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Bordeaux, Pauillac France

Chateau Pontet Canet

Since we opened I have always sought out the wines of the 5th Growth Pontet Canet in Pauillac. For me the wines are the essence of Pauillac, powerful , structured and expressive. The estate is run by its owner Alfred Tesseron with his estate manager , Jean-Michel Comme. The estate was acquired in 1975 by Alfred’s father Guy.

The focus in this estate is on terroir and I often feel that this is an over used expression and one bandied about to romanticise about wine and wine making. In Pontet Canet though , it is a goal and one in which they have invested heavily. Over the past decade they have gradually moved into Biodynamic viticulture. Conditions in Bordeaux do not encourage biodynamics nor do they make it easy. In fact in 2007 they abandoned the practice and sprayed three times. Vintage conditions forced their hand. I think they regretted that decision and reverted to biodynamics again in 2008. 2010 was their certified Biodynamic vintage.

Not content with the extra man hours and effort required to manage this form of viticulture they further invested in 2012 buying especially designed ‘dolia’ ( amphorae ) . This has the duel benefit of reducing the volume of wine aged in new oak but also designed to limit the wines exposure to its lees. The goal is the expression of terroir. I know of only one other leading estate in Bordeaux to use the dolia. This is Marquis de Terme in Margaux. It is no coincidence that during this rigorous program of change they received their first 100/100 from Robert Parker for their 2010 vintage.

The wines of Pontet Canet represent the quintessential ‘Pauillac’ style, powerful and full bodied. They are structured with a defined tannic structure an abundance of damson and cassis fruit with a savoury and earthy finish. These wines benefit greatly from ageing , with a potential in some finer vintages capable of up to 50 years cellaring. Pontet-Canet boxes way above their 5th Growth status and should in my opinion lie amongst the best of the 2nd’s

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