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.
"The 2017 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 ageing in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% one-year-old oak. Tasted three times."
92-95 points, Antonio Galloni
"Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 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 savoury in the mouth, with wonderful freshness and spectacular energy delivering many layers, resulting in a very long, mineral-laced finish.
Pontet-Canet is situated near enough to the estuary in Pauillac that it only received minor losses from the frosts in 2017. This vintage, for the first time, 30% of the production was fermented in a brand-new vat room containing 32 custom-built, 40-hectoliter concrete tanks. These are smaller tanks, made entirely of soil coming from Pontet-Canet, with no lining although they do have cooling rings inside. Along with the certified organic and biodynamic principles already practiced in the vineyards since 2005, Alfred Tesseron continues to strive toward the least invasive, most sustainable means of coaxing the very best from the land and the vines."
96-98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
"No frost here. Protected by the estuary. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Fermented in 40-hl oval concrete tanks, which they now think are better (because fewer angles) than their earlier and bigger tronconic ones. Gentle pigeage by hand just to keep the cap wet. No electricity and no electromagnetism in the fermentation cellar. Pumps run on compressed air and the compressor is in another room. 12-volt LED lights are fed by shielded cables. They avoid wifi, too. Geothermic source for heating and cooling.
Sweet and spicy on the nose and sweet and quite thick on the palate. Rounded and soft but not a huge amount of fruit flavour. Very nice spice, giving a slightly exotic character. Firm, compact, fresh. Spice is the thing here and a very natural chewy texture. With air more fragrant, a floral fragrance. Chewy, 'spicy' texture, well-balanced fruit and deeply textured. Distinctive. Drink 2027-2040"
17+ points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
"The 2017 Pontet Canet has a very ripe and pure, slightly high-toned bouquet with touches of iodine inflecting the black cherry and cassis fruit. There is a subtle floral aspect to this Pontet-Canet, more iris than violet. With aeration there are hints of graphite and crushed stone, some of its initial opulence ebbing away. The palate is medium-bodied with fine balance on the entry, slightly chalky tannin, a fine sense of energy and poise. On the two readings of this wine, this was perhaps the most difference. The mid-April tasting had a very similar nose however, the palate demonstrated far more backbone, linearity and mineralité, not to mention a sapidity that was not present in the showing at the end of March. Ah yes, that’s the Pontet I love. I expect this to land at the upper end of my banded score once in bottle. Tasted twice at the property."
92-94 points, Neal Martin
"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."
96-97 points, James Sucking
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.