Pontet Canet 2020

Pauillac, Fifth Growth

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78 75cl Bottle Case 6 £400 per Case Cases [Add to shopping basket]
Tasting Notes

The flagship from this estate, the 2020 Château Pontet-Canet is a beauty based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new oak, with 35% in amphora. Deep purple-hued with a great nose of dark currants, plums, tobacco leaf, and truffly earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless mouthfeel and a great finish. The higher Merlot content here really shows in its overall sexy, supple, seamless style, and while this already offers pleasure, it's going to be one for the ages as well.

Score: 97

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2031-2066 29 March 2023

The 2020 Pontet-Canet is a potent, brooding wine that really seems to reflect the richness of the year in its flavor profile and overall feel. Today, the 2020 is quite dark and somber, although aeration gradually brings out floral top notes that convey freshness. The 2020 is an exotic Pontet-Canet that that will require time. The 2020 spent 14-16 months in the cellar, in the combination of 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.

Score: 95

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2035 23 February 2023

The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can't wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-à-vis its peers among top Left Bank châteaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14–30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7–10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.

Score: 95 - 97

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035 - 2060 04 June 2021

The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can't wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-à-vis its peers among top Left Bank châteaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14–30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7–10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.

Score: 95 - 97

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2035-2060 01 June 2021

The 2020 Pontet Canet, which was picked from 14 September, has quite a plush bouquet with blackberry, raspberry coulis, cedar and light touches of espresso that hover in the background. Fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins. There remains a noticeable and indeed pleasurable sprinkling of black pepper complementing that black fruit. Quite structured on the finish (more so than previous vintages) with a gentle but insistent grip. Unquestionably this is more classically styled than the recently blind-tasted 2019 and should mature well in bottle. Excellent.

Score: 95

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2055 08 February 2023

The 2020 Pontet Canet, picked from 14 to 30 September, has a well-defined bouquet with scents of black cherries, raspberry, crushed iris and violet. This is demonstrating more delineation than the 2018 that was tasted just a couple of days previously. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a spicy entry, a liberal sprinkling of black pepper and a hint of cedar. Fine structure and focus here. It is fresh with a touch of pencil lead towards the finish, and a touch of pepper lingering on the aftertaste. Here, I can taste Pauillac DNA, which has been my pet peeve in recent vintages. I look forward to revisiting this in bottle. Tasted at the estate with Alfred and Justine Tesseron.

Score: 94 - 96

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2053 01 May 2021

Great quality, evident from the first moment. Velvety tannins with grain and muscles, fresh and powerful blackberry and cassis fruits, with the hawthorm, hedgerow edge that speaks of Pontet Canet's earthy, heartfelt unfussiness, while still delivering the graphite, cigar box and mint leaf of Pauillac. Harvest Spetember 14 to 30. Mathieu Bessonnet's first vintage as technical director. He spent 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace before working alongside Jean-Michel Comme at Pontet. 50% new oak, 35% amphoras, 15% one-year barrels.

Score: 97

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux Maturity: 2023-2050 15 October 2021

Highly successful Pontet, one of the few Pauillacs that, for me, overperforms on its 2019. Inky purple with ruby reflections in colour. Lots of firm but upright tannins, a good dollop of graphite, pencil lead and cassis bud, there is depth through the mid palate shot through with wild blackberry, hawthorn, sage, rosemary and wild mint. It has personality, and is a little old school in the best possible way. Recommended. They have avoided the over-concentrated feel of some Pauillacs in the vintage, while remaining true to the appellation. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend, 50% new oak 35% amphoras, 15% one-year barrels. First full vintage for Mathieu Bessonnet who replaced the previous long-term director Jean-Michel Comme in 2020. 100% first wine, as it has been for the past four years. 45% will be aged in new oak barrels, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. The mildew pressure was stressful in the early part of the year, but they had learnt from 2018, and brought in the manpower to get around the whole vineyard in a (very long) day, so their yields ended up being close to normal.

Score: 97

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028 - 2042 19 May 2021

This is integrated, with superb density and beauty, offering blackcurrant, mineral and some bark. Full-bodied, yet so polished and refined. Crushed stone. Lots of expression and texture to this wine. Creamy. Pure and precise. Elegant, yet layered. Slightly plusher than the 2019. Dense, yet agile. Fresh as always. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. 50% new oak 15% old oak and 35% concrete amphorae.

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 23 May 2021

The 2020 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new French oak barriques, 35% concrete amphorae and 15% in one-year-old barrels. Harvest began on the 14th September for the Merlot, and the final lot of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on 30th September. Opaque purple-black in color, it needs significant aeration and swirling to coax out evocative notes of black cherry preserves, raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles and damp soil, before launching into gorgeous floral and spice notions of red roses, cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom, with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals a lot of depth and polish, delivering mouth-coating red and black fruits with loads of fragrant earth and floral sparks, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. This is a singular, fascinating expression of the vintage and highly recommended!

Score: 96 - 98

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026 - 2056 21 May 2021

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Dark, dense and very ripe on the nose. Riper than most Pauillacs tasted. Suave attack then a firm charge of grainy tannin. Fresh and persistent but some chew on the finish. (JL)

Score: 17

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com 09 May 2021