Pontet Canet 2012

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPauillac
ColourRed
TypeStill

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Tasting Notes

This impeccably run, biodynamically farmed estate of Alfred Tesseron goes from strength to strength. The 2012 triumphs once again with its notes of dark plum, blackcurrant, licorice and almost a hint of truffle, its full-bodied, supple tannins, and beautiful, expensive mouthfeel. Complex and deep, this dense ruby/purple-colored wine may not be at the level of the 2009 or 2010, but it is a successful wine in this vintage, and a significant wine in 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.

Score: 93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

A softer, less powerful and less prodigiously endowed Pontet Canet, the 2012 exhibits notes of creme de cassis and new barrique vanillin followed by a medium-bodied, elegant wine with sweeter tannin (and less of it) than is found in the great vintages that immediately precede it. The 2012 is certainly outstanding and, in fact, many readers may prefer it to the blockbuster, out-of-this-world, over-sized 2010, 2009 and 2008. Medium-bodied, pure and expressive, this classic Pauillac should only require 5-6 years of cellaring. It should drink well for two decades thereafter.

No one will confuse the 2012 Pontet Canet with the 2008, 2009 or 2010, but proprietor Alfred Tesseron has turned in another high level performance in this more challenging vintage (especially true in the Medoc).

Score: 91/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

What is a primeur report without one of Pauillac's most dynamic estate? I made the trip through the rain to taste their 2012. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 30% Merlot, the latter was cropped from 4th October and the Cabernet Sauvignon from 11th October, finishing six days later. The 50% of the crop once aged in new oak and one-year old barrels are now matured in concrete vats whilst 35% of the crop is aged in clay amphora quarried from their own vineyard. There is certainly great purity and terroir expression on the nose: blackberry, briary and background scents of fresh raspberry and cold stone. The definition is very impressive. The palate is interesting - quite different from the previous vintages. I love the tannins here - very fine but lending the Pontet-Canet great backbone It is utterly harmonious but I feel more understated, perhaps more controlled than recent vintages. The finish is much more introspective - a Pauillac politely informing you to go away and wait before bottling before making any judgement! This is a divine Pontet Canet - very succinct. Tasted April 2013.

Score: 94/96Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

This shows incredible decadence and opulence for the vintage with dried meat, black berry, blueberries and hints of mushroom. Full body, very polished silky tannins and a chewy finish. Lots of richness for the vintage. Persistent palate. This was aged 35% in cement eggs for 12 months. Better in 2018.

Score: 93James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

A wine that makes you want to drink it already. It's stylish with berries, currants, cedar and stone aromas and flavors. Full body, with very integrated tannins and a long, long finish. A small percentage of the wine is now aged in cement vats instead of oak barrels. This touches all the senses. A beauty. Made from biodynamic grapes.

Score: 94/95James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013

A wine of real class, pedigree and distinction, the 2012 Pontet-Canet is absolutely gorgeous. The flavors are beautifully nuanced and delineated throughout. Bright floral notes add lift and sensuality. The 2012 is decidedly understated next to some other recent vintages, but the magic of this site simply won't be denied. This is another sublime wine from proprietor Alfred Tesseron. Drink 2018-2032.

Score: 93+Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2016

Black fruits dominate both nose and palate lots of cassis and black cherry. The mid palate is rich with sweet ripe fruit lots of concentration the fruits underpinned by coffee beans and liquorice. The tannins although firm feel ripe and there is bilberry freshness at the back brightening the finish. 2020-35

Score: 89/94Derek Smedley MW, May 2013

Winemaker Jean-Michel Cosme concedes that the vicissitudes of the vintage made it harder
to use organic and biodynamic practices, but seems happy with the result. This is a step
down from recent stellar vintages, but it's still a dense, if oaky red, with a mixture of leafy,
minty and slightly over-ripe flavours. The oak needs to integrate here, but the firm tannins
should soften in barrel and bottle.
Drink: 2022-30

Score: 93Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013

Easy and round and sating smooth and gouleyant with sufficient freshness - just. Very plush and round and easy. Lots of freshness. Highly distinctive. Rather dry and sudden on the end but really lovely on the way there. Gorgeous start and middle. I'm worried only by the finish. All texture and first two thirds of the experience.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

Alfred Tesseron has been making classic Pauillac here every year since the excellent 1994 and recent vintages have been amongst the best ever, scoring impressively when shown in blind tastings. Pontet Canet is now pushing the Pichons as Pauillac's top non-first growth. Grapes are manually sorted by a team of 30 people on specially made sorting tables. The vineyard is now 100% organic and bio-dynamic and worked by horses. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot in 60% new oak. The yield is 32 hl/ha. There is a dark, saturated colour here. Black fruits, raisins, fruitcake, tar and liquorice are all present on the multi-dimensional nose. Huge, fat, and incredibly dense on the palate. There is an incredible concentration of black cassis fruit yet the tannins are ripe and silky. Despite the power there is great purity and elegance. Another outstanding achievement here. A black beauty. Médoc wine of the vintage?

Score: 18+Farr Vintners, March 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.