolutely brilliant on the three occasions I’ve tasted it so far. Exotically ripe, powerful and voluptuous, it brings together the richness of the 2009 with the structure of the 2010. There aren’t too many other 2016s where that is the case, but it is undoubtedly true here. The 2016 is a spectacular wine by any measure, while Pontet-Canet confirms its rarefied place as a true original in Bordeaux. Technical director Jean-Michel Comme added that Cabernet Sauvignon plays a slightly lesser role in the blend because the berries had less juice than normal at harvest. Comme also bumped up the new oak slightly, to 55 percent. The rest of the wine was aged in neutral oak (10 percent) and amphora (35 percent). In a word: Superb. Tasted three times.

97 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2016 Chateau Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 39% Merlot, less Cabernet this year because of the size of the berries. I tasted the wine on two visits to the property around two weeks apart, plus additional tastings at négoçiants. It has an intense bouquet with layers of blackberry, sloes and fresh mint, just a hint of black truffle in the background. It is certainly a little more opulent compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, a little spicier than I expected (in a positive sense) with gentle grip in the mouth. It fans out with confidence, a voluminous Pontet-Canet with an extremely persistent aftertaste, and a saline and balsamic finish. This is an extravagant Pauillac for the vintage that will age over many years.

97 Points Decanter

This is richly layered with seductively ripe fruit. The quality and texture of the brambled blackberries, cassis and bilberries is striking. There is a sense of lightness and juiciness but also depth and flesh – you can feel the joy of that contrast at every step as the wine stretches out in front of you, hard to resist. 2016 is another vintage where they are up at 95%+ of grand vin, this year aged in 55% new casks, 10% in one year old casks and 35% in amphorae. Feel the effects of biodynamics make Pontet Canet stand out for its energy and lush tannins, even with the concentration of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

2015 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews

98 Points James Suckling

So much floral and dark-fruit character with almonds and walnut shell. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Powerful. Classic style with a harmony and energy. Goes on for minutes. A superb wine with great fruit. Real Bordeaux. Try in 2025.

97 Point Vinous

Proprietor Alfred Tesseron and winemaker Jean-Michel Comme produced an absolutely stellar Pontet-Canet in 2015. Sumptuous, racy and totally inviting, the 2015 is all class. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, spice and exotic floral notes build as the 2015 shows off its alluring personality. Even with all of its raciness, the 2015 speaks with authority and power. Fine tannins extend the persistent, highly nuanced finish. The 2015 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot aged 50% new oak, 4% in terra cotta and 15% in neutral oak. Tasted three times.

97 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Succulent fruits, rich tannins and juicy acidity are in perfect harmony in this wine produced from biodynamic grapes. It has a rich, velvet texture and dense structure, sumptuous and already balanced and delicious. However do not be fooled, this is a serious wine for aging. Drink no earlier than 2026.

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, 50% of the 2015 Chateau Pontet-Canet was aged in new French oak, while 15% was matured in second fill barrels and 35% in cement amphorae. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose opens with exuberant black currants, red currants and black raspberries scents plus an evocative undercurrent of cedar chest, dusty earth, cloves, chocolate box and Provence herbs with a fragrant waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied and built like a brick house with very firm, wonderfully grainy tannins and black and red fruits charged with the most singular energy, it finishes with incredible persistence and depth.

96 Points Decanter

Deep, velvety texture on the palate and wild flowers on the nose; unctuous yet firm with pristine clarity. A great wine by any standards – and the standards of Alfred Tesseron for his biodynamic vineyards and amphora-matured wine are magnificently evident.

94 Points Wine Spectator

This sports a lovely core of gently steeped plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, carried by velvety structure, while smoldering tobacco and charcoal notes fill in through the finish. Fleshes out steadily in the glass, revealing more juniper, bay leaf and loam accents.

2014 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews  

Suggested Retail Price $120.00

98 Points James Suckling

A stunning wine for this vintage although it’s still a bit shy on the nose (more spice than fruit showing than now). There’s wet earth, too, but on the palate it’s bursting with ripe yet subtle flavors. Very long and complex finish that goes on and on.

96 Points Decanter

Classic Cabernet nose of cassis. Lovely purity and depth with a silky texture that caresses the palate – more obviously Pontet-Canet than Pauillac. An extremely fine wine almost in a class of its own.

96 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

This is a finely structured wine with dark tannins and intense black fruits. The estate, with its biodynamically grown fruit, has given an impressively pure wine, packed with tight serious tannins and a fine structure of black-plum skins and intense acidity. It is direct, firm and with a huge potential over many years. Drink from 2027.

94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2014 Chateau Pontet-Canet, now in bottle, was tasted twice during my trip to Bordeaux. It has an attractive bouquet: graphite tinged black fruit, incense and violets, perhaps a little more hedonistic than I envisaged when I tasted it from barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin thanks to the keen line of acidity. I like the precision of this Pontet-Canet. It feels linear and correct, pencil lead notes developing towards the second half, more quintessentially Pauillac than previous vintages, with what you might describe as a classic Pauillac finish that retains the focus that I remarked upon from barrel. Tasted February 2017.

93 Points Wine Spectator

This delivers a notable menthol note, showing an ample core of well-steeped blackberry, plum and black currant fruit. A bright anise streak checks in on the back end, with a slightly loamy structure. Best from 2020 through 2030.

2013 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews

Suggested Retail Price 95.00

95 Points Wine Enthusiast

This wine is very true to the vintage. It has an attractive fragrance and great fruit purity, along with touches of wood and black currant. It is a fine wine, while showing the lightness of the year.

93 Points James Suckling

An aromatic wine with exceptional delicacy and suppleness for the vintage, featuring blackberry, mineral, spice and flower character. Very fine tannins. Seamless structure. It’s a wine with a pleasant savory, fruity character that makes you want to drink it. Harmonious.

92 Points Wine Spectator

A lovely, aromatic expression of fresh plum, just-warmed cherry confiture and violet, giving way to a very supple, gentle feel as the silky tannins let the red and blue fruits glide through. Quite pretty and stylish, and a 180-degree turn from the 2011 in style. Very light, pure and balanced. A true display of the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,  Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this biodynamically farmed vineyard (a rarity, but increasing in the Bordeaux viticulture), had tiny yields of 15 hectoliters per hectare. This doesn’t translate into super concentration, but this is certainly an outstanding effort in an extremely difficult vintage. The wine has a dense purple color, and classic creme de cassis, licorice and mocha and espresso roast notes that Pontet-Canet has displayed recently. The wine is medium-bodied, possesses excellent purity, equilibrium and sweet, but noticeable tannin. This is by no means at the level of the great vintages that have been so common of late from this incredible property on the Plateau of Pauillac across from Mouton Rothschild, but it’s certainly one of the vintage’s more noteworthy efforts. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 15 or so years.

2012 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews

Suggested Retail Price $115.00

93 Points James Suckling

This shows incredible decadence and opulence for the vintage with dried meat, black berry, blueberries and hints of mushroom. Full body, very polished silky tannins and a chewy finish. Lots of richness for the vintage. Persistent palate. This was aged 35% in cement eggs for 12 months. Better in 2018.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

This impeccably run, biodynamically farmed estate of Alfred Tesseron goes from strength to strength. The 2012 triumphs once again with its notes of dark plum, blackcurrant, licorice and almost a hint of truffle, its full-bodied, supple tannins, and beautiful, expensive mouthfeel. Complex and deep, this dense ruby/purple-colored wine may not be at the level of the 2009 or 2010, but it is a successful wine in this vintage, and a significant wine in 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

This tastes jammy and very fruity, with tannins that are totally enveloped by the rich texture. Plummy and comfortable, it’s all about ripe berries and currants. Smoky flavors come from the wood aging, and contrast with the Port-like lusciousness of the wine.

92 Points Wine Spectator

Broad and fleshy, with an alluring feel to the layers of steeped plum, blackberry coulis and raspberry reduction notes, all gliding over ample but polished tannins. Loam, tobacco and warm stone accents stay in the background for now but add steady base notes to the finish. Packs in solid fruit for the vintage, with a commensurate tug of earth. Best from 2017 through 2025.

 2011 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews  

Suggested Retail Price $140.00

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

So smooth, this is a rich, grandiose wine. Although it is full of black currant fruits and spice flavors, the texture is most impressive. Dusty tannins are integrated with juicy fruits seamlessly. The purest fruit flavors are allied to linear tannins in a precise yet generous way. The wine is evolving beautifully, but do not drink before 2020.

95 Points James Suckling

A wine with lots of ripe berries, verging on dried fruits. Full and chewy with ripe, round, chewy tannins. It needs lots of bottle age. A wine of steel. From biodynamically grown grapes, as always. Better than from barrel. Try in 2018.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Proprietor Alfred Tesseron-s 2011 Chateau Pontet-Canet is packaged in an engraved, heavy bottle, which only adds to the attractiveness of this beauty. A dense purple color is accompanied by notes of forest floor, acacia flowers and creme de cassis in this full, rich, and unequivocally classic Pauillac. With soft but noticeable tannins as well as a complete, full-bodied mouthfeel, this 2011 will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring, and should age effortlessly for 15-20 years. Bravo!

93 Points Decanter

Wild violets and black fruit nose, both exuberant and classic. It is a wonderfully elegant Pauillac with superb vineyard expression.

92 Points Wine Spectator

This cuts a broad swath, with prominent notes of espresso and ganache leading to the core of crushed plum and blackberry confiture. Lush, with the ganache edge joining a loamy hint to underscore the finish. Consistent with the barrel tasting, this shows more breadth than cut in the end.

2010 Chateau Pontet-Canet Reviews

Suggested Retail Price $290.00

100 Points James Suckling

The aromas to this are incredible with blueberry, minerals, dried flowers, and stones. It goes to dried meat and spices. Full body and incredibly integrated with blackberry, licorice, and minerals. There’s a wonderful purity to this. It goes on for minutes. The quality of tannins is amazing. Seamless. There’s an amazing transparency that shows you all the elements of the wine’s unique terrior. Try after 2018.

100 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

An absolutely amazing wine, from grapes harvested between the end of September and October 17, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot has close to 15% natural alcohol. It comes from one of the few biodynamic vineyards in Bordeaux, but you are likely to see many more, given the success that Tesseron seems to be having at all levels, both in his vineyards and in his fermentation/winemaking.

An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience. It is very easy, to become jaded tasting such great wines from a great vintage, but it is really a privilege to taste something as amazing as this.

Unfortunately, it needs a good decade of cellaring, and that’s assuming it doesn’t close down over the next few years. This is a 50- to 75-year wine from one of the half-dozen or so most compulsive and obsessive proprietors in all of Bordeaux. Is there anything that proprietor Alfred Tesseron is not doing right? Talk about an estate that is on top of its game! Pontet-Canet’s 2010 is a more structured, tannic and restrained version of their most recent perfect wine, the 2009. Kudos to Chateau Pontet-Canet!

98 Points Wine Enthusiast

Dense, yes, but this is also a handsome wine that balances complex tannins with pure black currant fruits that shine. This biodynamic wine has a generous, full and rich feel, ripe with just a touch of restraint. The greatness of the wine shows in its purity with a deceptive simplicity that hides the final complex tannins and structure.

97 Points Wine Spectator

This is big, broad and powerfully rendered, but remarkably polished and refined at the same time. An enormous core of roasted fig, blackberry and black currant fruit is suavely wrapped with roasted apple wood and sandalwood, while dark espresso, loam and warm paving stone notes drive the finish. Very long, with a great tug of scorched earth at the end. A terrific combination of power and precision. Best from 2020 through 2040.