Clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow. As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence. The tannins have unmistakeable Pauillac strength, but the structure and the subtlety of this wine is Pontet-Canet, with the amphoras having an influence in terms of the tannins feeling less silky than they do in many of the appellation's biggest wines, but still with swagger.
Back to a normal yield after the difficulties in 2018 with mildew that saw production drop to 12hl/ha. This is the last vintage under Jean-Michel Comme, technical director and estate manager for past 32 years. He has been replaced by Mathieu Bessonnet who has spent the last 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (also biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace and who was, they tell me, selected by Comme who chose him and worked with him.
100% 1st wine, as it has been for the past four years. 50% will be aged in new oak barrel, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. This is a two-point score under the 2016, because it doesn't have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it's an excellent Pontet, full of vigour.
Manual punching down across the entire production.
Decanter (May 2001) Score: 96/100 Drink 2028-2044
|6x75cl||-||0 Immediate | 47 Marketplace||£524.00|
|3xMags||-||0 Immediate | 4 Marketplace||£524.00|
|12x75cl||-||0 Immediate | 2 Marketplace||£1,049.00|
|Bts||-||0 Immediate | 2 Marketplace||£90.00|