The 2021 Pontet Canet is quite perfumed on the finely delineated nose of blackberry, briar and pressed iris flower, a touch of inkwell coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a pinch of white pepper on the entry and gentle grip. Not as enormously deep as other vintages, as you would expect, but it displays a fine bitter edge and a graphite-infused finish. This should drink earlier than other vintages yet has the substance to mature in bottle.
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
Bright berry red in colour, nuanced blackberry and loganberry with bitter black chocolate notes from the first attack. Lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud. This was the third vintage with mildew pessure, but the team are now experienced, and I can attest to seeing the vines during harvest and remarking on how healthy they looked, with no-till farming helping concentration. Plenty of tannins give structure and are shot through with sinew and juice, this is an impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet, with Pauillac typicity. Harvest 24 september until 12 October. 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year barrels, 15% press (aged in the amphora).
Drink 2026 - 2044
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
Offering up wild, exotic aromas of blackberries, cloves and Indian spices mingled with notions of rose petal, bruised orchard fruit and cherry pit that evolve rapidly in the glass, the 2021 Pontet-Canet is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a layered mid-palate and refined tannins that assert themselves on the firm, saline finish. Always one of the Médoc's most singular, idiosyncratic wines, it will be interesting to see how it performs in bottle.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
Plenty of blackberry and blueberry with wet earth and crushed stone. Some spice,tobacco and lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with layered tannins and brightness. Fine and chewy at the end.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (May 2022)
About this WINE
Château Pontet-Canet is a large Pauillac estate that can trace its origins back to 1725, when Jean-François Pontet gave his name to the estate he had acquired. The wine was not château-bottled until 1972 and in 1975 the property was sold to Guy Tesseron, of the Tesseron family, one of the finest exponents of luxury, very old, aged Cognacs (Cognac Tesseron).
The Tesserons also own Château Lafon-Rochet in St-Estephe. Today, Château Pontet-Canet is owned and run by Alfred and Michel Tesseron.
The Tesserons have vastly improved the quality of the Pontet-Canet wines which are now full-bodied and packed with ripe, chewy, black fruits and finely integrated tannins. The wines posseses marvellous ageing potential.
Pontet-Canet is classified as a 5ème Cru Classé.
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.