2013 Pontet Canet

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Average critic rating : 91.0 points



A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this biodynamically farmed vineyard (a rarity, but increasing in the Bordeaux viticulture), had tiny yields of 15 hectoliters per hectare. This doesn’t translate into super concentration, but this is certainly an outstanding effort in an extremely difficult vintage. The wine has a dense purple color, and classic creme de cassis, licorice and mocha and espresso roast notes that Pontet-Canet has displayed recently. The wine is medium-bodied, possesses excellent purity, equilibrium and sweet, but noticeable tannin. This is by no means at the level of the great vintages that have been so common of late from this incredible property on the Plateau of Pauillac across from Mouton Rothschild, but it’s certainly one of the vintage’s more noteworthy efforts. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 15 or so years. Wine Advocate.August, 2014

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 29/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Pontet Canet 2013
-£32.00     (-4.78%) Latest price:  £637.00
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Pontet-Canet: The Importance

Since being purchased by the Tesseron family of Cognac fame, in 1975, it is undoubtable that the large estate of Château Pontet-Canet in the Bordeaux appellation of Pauillac has gone from strength to strength. Now run by Alfred Tesseron alongside winemaker Jean-Michel Comme, the huge amounts of work that they have committed to this estate has clearly paid off and the quality of the wine produced here has never been higher. An example of this increase in quality can be seen in the considerably lower yields produced by the vines, meaning that the juice extracted is much more concentrated and characterful. The influence that Tesseron and Comme have had is directly reflected in the scores received by critics, with very few wines after 1994 being rated below 90 points by Neil Martin and Robert Parker. James Suckling’s website even states that “it’s difficult to think of a Bordeaux wine estate that has improved the quality of its wines more than Château Pontet-Canet. Situated next to first-growth Mouton-Rothschild, the fifth-growth Pauillac property is making some of the most exciting reds in the world. In some vintages, its wines can even rival those of first growths.”


Some of the best vintages produced by the estate have been 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015, with 2009 and 2010 being given 100 point ratings by Robert Parker. Parker writes that “the 2000, 2003 and 2005 have been wines that show its nearby first growth neighbour, Mouton Rothschild, has some serious competition”, and Antonio Galloni described the 2015 as “magnificent”.


Thanks to its classification in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification as a 5th growth, Pontet-Canet is able to deliver remarkably good value for money for the quality of the wine it produces, and as Robert Parker writes, it is “encroaching on Château Lynch Bages's status as a beloved and over-performing Pauillac fifth growth.”

Pontet-Canet: The Insight

The grapes planted at Pontet-Canet are 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, showing a classic left-bank Bordeaux blend. Winemaking is biodynamic, which is still unusual in Bordeaux, although other estates such as Mouton-Rothschild, impressed by the results that have been seen at Ponet-Canet, have begun converting to biodynamic practices. Tesseron and Comme feel that this practice is the best way for the wine to express the particular soil type and climate they are grown on.


Another peculiarity of this estate, is that around 35% of the wine is aged in amphorae partially made out of the soil from the estate, which ties elements of terroir into the fermentation process, creating integration between all stages of the winemaking process.


The wines of Pontet-Canet are characterised by depth and power, with aromas of ripe fruit, meat and spice, carried by high amounts of supple tannins. They are full bodied yet still extremely refined, with great potential for ageing. Robert Parker, when reviewing the 2009 vintage, describes the wine as one of “irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness…a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years.”


Pontet-Canet also produces a second wine called the Hauts de Pontet-Canet and is made from younger vines. Started in 1982, it provides a lighter and earlier drinking alternative to the Grand Vin.

Pontet-Canet: The Background

The origins of Château Pontet-Canet can be traced back to 1725, when it was purchased by Jean-Francois Pontet, and remarkably, the estate has since then been in the hands of only two other families.


The Tesseron family also own Château Lafon-Rochet in St Estèphe and in 2016 expanded their holdings when they purchased Villa Sorriso vineyard in Napa, previously owned by Robin Williams.

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