The 2017 Pontet Canet has a very ripe and pure, slightly high-toned bouquet with touches of iodine inflecting the black cherry and cassis fruit. There is a subtle floral aspect to this Pontet-Canet, more iris than violet. With aeration there are hints of graphite and crushed stone, some of its initial opulence ebbing away. The palate is medium-bodied with fine balance on the entry, slightly chalky tannin, a fine sense of energy and poise. On the two readings of this wine, this was perhaps the most difference. The mid-April tasting had a very similar nose however, the palate demonstrated far more backbone, linearity and mineralité, not to mention a sapidity that was not present in the showing at the end of March. Ah yes, that’s the Pontet I love. I expect this to land at the upper end of my banded score once in bottle. Tasted twice at the property. Drink 2021-2040.
|Score: 92/94||Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018|
Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pontet-Canet opens with vibrant wild blueberries, black raspberries and crushed plums with notions of cinnamon stick, violets, unsmoked cigars and pencil lead plus wafts of roses, lavender and tilled black soil. Medium-bodied with very fine, incredibly plush tannins, it is deliciously savory in the mouth, with wonderful freshness and spectacular energy delivering many layers, resulting in a very long, mineral-laced finish.
|Score: 96/98||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018|
This is incredibly transparent and refined with blackcurrant, blueberry and mineral character. Full-bodied, layered and ethereal. Tannins have a crushed-stone character. Long and persistent.
|Score: 96/97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
The 2017 Pontet-Canet showed progressively better on each of the three occasions I tasted it. Deep, pliant and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2017 exudes class. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, licorice and rose petal infuse this super-expressive and highly nuanced wine from proprietor Alfred Tesseron and technical director Jean-Michel Comme. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is aging in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% one year old oak. Tasted three times.
|Score: 92/95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2018|
Mid crimson. Weak rim. Suggestion of pencil shavings on the nose. Rather austere around the edges with oak in evidence. Chewy end and rather a lack of flesh in the middle.
|Score: 16-||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2018|
Sweet and spicy on the nose and sweet and quite thick on the palate. Rounded and soft but not a huge amount of fruit flavour. Very nice spice, giving a slightly exotic character. Firm, compact, fresh. Spice is the thing here and a very natural chewy texture. With air more fragrant, a floral fragrance. Chewy, 'spicy' texture, well-balanced fruit and deeply textured. Distinctive.
|Score: 17+||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018|
No frost so production was slightly higher than in 2016. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Maturation in 50% new oak, 15% 1 year oak and 35% concrete amphoras. Deep ruby in colour, with a rich, expressive nose of bramble fruits and cassis with a touch of sweet caramel and vanilla. The palate is exotic, with liquorice, baked vanilla and nutmeg, plush but rich tannins, and an overarching richness to the fruit that gives a certain oilyness to the wine. Powerful but not overworked, with great power through to the finish.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, April 2018|
Fresh fruits on the nose fragrant the nose has lots of charm. Black cherry and blackcurrant on the palate are ripe the mid palate has rich fruit velvety, smooth and supple tannins fine. There is underlying freshness more restrained bright at the back with hints of sweetness on the finish. Drink 2026-2043.
|Score: 92/94||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018|
This is a very charming Pauillac with texture, rippling energy and undoubted finesse. It's deceptive, because the dark, luscious blackberry, bilberry, and damson notes are fairly fresh, with a luscious lipsmacking quality, but the tannins build over the palate. It almost tastes like a St-Julien rather than a Pauillac as they're so fine and elegant, but the Pauillac character becomes more apparent by the close of play - there's no hiding those swirling cassis, smoke and menthol notes. This has a really gorgeous tension and freshness without sacrificing concentration. They used brand-new concrete vats this year, designed by technical director Jean-Michel Comme's, for one-third of the crop. The concrete was made from sands and gravels extracted from the exact spot that the building containing them now stands, utilising geothermal heating and cooling, with as few metallic parts as possible and insulated with hemp. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak, 35% concrete vats and t15% in one-year-old barrels. They have made nearly no second wine again. Just 1% frost loss in 2017. The Merlot was harvested from 18 September, block by block over 10 days, then deleafed. The Cabernets were picked from 28 September through until 4 October.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2038
|Score: 94||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018|
The yields here were ever so slightly higher than last year and there was no frost damage at all. This is the first vintage in which they used the large concrete fermenters which look like amphorae from the outside but on the inside they are more akin to upright ‘fat rugby balls’, according to Alfred Tesseron. They are completely smooth inside with no corners at all and so he does not need to rack and the pigeage is so easy, ‘it can be done by a child, but is it not done by a child’, says Alfred with a smile. The nose shows some coffee and plum notes and some ripeness and richness, but this is not transferred to the palate which is more strictly controlled and focussed. There is no doubt that the nose is the star performer at the moment and it is very luscious and layered. The palate is not wanting to be disturbed but it shows deft tannins and a very crunchy finish. This is a wine which is slimmer and fitter than in previous vintages and yet it doesn’t show any muscle at all, just perfectly clean lines. Alfred says that he likes to make every wine individual and this is a prime example.
|Score: 18.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|