Chateau Pontet Canet   Pontet Canet

1996 Pontet Canet

By Chateau Pontet Canet

1996 Pontet Canet from Chateau Pontet Canet, Pauillac, Bordeaux

In the storied tapestry of Bordeaux’s esteemed winemaking, the 1996 vintage from Pontet Canet stands as a year that aficionados and investors speak of with a glint in their eye. It is no secret that the wines of Pauillac carry a gravitas befitting royalty; nevertheless, the 1996 Pontet Canet asserts itself with a regal distinction one can't help but admire.


A Vintage Defined by Elegance and Structure

The year of 1996 was an exceptional one for Bordeaux, particularly Pauillac. Blessed with a relatively dry, warm summer paving the way for extended hang time, the grapes achieved a level of ripeness and tannic maturity that translates into the wine's stunning structure and longevity.

The 1996 Pontet Canet charms with its subliminal balance. The cassis and blackberry fruit profile is interlaced seamlessly with nuances of cedar and tobacco – a harmony that defines classicism in Bordeaux. This is a wine underpinned by a determined acidity and weighty tannins that have softened graciously over the years, now yielding an elegance only found in a wine that has been bestowed adequate time to evolve.


An Inimitable Investment Wine

As a critic who has witnessed countless wines evolve, I assert that there are certain vintages which exemplify not just the craft of winemaking but also the propitiousness of nature. The 1996 vintage falls squarely within this revered category. I can lucidly recall the initial years following its release - its depth suggested a trajectory of remarkable potential. Years down the line, this potential has been realised tenfold.

Investors will take note that wines like the 1996 Pontet Canet from Chateau Pontet Canet possess both historical significance and future promise. It acts as both monument to its vintage and testament to the enduring prowess of Pauillac’s terroir. Should one seek a wine to represent both portfolio diversification and drinking pleasure, this particular vintage presents itself as an impeccable choice.


Summary: A Paragon of Pauillac's Majesty

The 1996 Pontet Canet is indeed a paragon, encapsulating a year when Pauillac’s terroir articulated itself through the vines with profound clarity. For collectors, enthusiasts, and investors alike, this wine not only offers depth and complexity for those desiring to peer into its elaborate canvas but also stands as a wise consideration for portfolios aimed at long-term appreciation. A distinguished addition to any cellar; it is with confidence that I recommend embracing the opportunity to invest in or savour this splendid vinous creation.

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Scores and tasting notes


I was shocked by how backward the 1996 Pontet-Canet was on the three occasions I tasted it in January. This wine possesses superb potential, but it appears a decade's worth of patience will be necessary. The color is a saturated dark purple. With coaxing, the wine offers aromas of black currant jam intertwined with minerals, sweet oak, and spice. A full-bodied wine, it possesses layered, concentrated, sweet fruit, with an elevated level of ripe tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2035.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999


Tasted at Bordeaux Index's Pontet-Canet dinner at The Ledbury. The 1996 has that classic Pauillac nose of cedar and graphite, here showing signs of chestnut, savouriness that I have not noticed before. The palate is well balanced but certainly not as cohesive or as ambitious as ensuing vintages. Just a touch of truffle now coming through on the savoury finish. Drink now-2015. Tasted February 2011.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Nov 2011


Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 1996 Château Pontet-Canet was tasted from three different bottles. Two of them didn't pass muster and seemed a little bretty on the nose. A third was much better with mulberry, blackberry and cedar on the nose that still lacks the panache of more recent vintages. I noticed how meaty it became in the glass, slightly ferrous. The palate is medium-bodied and at 20 years fully mature. Cedar and dried herbs dominate the opening but unlike the 1982 Pontet-Canet there is decent substance here and a slightly medicinal finish. Hopefully your bottle will mirror the best of the three that I tasted. Good luck. Tasted February 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016

Vintage performance