2015 Pontet Canet



One of the first of the big names to release in the 2015 En Primeur campaign and highly-scored across the board, this famous Pauillac producer clearly made a sensational wine in this outstanding vintate. Availability on the market was down 40% from last year, meaning there is not much to go around. But the resulting wine has been applauded by the critics:

 

“Superb depth and length”, 97-98 points - James Suckling 

 

“In a word: magnificent”, 95-98 points - Antonio Galloni

 

“Mercurial… a delicious, intellectual Pontet-Canet”, 94-96 points - Neal Martin

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£970.00
£485.00
£485.00
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Average critic rating : 95.08 points

95-98

95-98

One of the wines of the vintage, the 2015 Pontet-Canet oozes class, finesse and pure pedigree. A hypothetical combination of the 2010 (for its dark fruit and tannic structure) and the 2009 (for its voluptuous fruit), the 2015 offers remarkable intensity, power and grace. A host of exotic floral and spice notes wrap around the dark, racy finish. In a word: magnificent! Apr 2016, www.Vinous.com

94-96

94-96

The 2015 Pontet Canet was tasted on two occasions around two weeks apart and I noticed a superior showing the second time around. This year is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked from 18 September apropos the Merlot and from 28 September for the Cabernet, finishing on 3 October. It is matured in 50% new oak, 35% concrete and 15% one-year-old barrels. It has a pure and perfumed bouquet with small dark cherries, red plum and subtle violet scents, perhaps a little Margaux-like in style, the second showing demonstrating a little more red fruit character. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly grainy texture on the entry. There is nicely judged acidity here, moderate depth, very supple tannin that lend this a silky texture. There is modest weight towards the second half, perhaps spicier than some of its Pauillac peers with an edgy, lightly peppered finish. It is an intriguing and complex, almost mercurial Pontet-Canet, a wine that I suspect will gain more weight during its élevage. Afford this 5-8 years in bottle and you should have a delicious, intellectual Pontet-Canet on your hands. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2022-2045

97-98

97-98

This is very fine and silky with a beautiful vivid blackberry and blueberry character. Super polished tannins. Refined and very, very long. Fabulous harmony to this young wine. Very classic Bordeaux. Superb depth and length. Real Bordeaux. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com

17

17

50% new oak. 35% amphora. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3%Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Picked relatively early, 18 September to 3 October, because they ripen earlier. Dark purplish crimson. Very ripe start and then rather drying tannins on the end. Wild and lively but a little bit heavy. I'm looking for a little more freshness. There's austerity and astringency (because of the amphorae influence?) but I'm not sure it compensates for the lack of acidity. Savoury, salty finish. Distinctive. 13.5%. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2040

96

96

Deep, velvety texture on the palate and wild flowers on the nose; unctuous yet firm with pristine clarity. A great wine by any standards – and the standards of Alfred Tesseron for his biodynamic vineyards and amphora-matured wine are magnificently evident. Apr 2016, Steven Spurrier, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2022-2045

94

94

The thick skins of the 2015 grapes made it easier to be organic and biodynamic when the rains came in late August, according to winemaker, Jean-Michel Comme. This is certainly a very serious, concentrated Pontet-Canet with compact, almost Italianate tannins, plenty of oak and layers of dark, plummy fruit. The finish is just a tad dry perhaps. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2022-2035



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 24/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Pontet Canet 2015
+£175.00     (+22.01%) Latest price:  £970.00
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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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