Chateau Pontet Canet, 5eme Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, 2018
Grapes: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot aged in 55% oak barriques and 45% amphorae. 100% biodynamic production. Vineyards neighbour Mouton Rothschild.
Technically a Fifth Growth, but the quality, under Alfred Tesseron, is now up with the First Growths! All the vineyard work is done with the help of horse power, no tractors, just the real thing.
Due to climatic conditions, production, in 2018, is only a third of a normal vintage, with yields at a staggeringly low 10hl/ha.
Three reviews from top critics that show what an amazing wine this is:
"Cask Sample. Very dark purplish crimson. The densest 2018 Bordeaux I have seen – right out to the rim. This is hardly wine – it’s a tincture! Extraordinary. Not unpleasantly concentrated by any means; there is freshness here. But it is sui generis. A bit of amphora freshness? Real texture – thick! Very dry finish. It will be fascinating to see how this develops as there is no precedent." 17+/20 points, Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, May 2019
"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." 98/100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, March 2021
"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. 2028 - 2058." 98/100 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2021
A wine for the long haul...30 years plus.
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