|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
Alfred Tesseron has been at the helm here for nearly 50 years and constant improvements have been made in both viticulture and vinification. Grapes are manually sorted by a team of 30 people on specially made sorting tables. The vineyard has been organic and biodynamic 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 (on average) 55 year old vines - 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Spring 2020 saw the departure of long-standing technical director Jean-Michel Comme, who oversaw the conversion to biodynamics and other technical innovations.
Alfred told us that 2022 is the best wine that Pontet Canet has made under his ownership. "It has everything" he said. Production is down 20% on last year and the harvest was the earliest ever, starting on September 8th. It was also the longest harvest, finishing on the 28th. The blend is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot with the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. No second wine needed to be made.
What a finish on this Pontet-Canet. So much energy and brightness. It's full-bodied yet so tight and focused with superb fruit and transparency. It is racy and fine with super fine texture. It's like crushed cabernet sauvignon with cassis, tobacco and cigar box. Licorice and spices. Freshness of the seed. 57% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 4% cabernet franc, and 4% petit verdot.
The 2022 Pontet Canet has a pure nose with perfumed blackberry and cassis fruit. It takes time to cohere, evolving light pencil lead notes after 8-10 minutes. The palate has a lovely chalky texture on the entry, and a silver bead of acidity. Perhaps, more complexity than the aromatics suggest at the moment. Fine balance, moderate grip, the mineralité coming toward the final third, it fans out with gusto. There is quite a long residual peppery note on the aftertaste that you can feel after 30 seconds. I have not pulled any punches in recent vintages, when stylistically, I felt that it has veered too far away from Pauillac, for my personal taste. But closely examining this 2022, today, it seems safely within the appellation. 2028-2050
Saturated purple colour in the glass, the nose is full of blue fruit compote, sandalwood, gravel and salt. There is an underlying savoury tone reminiscent of cheese rind - this starts to blow off with air but it gives the wine a unique and slighlty unusual profile. The fruit on the palate is dense, ripe and wild, layering forest fruit with szechuan pepper and a deep salinity. Complex and fleshy, there is a blackberry coulis ripeness that fleshes out to the long finish. The structure is rich and firm, coating the mouth and enveloping the fruit.
The 2022 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot, aging 50% in new oak barrels, 35% in amphoras, and 15% in used barrels. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs considerable swirling and coaxing to reveal aromas of damp earth, fragrant soil, crushed rocks, and underbrush, giving way to a profound core of blackcurrant cordial, juicy black plums, and fresh blackberries. The full-bodied palate is laden with nuanced black fruits, slowly releasing earthy and mineral-laced flavors, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. Talk about tasting the place! This is Pauillac in all its powerful, energetic glory.
Vivid plum colour, violet reflections, chewy tannins from the first moments. Loaded with cassis, blueberry and fresh fig fruits, laced through with rosemary, sage, dried herbs, edges of chamomile and fresh mushroom. Tight in its tannic structure, with smoked earth, cinammo, cardamom and lavender. Mathieu Bessonnet technical director, and the 47th vintage of owner Alfred Tesseron, 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year old barrels, 55 year average age of the vines. Harvest September 8 to 28, with clay used as sunscreen on the grapes to avoid sunburn, and a selection before harvest to drop any shrivelled berries.
The 2022 Château Pontet-Canet is brilliant and should easily be up with the crème de la crème from the Médoc. Based on 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it was vinified mostly in concrete (there's a small part in wood), and the aging is in 50% new French oak, 35% in amphora, and the rest in once-used barrels. It has an incredibly pure bouquet of cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and scorched earth. This carries to a full-bodied Pauillac with a deep, layered mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the purity, richness, and structure that makes this vintage so compelling and is going to be drinkable with just 4-6 years of bottle age but have an incredibly long life.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Deep crimson to the rim. Subtle, scented nose. Crunchy tannins but wrapped in generous fruit. Concentrated, punchy, powerful but refined tannins. Tight, firm finish. Bit of a glow but enough freshness to provide balance. Needs to gel but clear potential. (JL)
Drink 2032– 2048