Chateau Pontet-Canet Vertical Case OWC: 1990-1999
• Domaine: Château Pontet Canet
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
This is a special ex-chateau release by Château Pontet-Canet in March 2021. It presents a vertical of 6 vintages from 1990 to 1999 in a custom-designed wood case. With the US wine tariffs now on pause, the chateau expectes the packaging to be done by mid-June 2021. We expect arrival in the fall or winter of 2021, just in time for holiday celebrations.
Château Pontet-Canet is an estate that needs little introduction. After fully transitioning to biodynamic viticulture in 2005, this all-star property has captivated wine lovers around the world not just because of the quality of their grand vin, but because of their revolutionary winemaking techniques and guidance of the legendary figure Alfred Tesseron.
The folks at Pontet-Canet are truly among the pioneers of Bordeaux’s shift to the now widely practiced biodynamic viticulture. Unlike other classified growths that believe in using the most cutting-edge technology to make great wines, Château Pontet-Canet is all about slowing down. Horse drawn carriages plough the vineyards, real people survey the fermentation vats 24 hours a day, and no electricity is used at the estate. Though these practices may seem unorthodox, their results are undeniable and they certainly are very interesting points of conversation to say the least.
The 1990s were a pivotal time for Château Pontet-Canet, largely due to the fact that Alfred Tesseron took over managing the estate in 1994 and began transitioning the property over to biodynamic viticulture at that time. Each vintage during that decade increased in quality, and this offering from Château Pontet-Canet offers fans of the estate six ready-to-drink vintages from that formidable decade. This mixed case offers buyers the opportunity to take a trip back in time to that pivotal time and experience for themselves the evolutionary results of Alfred Tesseron’s visionary winemaking techniques, featuring a vertical selection from 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 1999.
1990 "Still deep glossy crimson. Looks much younger than 1994. The first subtle wine of the tasting! Mineral notes and quite dry on the end. Juicy, round and sweet. Still quite savoury – much more so that most 1990s. No overtly fleshy putrid notes" - Jancis Robinson, Ratings: 18/20
1994 "One of the finest as well as longest-lived wines of the vintage, this opaque purple-colored 1994 needs 7-10 years of cellaring. This rich, impressive, full-bodied wine represents the finest Pontet-Canet produced since the 1961. This full-bodied, purely made wine is crammed with black currant fruit, as well as forbiddingly tannic and backward. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025. Last tasted 1/97" - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (12/31/1997, Bordeaux, 3rd Edition), Ratings: 93, Drink: 2005-2025
"Pale rim. Scented and fragrant. Solid but racy underneath. Lively – like the 2004, much better than average for the vintage." - Jancis Robinson, Ratings: 17/20
1995 "An old style Pauillac, yet made with far more purity and richness than the estate's ancient vintages, this broad-shouldered, muscular, classic wine exhibits a saturated purple color, and sensationally dense, rich, concentrated, cassis flavors that roll over the palate with impressive purity and depth. The wine is tannic and closed, but powerful and rich. It appears to possess length and intensity similar to the 1996. This is a great young Pauillac. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.
The extraordinary effort that Alfred Tesseron is making at this property is reconfirmed with each new tasting note I write on Pontet-Canet. Having recently had the exceptionally impressive 1994 in several tastings, it is a pleasure to see this historic estate turning out wines that behave like super seconds rather than fifth-growths." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (4/25/2012, Issue 200), Ratings: 92, Drink: 2005-2025
1996 "I was shocked by how backward the 1996 Pontet-Canet was on the three occasions I tasted it in January. This wine possesses superb potential, but it appears a decade's worth of patience will be necessary. The color is a saturated dark purple. With coaxing, the wine offers aromas of black currant jam intertwined with minerals, sweet oak, and spice. A full-bodied wine, it possesses layered, concentrated, sweet fruit, with an elevated level of ripe tannin." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Ratings: 92, Drink: 2010-2035
1999 "The 1998 Pontet Canet was made at a time when the property practiced green harvesting that began in 1994 but is not done today. “The changes were in the mind at this stage,” commented Jean-Michel Comme wryly. Initially it felt a little muddled on the nose but it gains focus with time. Eventually it offers straightforward blackberry, briary and cedar scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, plenty of cedar and mint-laced black fruit with a pleasant, quite lively and lightly spiced finish that lingers in the mouth. This is a commendable 1998 from the château before they really began to embrace biodynamics. Tasted at the château." - Neal Martin, Vnous, Ratings: 90
1999 "Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 1999 Château Pontet-Canet put in a respectable showing and demonstrated more class than either the 1996 or1982. Well-defined on the nose, there is a satisfying delivery of blackberry and blueberry fruit infused with dried blood and incense as it moves into its secondary stage. The palate is medium-bodied with classic tobacco-infused black fruit. There is nice salinity here, not a complex Pauillac by any stretch of the imagination, although there is impressive precision on the conservative finish. Probably at its peak now, the 1999 Pontet-Canet is a wine that never had lofty ambitions, but a wine that I would welcome on my table. Tasted February 2016." - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate (4/29/2015, Issue 218), Ratings: 90, Drink: 2016-2025