Château Pontet-Canet is a wine estate located in the Pauillac region and ranked as a fifth growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. It has been owned by the Tesseron family of Cognac fame since 1975, and under the family’s control quality has risen greatly, along with auction prices and popularity. Pontet-Canet is Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant, and is full bodied with a classic tannic structure, providing the potential for long-term cellaring.
The vineyard is located at the heart of the Pauillac appellation, just south of châteaux Mouton Rothschild and d’Armailhac. Viticulture is certified organic and biodynamic and, in recent years, a team of working horses have been introduced.
Since 2005, the juice has been fermented in modern, temperature-controlled concrete vats located directly under the sorting tables on the floor above. Grapes from each plot are vinified separately, and aged in barrel (never more than two-thirds new oak) for 16-20 months depending on the vintage.
Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 2005 Château Pontet-Canet has long been one of the stars of the vintage and this might well be the best of over a dozen showings of this wine. However, do not expect ostentation on the nose. This is 2005 and like many wines of this vintage, even with considerable decanting, it remained broody and introspective on the nose, as if it is checking you out and seeing if you are worthy. Once you have been accepted, then it swings the doors open to reveal gorgeous scents of blackberry, briary and cassis fruit, perhaps a little more sous-bois than I have noticed compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied, but dense and structured—certainly a more masculine Pontet-Canet built for long-term ageing. Yet it retains marvelous freshness and vitality all the way through to the pencil-lead, quite saline finish. I suspect that the 2009 Pontet-Canet is more approachable than the 2005, so heeding Robert Parker’s sage advice, afford this up to ten years in your cellar and then reap the rewards of patience. [97 Points, Neal Martin – Jul 2017, robertparker.com]