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    06:19 AM
  • Wine average?

    95 Tb
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    71
  • Region Ranking?

    36
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    117

History

Forget everything, start afresh and erase old habits in order to re-connect with nature, be born anew … Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s régisseur (estate manager) since 1989,  have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Château Pontet-Canet. Leaving behind conventional vinegrowing techniques in order to embrace organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins; the vines seem liberated and the grapes have never been more beautiful. The wines of Pontet-Canet have progressed so much that they are now among the most prestigious in Bordeaux.

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century. Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet. This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc. This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865. He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine's reputation around the world. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

Over two centuries Pontet-Canet has been owned by three different families. Today it is run by Alfred Tesseron with his niece Melanie (daughter of Gerard Tesseron) who is the descendant of Guy Tesseron. Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac the Tesseron have the satisfaction of knowing that they have gradually replanted some of the vineyard and renovated the buildings and the wine making facilities.

 

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Vineyards

Château Pontet-Canet is located in the heart of the Pauillac appellation, just south of châteaux Mouton Rothschild and d'Armailhac. It has the poor gravelly soil typical of the greatest vineyards. In fact, the soil has so much gravel and sand that it is difficult to imagine that anything could grow there at all. The 80-hectare (200 acres) estate is predominately planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, the signature variety for the great wines of Pauillac. This demanding grape is perfectly adapted to Pauillac's climate and soil. It produces full-bodied, well-structured, long-lived wines famous for their finesse and elegance. In keeping with a longstanding Médoc tradition, it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which add a touch of smoothness and charm. In certain vintages, Petit Verdot can also be counted on to contribute complexity.

Pontet-Canet's terroir features rises of Garonne gravel on limestone bedrock. The soil is lean, warm, and well-drained. In order to make the most of this terrroir, Alfred Tesseron instituted a plot-by-plot vineyard management system.

Careful observation year after year has led to an intimate familiarity with practically every vine. The château's winegrowing philosophy is to intervene as little as possible and as naturally as possible in the vineyard. Only traditional viticultural and cultivation practices are used. Chemical weed killers are banned in keeping with environmental protection, and priority is given to the vine's long-term health.

 

RESPECTING THE VINES

In keeping with this spirit, fertilisers are uniquely organic, and only used on plots that genuinely require extra nutrition. This helps to maintain a good balance and self-regulated low yields, as well as to respect the vines, reflect the terroir, and produce pure, natural wine. Pruning is done with the greatest of care in winter by qualified workers who are paid a fixed monthly salary rather than on a piece-work basis. Each individual vine is considered separately and treated accordingly. All these efforts result in grapes that are evenly distributed, with good ventilation, maximum sun exposure, and improved ripeness.

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Winemaking

A unique vat room was built in the 19th century which allowed the grapes from the harvest to drop into the vats by natural gravity without pumping. This method of filling combined with the use of natural yeasts gives a slow fermentation. There gentle extraction over a long period ensures the extraction of the best tannins. Taking this as his model Alfred built a modern version in 2005 : a vat room based on the same principle was built for 32 vats made from re-enforced concrete each with a capacity of 80 hectolitres. Now the wines of the property are vinified in these two vat rooms.

 

THE 21ST CENTURY VAT ROOM

You might say that this new vat room was inspired by the cutting-edge methods used by the famous visionary Skavinski, but obviously updated in light of the great technological strides made over the last century. The new vat room was operational for the 2005 vintage.

Maceration generally lasts for more than four weeks, but varies according to grape variety, vineyard plot, and the age of the vines. The wine is run off directly into barrels, where it ages for sixteen to twenty months, depending on the vintage. The proportion of new barrels is never greater than two thirds.

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Inside information

Pontet-Canet has always been a legendary Médoc. It is deep ruby-red, crimson, and sometimes almost black colour and has a characteristic bouquet of black fruit (especially blackcurrant), liquorice, and prune as well as fig, cedar, and sometimes cocoa overtones. Pontet-Canet combines power and elegance, as well as concentration and fullness on the palate. Rather sinewy in style, Pontet-Canet is clearly a classical wine with a tannic structure that provides excellent ageing potential. The château team is conscious of the fact that they are following in the footsteps of more than three centuries of tradition, with each period contributing its technical innovations in the interest of quality and in order faithfully to reflect the terroir. Château Pontet-Canet and the estate's second wine, Hauts de Pontet-Canet, are sold exclusively via the Bordeaux wine trade.

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Highlights

Latest news

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  100 wines 

I'll repeat myself with the phrase, "Pomerol is one of the strongest districts in 2018"! The truth is that it's s an accurate and valid statement. Despite not tasting Petrus and Lafleur, to name some of the big hitters, I can assure, that there is enough exceptional goof for every taste from Pomerol. As everywhere in Bordeaux, there also are very few wines under the usual standard in Pomerol.


 

2m 7d ago

 Thomas Girgensohn, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Guigal La Mouline is always the more feminine wine of the three, and this is true for the 2015 La Mouline. The grapes come from 100 year old vines with very low yields. This Shiraz includes 10% Viognier, and the wine is matured for two years in new oak. There is no whole bunch included. This wine without doubt was the wine of the night. Fragrant, opulent, fresh, elegant, velvety, pure, silky, spicy; this comes to mind rather than any fruit descriptors. This full-bodied wine has incredible length and stays with you for some time (98 points). 

7m 13d ago

 Camille Meyrou / Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Wine Producer (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  9 wines 

Interesting tasting Half Blind, trying to compare Smith Haut Lafitte and it's two second label (issued from younger vines) on a very recent vintage. And then compare a couple of Pessac Leognan wines of 2014. Parde was completely bretted sadly... Pontet Canet was just a special treat during this blind tasting, as for the old white from Smith Haut Lafitte that was interesting to compare two very old vintages side by side.

7m 26d ago

 James Suckling., Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte 2018 / This is incredibly complex with hazelnut, currant, berry and dried-flower character. The impression of a vat of fermenting cabernet. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a long, soft and silky finish. Shows the essence of the fruit here. Fascinating. Layered and complex.
Barrel Sample: 98-99

9m 9d ago

 Neal Martin, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  25 wines 

The 1961 Palmer is a wine that tends to deliver upon its gargantuan reputation and we were rewarded with an exemplary bottle here. It has a clear colour with modest bricking on the rim. The bouquet is difficult to encapsulate into words – utterly ethereal. Heavenly definition, almost Burgundy-like in purity with traces of pencil box and pressed violets. It grows in stature with each swirl of the glass and leaves you transfixed. The palate is bestowed beguiling balanced, almost symmetrical, framed by filigree tannin and pitch perfect acidity. Like the aromatics it coheres with aeration, the fruit undiminished by time even if it is no blockbuster. Quite the opposite – this 1961 Palmer is the apotheosis of finesse with just a hint of balsamic on the aftertaste. This Margaux can bring you to tears of joy. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.

1y 1m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  51 wines 

1998 Château Cheval Blanc; Ruby, pink rim, floral, violets, mint, layered, again impossible to describe fully. Close to perfect balance, playfull and stil relaxed acidity. tannins soft, stunning texture, mouthwatering, just ads and ads with air, incredible length, never ending, I keep raising the score on this as it keeps unlocking more and more secrets. I wish I had cases of this one. 98


Served blind, I was sure it was Petrus, as was most of the table. Wine of the evening!

1y 1m ago

 Jeff Leve, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Bordeaux has been on a hot roll lately. Think about it. 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 and who knows, even though it is early, 2019 is also looking good!
Each vintage has its own mark, its individual sense of identity and uniqueness of character. 2016 Bordeaux is such a great vintage!  Consider this. Out of all those above-named vintages, there are 2016 wines better than you find in any of those years. And that is really saying something!
In 2016, like in all great years, every appellation produced beautiful wines, and each has its own stars. You can find fabulous wines on both banks and in all price ranges. The Petit Chateaux are superb. Right Bank wines are gorgeous and some of the best wines from the Medoc are potentially the best-ever from their respective vineyards.
2016 has it all. The wines combine concentration of flavor, purity of fruit, zesty acidity, ripe tannins, power, elegance, refinement and richness. The aromatics are complex, and the length and mouthfeel go on and on. The best wines offer the ability to age and evolve for decades!
2016 is the most recent bottled vintage in Bordeaux. The wines are currently available to consumers. If you are seeking to enjoy the best of the best, this article is for you.

1y 6m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  22 wines 

In 2018 Pauillac was again one of the star appellations and there will be some legendary wines from here this vintage. Mouton was probably my personal favorite, it just has everything you want from a perfect vintage of Mouton and Pauillac. Alcohol clocking in at 13,8 or so is not frightening either. My surprise was that Pichon Comtesse didn’t make an even greater wine than they did. I tasted it twice, both at the estate and at the UGCB press tasting with very similar notes. Haut-Bages Liberal was not available to taste where I normally taste it due to low production caused by mildew. Pauillac has some less expensive stars as well, Fonbadet has made their possibly finest wine to date. Armailhac and Clerc Milon has also been on a roll the last vintages and they both shine again this vintage. Lafite is bolder in style even if not that high ripeness; it is a flamboyant version of itself. Duhart-Milon is fine and less rustic than it can sometimes be. Smoother. Grand-Puy-Lacoste is stunning, maybe in a somewhat richer style but landing perfectly in the more elegant side of the vintage in my book. Lynch-Bages has more concentration and depth with lots of stuffing and will probably be for the long haul. Pichon Baron shows great depth and richness, it is a powerhouse. Latour has a similar richness with just a bit more depth. Pontet-Canet is big and rich with lots of depth but also freshness to back it all up. A very fine vintage in Pauillac.

1y 11m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  44 wines 

I’ll refer to what Guillaume Poithier, manager of Les Carmes Haut Brion told me during my visit in the end of March 2019 – “2018 started like a nightmare and finished like a dream. It was vintage of belief – you could choose what you wanted to do with wine”.


It was a year of two extremes - a lot of rain in the spring causing quite many outbreaks of mildew, which particulary attacked Merlot and a glorious summer durings months of July, August and September. All these three months were particulary dry and created a fundament for great quality.


Water from the spring showers was well stored in limestone/clay based soils, allowing vine roots to "drink" it when they needed to. Mildew cut production at some chateaux by app. 50% and up to 90% at biodynamicly run oroperties. Grapes from vines on gravelly soils looked pretty small and thick skinned to me. Warm days and cool nights did once again preserve aromas and freshness.


With long term forecasts promising perfect weather during harvest, there was no need to rush it, but wine growers could risk high alcohol levels if they waited too long. Harvest of grapes in two colors started at normal time in Bordeaux, white finished by mid September and red finished more or less on Right Bank by 5th October, while late ripening soils (f.i. around St.Etienne de Lise) have more or less finished by mid-October. Haut Medoc finished harvest by mid-October. 


When I did my annual check of the harvest in October 2018, I noticed that the colour of the mousse (foam) was pink to medium-red, which promised huge fatness and big concentration in wines. It was duly confirmed when I tasted them for two weeks during primeur tastings in March/April 2019.

2y 14d ago

 Sue Allen Smith / Sommelier, Sommelier (South Africa)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Cheval Blanc 2018 / 100 points / The fruit and tannins reached full and perfect ripeness and the structure shows incredible cohesion, easily approaching the quality of the 2015 but with softer tannins. Beautifully complete with great integrity of coffee grounds and rich damson fruit. Opens up in the glass, the personality and complexity ripples through. Super Start of the vintage! 

2y 27d ago

 Zhao Dao Lee / Wine Importer, Wine Importer (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Pontet Canet . In a tasting of  20 wines 

My Top 20 Bordeaux 2018: Lafite 2018 / Excellent fruit. Big and refined tannins are the hallmark of yet another great Lafite. The fruit seems to overpower the tannins somewhat in this stage but the barrel aging should fill those tannins in to bring the fruit and the tannins in a perfect balance. Nut as so often, Lafite manages this skill to perfection. A sure bet!

2y 28d ago

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