Chateau Pontet Canet
|Listed Wines||Pontet Canet|
|Annual Production (Grand Vin)||20,000 cases|
|Classification||Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths)|
|Second Wine||Les Hauts de Pontet|
|Interesting Fact||Although classified as a 5th Growth in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, Pontet-Canet is an extremely popular brand amongst the ‘Super Seconds’ - at a mere fraction of the price of First Growths, Pontet-Canet is a smart move for investors.|
Ever since Guy Tesseron and his son Alfred took control of this Chateau, its profile has risen remarkably. Now considered amongst the ‘Flying Fifths’, Pontet-Canet has become one of the most prestigious properties in Pauillac. The quality of the wine in recent years has been extremely high due to the investment in refurbishment and innovations, and the Tesseron family have instituted 100% bio-dynamic farming, one of only two Bordeaux estates to have done so. The wine is being consumed in bulk by consumers and is coming to the forefront as one of the top non-First Growth Pauillacs with the opening prices for the 2009 vintage doubling that for the 2005 one indicating growing popularity for Pontet-Canet. In fact, many would say Pontet-Canet have produced First Growth quality wine in the last five vintages – with their average parker score beating that of First-Growth neighbours Mouton Rothschild. From 2000 onwards, however, not only has quality continued to rise but the style has evolved in tandem, no doubt heavily influenced by the Tesseron-Comme innovations at Pontet-Canet. A lot of other estates are looking to Pontet-Canet’s approach and consequent rise in stature.
In 2009 and 2010, Guy Tesseron has really propelled Pontet-Canet into the spotlight amongst traditional Bordeaux buyers as well as the new global markets. Pontet-Canet now finds itself rubbing shoulders with the likes of Margaux and La Mission Haut-Brion, which is a phenomenal achievement. Unlike Lynch Bages, 2009 and 2010 Pontet-Canet vintages cannot be compared to past vintages and their performance. It is only in the last five years that Pontet-Canet has been producing blockbuster wines that have made collectors/investors and consumers take note of this exceptional chateau. Having received a ‘perfect score’ of 100 points from Parker and with such a strong brand identity, the 2009 Pontet-Canet will provide investors with strong long term growth potential. Robert Parker called the 2009 vintage ‘an amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet’.
In 1865, the Cruse family took control of Chateau Pontet-Canet and following a doomed decision to eschew chateau-bottling, its quality spiralled down to an incredible degree. In 1973, the Cruse family were involved in an infamous Bordeaux wine fraud scandal. Although they appealed and all charges were dropped in 1975, the stain on their reputation still forced the sale of Pontet-Canet to Guy Tesseron who was a Cognac merchant at that time. In the late 1990s, the wines began gaining international recognition with the help of Michel Rolland and Chateau Pontet-Canet 1994 was regarded as herald of a renaissance for the estate, from which there was significant improvement in quality. Today, Chateau Pontet-Canet has clearly positioned itself as a ‘Super Second’ even though it is classified as a Fifth Growth.
Chateau Pontet Canet Price Analysis
Chateau Pontet Canet Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Pontet Canet
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 Pontet-Canet!
An amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who continues to reduce yields and farms his vineyards biodynamically – a rarity in Bordeaux. Black as a moonless night, the 2009 Pontet Canet offers up notes of incense, graphite, smoke, licorice, creme de cassis and blackberries. A wine of irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness, this is a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years. The tannins are elevated, but they are sweet and beautifully integrated as are the acidity, wood and alcohol (which must be in excess of 14%). This vineyard, which is situated on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, appears to have done everything perfectly in 2009. This cuvee should shut down in the cellar and re-open in a decade or more. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2075.
A candidate for the “wine of the vintage,” Pontet Canet’s 2008 boasts an opaque purple color as well as copious aromas of sweet blueberries, blackberries and black currant fruit intertwined with lead pencil shavings, subtle barbecue smoke and a hint of forest floor. Full-bodied, with fabulous richness, texture and tremendous freshness, this first-growth-like effort is more developed than the uber-powerful 2010. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades. Bravo!
The work that Alfred Tesseron and his winemaking team have done at this estate since 1994 is remarkable. At this fabulous terroir just south of Mouton-Rothschild, Tesseron has made major investments, and instituted incredibly severe selections in both the vineyard and winery. The result is a succession of extraordinary wines. It is difficult to know whether the 2005 Pontet-Canet will ultimately eclipse the hedonism and density of the flamboyant 2003, but it is unquestionably a stunning effort. Inky/black-colored with a classic Pauillac perfume of licorice, black currant liqueur, graphite, cedar, and spice box, it is full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, formidable tannins, and an Arnold Schwartzenegger-like structure (when he was 25 years younger). This backward, formidably endowed 2005 will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.
The 2006 is a wine to stockpile, especially for those in their thirties and forties as it needs another decade to reach maturity, after which it should keep for 30+ years. This vineyard, just south of Mouton Rothschild, has produced an opaque bluish/purple-colored 2006 with an extraordinarily pure nose of graphite, charcoal, sweet creme de cassis, and a hint of scorched earth. Incredible concentration, stunning richness, and a 60-second finish result in a wine that transcends the vintage as well as this estate’s 1855 classification. This enormously endowed, modern day classic is a legend in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+. Enormous credit is due proprietor Alfred Tesseron for turning things around at this estate in 1994, and continuing to produce first-growth level wines. Pontet-Canet is one of the few bio-dynamically farmed vineyards in the Medoc, and Tesseron is such a perfectionist in both the vineyard and wine cellars that his nickname among other bordelais is “Monsieur Bonsai.”
One cannot say enough about the labors of proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who has personally overseen the dramatic increase in quality of the wines at Pontet-Canet which started in a significant manner with 1994. This is a classic Pauillac-styled wine (meaning oodles of cassis flavors), as one might expect from a vineyard on the plateau of Pauillac, across the street from Mouton-Rothschild. One of the great successes of the vintage and certainly one of the most profound Pontet-Canets made over the last decade is the 2003. Deep purple to the rim with a glorious nose of scorched earth, black currant jam, smoke, licorice, and roasted meats, it is full-bodied, incredibly powerful, dense, with low acidity but high tannin, broad-shouldered, and savory. This is a stunning, pure, classic Pontet-Canet that should be at its best between 2010 and 2035.
Upgraded in score over my original rating, which was several points lower, Alfred Tesseron has done a remarkable job since 1994 with Pontet-Canet, which has been hitting first-growth levels since 2003. But the 2000 also shows exceptionally well. In need of another decade of cellaring, this dense purple wine has a classic nose of incense, charcoal, creme de cassis, and subtle new oak. Full-bodied, powerful, still very tannic, and shockingly backward, this is a big, rich wine that has put on weight and seems to need more time than I originally predicted. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035+.
Proprietor Alfred Tesseron-s 2011 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!
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.
A softer, less powerful and less prodigiously endowed Pontet Canet, the 2012 exhibits notes of creme de cassis and new barrique vanillin followed by a medium-bodied, elegant wine with sweeter tannin (and less of it) than is found in the great vintages that immediately precede it. The 2012 is certainly outstanding and, in fact, many readers may prefer it to the blockbuster, out-of-this-world, over-sized 2010, 2009 and 2008. Medium-bodied, pure and expressive, this classic Pauillac should only require 5-6 years of cellaring. It should drink well for two decades thereafter. No one will confuse the 2012 Pontet Canet with the 2008, 2009 or 2010, but proprietor Alfred Tesseron has turned in another high level performance in this more challenging vintage (especially true in the Medoc).