The Story of Chateau Pontet-Canet began three centuries ago and has played out through three families of winegrowers. This 5ème Grand Cru Classé vineyard delivered a reputation of excellence and became world renowned thanks to the dedication and inovation of these three families.
Chateau Pontet-Canet is currently owned by Guy Tesseron and In 1994, he entrusted the management of the estate to his son Alfred Tesseron, who had worked alongside him for twenty years. Uncompromising on quality and an ardent critic of the established conventions and wisdom of the time, he tried to choose growing practices that took into account the sensitivities of the vine plant while adapting vinifications to the individual terroir expression of the estate’s different plots. These practices, perfectly in tune with nature, were to become a viticultural model which would be emulated by numerous estates.
Pontet-Canet then became the first renowned large-scale Bordeaux wine estate to venture into organic and biodynamic farming, was also the first among the Grands Crus Classés to be awarded double certification for the whole vineyard.
At the heart of the Pontet-Canet terroir known as the “plateau”, a gentle broad outcrop of Garonne gravel soil dating from the Günz era that sits on a bedrock of limestone. This poor, well-drained soil is renowned for being particularly suited to the character of great Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape variety which represents over 60% in the blend of the “grand vin” of Pontet Canet.
The other part of the vineyard is located near the river, not far from the village of Pouyalet. This zone is much chalkier; in some plots the limestone can be seen on the surface; in others, clay shows through.
These cooler, richer soils are better suited to Merlot and produce wines that are more structured and fleshy in texture. To establish a link with the viticultural past, four plots located on the edge of the outcrop have been planted with the Petit Verdot variety, which brings spicy aromas to the Pontet-Canet “grand vin”.
“It was aged in 55% oak barriques and 45% amphorae. Deep garnet-purple colored, it explodes from the glass with an atomic perfume of raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles, rose oil and Chinese five spice, giving way to suggestions of cinnamon stick, dusty soil, pencil lead and underbrush. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is a hedonist's dream, delivering layer-upon-layer of black and red berry preserves with loads of fragrant accents, a beautifully firm yet plush texture and tons of freshness, finishing long with a whole firework display of exotic spices. This is pretty much out-of-the-gate delicious, but it has the backbone to evolve over three decades or more.
– 98+ Points Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“When I tasted the 2018 Pontet-Canet in barrel I described it as a "freak of nature." The 2018 is more than that, it is a freak of nature. Made from yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness, phenomenal balance and head-spinning intensity. Crushed red berries, flowers, mint, cedar and rose petal saturate the palate in a Pauillac of breath-taking richness. The silkiest of tannins frame the phenomenally pure, long finish. This is a towering achievement from the Tesseron family and former Technical Director Jean-Michel Comme, who together spearheaded biodynamic farming in Bordeaux and built the present-day estate around a philosophy of non-interventionalist winemaking. In 2018, grapes were crushed solely by hand. Because of the tiny yields, the entire production was vinified in Pontet-Canet's new smaller concrete vats. All winemaking was done manually, without the aid of external temperature control or electricity. Put in another way, if Lalou Bize-Leroy made Bordeaux, it would taste like this.”
— 98 points Vinous, Antonio Galloni