Pontet Canet 2017

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPauillac
ColourRed
TypeStill

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. The vineyard is planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.


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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Pontet-Canet offers attractive red berry fruit mixed with cedar and potpourri, underneath which lies subtle aromas of graphite that I would like to see a little more of as it matures in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that render this one of the more approachable vintages in recent years. The cedar-infused black fruit is framed by fine tannins and a harmonious, graphite tinged finish. This Pontet-Canet should offer up to 20 years of drinking pleasure although it will be difficult to resist pulling the cork in its youth. Drink 2022-2036.

Score: 93Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2020

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: 92/94Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

Composed of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pontet-Canet gives up beautifully fragrant notes of rosehip tea, lilacs, cinnamon stick, cloves, dried leaves and underbrush with a core of kirsch, raspberry coulis, warm plums and red and black currants plus a waft of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate is refreshing, minerally and wonderfully elegant with a well-played texture of approachable, plush tannins and a long, fragrant finish. Beautiful. Aging took place in 50% new and 15% in second fill barrels and the remaining 35% in amphorae for 16 months, much of the material for which came from the soil at Pontet-Canet!
Drink Date
2021 - 2048

Score: 96Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2020

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: 96/98Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

This has ethereal transparency to it with a fresh, red-berry and cherry nose. Terra-cotta and dried-flower notes. Plums, too. Quite complex. The palate has a very detailed tannin texture with attractive cassis and blueberries that hold very long, fresh and pure. Fruity and fresh. Try from 2023.

Score: 96James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (June 2019), January 2020

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: 96/97James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

A gorgeous, alluring Pauillac, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is racy and exceptionally polished, with floral top notes that bring out the natural brightness of the red-toned fruit. Super-silky tannins add to the wine's immediacy and sheer allure. The 2017 was the first wine made with the new sorting table. About half the fruit was destemmed by hand. As always, visiting Pontet-Canet is like stepping back into another time, a time in which wines were made much more manually than they are today. Here that means manual punch downs and pump overs, with no electricity. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Aging was done 50% in new oak, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old oak. Tasted three times. Drink 2025-2047

Score: 95Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (March 2020), March 2020

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: 92/95Antonio 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.
Drink 2025-2038

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.
Drink 2027-2040

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: 92/94Derek 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: 94Jane 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

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