Château Pontet-Canet 2021
• Domaine: Château Pontet-Canet
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Many estates in Bordeaux have no qualms embracing the most cutting-edge viticultural technology to improve their chances at producing quality wines. From cryogenic extraction to hail cannons, countless Classified Growths use these sophisticated instruments and constantly look toward the future. At Château Pontet-Canet, they often look to practices of the past both in the vineyards and the vat room. The results speak for themselves. Without a doubt, Château Pontet-Canet has experienced a meteoric rise in demand, producing knockout wines of astounding quality vintage after vintage.
Château Pontet-Canet is a Pauillac estate with origins dating back to the 18th Century. It derives its namesake from the owner, Jean Francois de Pontet, who expanded the vineyard holdings by purchasing new property around the estate. Several years after his death, his descendants acquired newer plots of land including some in the Canet area and thus, it was aptly named Château Pontet-Canet. Once the vineyard was fully established, it was one of the largest estates in the Médoc. Château Pontet-Canet was classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855 and acquired by the Cruse family who owned the estate for 110 years. By 1975, the vineyards had fallen into a state of disrepair. The Cruse family sold it to the Tesseron family, a well-known name in the Bordeaux Wine Trade. They were faced with the momentous task of bringing the vines of Pontet-Canet to its former glory. It was a task perfectly fit for the legendary figure Alfred Tesseron.
Since the Tesseron family took over the estate, they implemented radical changes. Alfred Tesseron does not view himself as a winemaker, he views himself as a farmer. Because of this, the majority of the work at Château Pontet-Canet is about cultivating the best fruit possible and creating wines people want to drink, not taste. Tesseron partnered with Jean Michel Comme, who introduced him to biodynamic viticulture. With commitment and determination, the entire estate was certified biodynamic. Today, everything is done by hand at Château Pontet Canet, and no electricity is used during picking or sorting whatsoever. There is a very firm ethos here based on the idea that less is more - and it definitely shows. Donkeys and Cows are on the property to cultivate organic fertilizer and the fields are ploughed by horses (who occasionally eat the grapes.)
In the Vat Room, there are no computers surveying the fermentation process or electronic devices pumping the wines. Instead, it is a gravity flow operation with members of the Pontet-Canet team surveying the fermentations that occur, 24 hours a day. The wines are aged in a mixture of French Oak barrels and special amphorae that are created from the same limestone in the soil of the vineyards, reintegrating the wine with the terroir it came from. The results are powerful, friendly, and charming wines that are meant to be enjoyed, appreciated, and laid down to age.
"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)." - Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (4/7/2022), Ratings: 95, Drink: 2026-2044
"The 2021 is the most classically Pauillac Pontet-Canet I have tasted in modern times. Medium in body, with striking aromatic presence, the 2021 screams with character. Grilled herbs, incense, leather, lavender and plum open with a bit of coaxing, all framed by beams of tannin and bright, salivating acids that give the wine shape and real sense of direction. There's a bit more Petit Verdot in this year's blend, and that comes through in the wine's intensely savory profile. Aging is 50% in new wood, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old barrels. The 2021 was impressive all three times I tasted it." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous (5/11/2022) Rating: 93-95
"出色的成熟度、奶油般的口感、不可思议的集中度，这就是Pontet Canet在2021年份给我们上交的答卷。除了波亚克经典的甘草、雪松和黑胡椒香气之外，还泛着蓝莓、黑布林、以及中草药的独特清香。入口清澈而明亮，口感绵密而丰满。绒毛般的单宁与精心打磨地烘焙味道彼此交融，在我的味蕾上奏响了一曲“圆舞曲”。酿酒师Mathieu Bessonnet告诉我，今年的葡萄田没怎么除草，他们想利用地表的草本植物来分担地下多余的水分，这种尝试让酒庄在多雨的2021年份得到更小更浓缩的葡萄果粒，从而间接实现了理想的集中度。" - Alexandre Ma (5/16/2021), Ratings: (95-96)