Pontet Canet 2016

Pauillac, Fifth Growth

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Pontet-Canet was bottled in July 2018. Jean-Michel Comme says it is the best vintage in recent years, a reference point for the estate, with more definition and precision than the 2010 Pontet-Canet. I do like the bouquet here: very pure and precise, the oak nicely integrated, subtle floral scents emerging with time. In the background there is a touch of fresh fig, conveying the warmth of that summer but not impeding upon the terroir expression. The palate is very well balanced and extremely pure, with fine tannin and an almost satin-like texture; the acidity here is well judged. A subtle spiciness becomes more pronounced toward the finish, which exerts gentle grip. This is a very sophisticated Pontet-Canet, easily the finest from Alfred Tesseron and winemaker Jean-Michel Comme in recent years.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2060 01 January 2019

The 2016 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 39% Merlot, less Cabernet this year because of the size of the berries. I tasted the wine on two visits to the property around two weeks apart, plus additional tastings at négoçiants. It has an intense bouquet with layers of blackberry, sloes and fresh mint, just a hint of black truffle in the background. It is certainly a little more opulent compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, a little spicier than I expected (in a positive sense) with gentle grip in the mouth. It fans out with confidence, a voluminous Pontet-Canet with an extremely persistent aftertaste, and a saline and balsamic finish. This is an extravagant Pauillac for the vintage that will age over many years.

Score: 95 - 97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026-2050 28 April 2017

The 2016 Pontet-Canet is absolutely breathtaking. Powerful, ample and racy in the glass, the 2016 is one of the most exquisitely well-balanced young Pontet-Canets I can remember tasting. Savory, high-toned aromatics and brisk mineral notes lend energy and delineation as this vivid wonderfully alive wine opens up in the glass. The flavors are dark and incisive, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that is most compelling. All of the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 is tremendous. It's as simple as that. As is often the case, Pontet-Canet is one of the most singular wines in Bordeaux. Alfred Tesseron could have chosen to play things safe when he took over the management of the estate in the mid-1990s. Instead, he chose a very different path. No proprietor in Bordeaux has taken more risks over the last two decades than Alfred Tesseron. A commitment to biodynamic farming, sustainability across the entire estate more broadly, and the adoption of new concepts for Bordeaux, such as aging a portion of the wine in terra cotta, set Pontet-Canet apart from other properties in Pauillac and the Left Bank. Not surprisingly, the wine is also starkly different from the wines of neighboring estates.

Score: 99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2066 01 January 2019

The 2016 Pontet-Canet has been absolutely brilliant on the three occasions I’ve tasted it so far. Exotically ripe, powerful and voluptuous, it brings together the richness of the 2009 with the structure of the 2010. There aren't too many other 2016s where that is the case, but it is undoubtedly true here. The 2016 is a spectacular wine by any measure, while Pontet-Canet confirms its rarefied place as a true original in Bordeaux. Technical director Jean-Michel Comme added that Cabernet Sauvignon plays a slightly lesser role in the blend because the berries had less juice than normal at harvest. Comme also bumped up the new oak slightly, to 55 percent. The rest of the wine was aged in neutral oak (10 percent) and amphora (35 percent). In a word: Superb. Tasted three times.

Score: 96 - 99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

The blend of the 2016 Pontet-Canet is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Around 55% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, 15% in two-year-old barrels and 35% in cement amphorae for 16 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with opulent scents of plum preserves, spice cake, hoisin and crème de cassis with fragrant wafts of potpourri, wood smoke and rose hip tea. Medium to full-bodied, rich and decadent, with loads of spicy layers, it has a firm, velvety texture with great freshness and incredible depth, finishing very long and on a compelling mineral note.

Score: 98

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023-2059 30 November 2018

This is richly layered with seductively ripe fruit. The quality and texture of the brambled blackberries, cassis and bilberries is striking. There is a sense of lightness and juiciness but also depth and flesh - you can feel the joy of that contrast at every step as the wine stretches out in front of you, hard to resist. 2016 is another vintage where they are up at 95%+ of grand vin, this year aged in 55% new casks, 10% in one year old casks and 35% in amphorae. Feel the effects of biodynamics make Pontet Canet stand out for its energy and lush tannins, even with the concentration of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

Score: 97

Decanter, - Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

Deep purple colour with a voluptuous nose of super-ripe black fruit, pencil shavings, violet and a touch of prune. On the palate there is vivid blue and sweet black fruits with an impressively effortless mouthfeel and natural concentration that has to typify Pontet Canet. Great energy and density with cocoa, spices and a lifted note of bright blueberries on the back end. Vibrant and long.

Score: 95 - 97

Albany Vintners, - 19 April 2017

Very dark crimson. More savoury and sumptuous than many of its neighbours. Blackberry compote and very round and rich and satiny. Very round. Almost too sweet but that is to complain needlessly. Already rich and enjoyable but masses of tannins too. Long and throbbing. Excellent with freshness and cleanliness and round. Pretty sweet though so it's a definite style. Picked 28 September to 12 October. Director Jean-Michel Comme says maybe a bit earlier than some. I'm not sure. They've been biodynamic for 12 years but 2007 was so bad that they had to abandon status. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 34 hl/ha – reduced to that from spring pruning.

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2050 18 April 2017

Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017