Chateau Pontet Canet is a large Pauillac estate that can trace its origins back to 1725, when Jean-François Pontet gave his name to the estate he had acquired. The wine was not château-bottled until 1972 and in 1975 the property was sold to Guy Tesseron, who also owns Château Lafon-Rochet in St-Estephe. Today it is owned and run by Alfred and Michel Tesseron. Pontet-Canet's 78 hectares of vineyards adjoin those of Mouton Rothschild and are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot (32%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). The Tesserons have vastly improved the quality of the Pontet-Canet wines which are now full-bodied and packed with ripe, chewy, black fruits and finely integrated tannins. The wines have great ageing potential. Pontet-Canet is classified as a 5ème Cru Classé..
It was the first major Bordeaux wine producer to earn official organic certification, and its biodynamic production is a hallmark of its current operations.
96-100/100 Robert Parker Jr. Pontet-Canet’s 2010 harvest took place between September 29 and October 17 (this vineyard is one of the few in Bordeaux that is fully certified as biodynamic) and the final blend was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that achieved nearly 15% natural alcohol. A remarkable, full-bodied effort (as was the estate’s 2009 and 2008), like so many recent vintages from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, it is of first-growth quality (some may even argue that it eclipses several first-growths). Dense purple to the rim, it offers classic notes of creme de cassis, graphite, subtle smoke and spring flowers. Multidimensional with massive concentration as well as vivid purity, precision and freshness, this is another astonishing effort from an obsessive/compulsive proprietor who is doing everything right. On the downside, this 2010 will require a decade of cellaring and should evolve for 50+ years. It will be fascinating to drink it side by side with the 2009 and 2008.
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.