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, January 2019|
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. Drink 2023-2059.
|Score: 98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim En), November 2018|
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. Drink 2025-2060.
|Score: 96||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
***#2 in Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2019***
A voluptuous wine, this is rich and fruity yet properly balanced by a magnificent structure. Pure, crisp and packed with a black currant flavor, this will be a remarkable wine as it develops. Still
young, it needs many years to develop. Don't think about drinking before 2025.
|Score: 100||Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast, May 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. Drink 2026 - 2050.
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Pontet-Canet hits the ground running with a hedonic nose of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and blueberry pie plus suggestions of candied violets, hoisin, chocolate mint, charcuteries and forest floor with a waft of star anise. Full-bodied, rich, profoundly layered and powerfully fruited, the palate is built like a brick house, with very firm, super ripe, grainy tannins and harmonious freshness, finishing with incredible length and depth. Still incredibly primary and yet already strutting so many layers, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this warrants the three-digit score in a few years' time.
|Score: 96+||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, RobertParker.com, May 2020|
The aromas of ripe blackcurrants, iodine, sweet tobacco and fresh flowers are spellbinding. Full-bodied with mouth-expanding, massive and natural tannins. Impressive fruit with hints of prunes. The finish is long and powerful. Needs six to seven years to soften and come together. Try from 2025.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019|
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, March 2017|
Tasted blind. Sweeter and more evolved than most on the nose. Thick, sweet and very modern and flashy. Then a bit dry and alcoholic on the end. Dunked digestive biscuits impression. Not refreshing enough. Flashy.
Drink 2025 – 2040
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020|
Deep crimson – much deeper than 2017. Fully ripe aromas with some glamour and pzazz. Good balance and spreads across the palate without being flashy or too sweet or alcoholic.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2018|
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.
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Alfred Tesseron has been making constant improvements since the early 1990's. Grapes are manually sorted by a team of 30 people on specially made sorting tables. The vineyard has been organic and bio-dynamic for 10 years and is worked by horses. A part of the maturation is now done in egg-shaped concrete amphoras. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 55% new oak, 10% one year old barrels, 35% amphoras. in 2009 and 2010 two 100 point rated wines were produced here and subsequent vintages have continued to receive high prices from the critics. Cropped at 34hl/ha, the colour is deep purple in the glass. Spicy, rich blakcberry fruit with hints of cocoa and vanilla. The palate is voluptuous with blackcurrant and damson, with elegant, fine grained, and highly polished tannins revealing a texture of pure silk to carry the fruit core. Sweet vanilla, roasted coffee and inky fruit linger on the very long finish.
|Score: 17+||Farr Vintners, February 2017|
Reminding me of the 2010 and, I suspect, a wine that will merit a triple-digit rating in a decade or so (I tasted this on multiple occasions and thought it was perfect on one of them), the 2016 Château Pontet-Canet comes from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot that spent 16 months in 50% new French oak, 35% in concrete amphora, and the rest in second fill oak. Thrilling notes of pure crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, crushed mint, graphite, and crushed rock notes all emerge from this deep, powerful, yet elegant Pauillac. The style of this wine has become more and more finesse-driven and pure, yet it hasn’t lost a beat on concentration or length. This singular, beautiful Pontet-Canet needs 7-8 years of cellaring (it has some accessibility today given its purity and balance) and will keep for 4-5 decades. Drink 2026-2076.
|Score: 98+||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019|
The 2016 Pontet Canet from Alfred Tesseron and estate manager Jean-Michel Comme saw a touch more new oak than normal (55%) and is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It also had 35% of the blend brought up in amphora. Showing the now hallmark purity and elegance of the estate in its crème de cassis, violet, and spring flower-laced bouquet, this beauty is full-bodied, has bright acidity, and sensational purity of fruit. It’s going to be for those with patience and cold cellars, however, and I wouldn’t touch bottle for at least 7-8 years. 2026 - 2056
|Score: 95/97||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017|
Concentrated rich the nose has depth the palate brooding black fruited power the ripe black cherry and cassis backed by dark chocolate. Integrated tannins add to the suppleness but the richness is balanced by herbal bramble a complex mix of flavours. 2025-48
|Score: 94/96||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
You’d expect Pontet-Canet’s biodynamic vineyards to have suffered in the rainy first half of the year, but not a bit of it. This is a rich, polished, concentrated wine with plenty of spicy oak, structured tannins, balancing acidity and the power to age. Textured, plush and ambitious. 2026-36
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
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.
Drinking Window 2027-2050
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|