Possibly the youngest wine of all the 2005 Médocs in terms of its evolution, at age 10 the inky purple 2005 Pontet-Canet tastes more like a two-year-old wine. Loads of pure blueberry, blackberry and cassis fruit are present along with a hint of licorice and background oak. It is full-bodied, ripe, and excruciatingly fresh, vigorous and exuberant. This is a tour de force, and a sensational effort that rivals the first growths. Give it another 5-10 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 30-40 years. Drink 2020-2065.
The work that Alfred Tesseron and his winemaking team have done at this estate since 1994 is remarkable. At this fabulous terroir just south of Mouton-Rothschild, Tesseron has made major investments, and instituted incredibly severe selections in both the vineyard and winery. The result is a succession of extraordinary wines. It is difficult to know whether the 2005 Pontet-Canet will ultimately eclipse the hedonism and density of the flamboyant 2003, but it is unquestionably a stunning effort. Inky/black-colored with a classic Pauillac perfume of licorice, black currant liqueur, graphite, cedar, and spice box, it is full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, formidable tannins, and an Arnold Schwartzenegger-like structure (when he was 25 years younger). This backward, formidably endowed 2005 will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.
One can’t say enough about the extraordinary work proprietor Alfred Tesseron has done since 1994 in taking Pontet-Canet to a remarkable level of quality. Every top vintage has been impressive, and the 2005 rivals the brilliant efforts of 2003, 2000, 1996, and 1995. A black/blue/purple hue precedes a classic Pauillac perfume of creme de cassis, melted licorice, cedar, and spice. Full-bodied with superb concentration, fabulous opulence, and huge tannins and muscle, this is an uncompromisingly made Pauillac boasting sensational concentration, power, and aging potential. Prospective purchasers should keep in mind, it requires at least ten years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035+.
Absolutely spectacular, Pontet-Canet’s 2005 receives the full attention of dedicated proprietor Alfred Tesseron. Produced from yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare (25% less wine than in 2004), it is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The first vintage vinified in tiny cement cuves with pigeage for some lots, this wine will have 40-50 years of longevity, and should turn out to be the greatest Pontet-Canet since such ancient classics as 1961, 1945, and 1929. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as pure creme de cassis aromas, first-growth nobility and raciness, massive body, tannin, and extract, and a finish that lasts nearly a minute. With extraordinary purity and density, it is unapproachable at present, and is best cellared until 2012, and drunk over the following 50 years.
Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 2005 Château Pontet-Canet has long been one of the stars of the vintage and this might well be the best of over a dozen showings of this wine. However, do not expect ostentation on the nose. This is 2005 and like many wines of this vintage, even with considerable decanting, it remained broody and introspective on the nose, as if it is checking you out and seeing if you are worthy. Once you have been accepted, then it swings the doors open to reveal gorgeous scents of blackberry, briary and cassis fruit, perhaps a little more sous-bois than I have noticed compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied, but dense and structured—certainly a more masculine Pontet-Canet built for long-term ageing. Yet it retains marvelous freshness and vitality all the way through to the pencil-lead, quite saline finish. I suspect that the 2009 Pontet-Canet is more approachable than the 2005, so heeding Robert Parker's sage advice, afford this up to ten years in your cellar and then reap the rewards of patience. Drink: 2025 - 2050.
The Château Pontet-Canet 2005 has an opulent, fruit-laden bouquet with precocious black cherries, wild strawberry, marmalade and fig roll-scents that bloom from the glass. The palate is full-bodied with copious sweet ripe black fruit - black cherries and crème de cassis - one of the most sensual and voluptuous Left Bank wines with layers of glycerine on the finish. Decadent and sophisticated, this is a Pauillac built for the long-term. Drink 2018 - 2045
This has a deep limpid purple colour. The nose is very intense with stunning definition. It has closed up since I last tasted it, but there is undoubtedly a brooding intensity with blackcurrant, cassis and black plum, then touches of cedar coming through. Compared to the 2008, there is just a very faint touch of sur-maturite, but it just adds to the character. The palate is full-bodied, tightly coiled, sinewy tannins but beautifully focused. This is more surly than the bottle in Southwold, but there is a wonderful sense of tension and poise towards the minerally, shellfish tinged finish. This is undoubtedly an outstanding Pontet-Canet, even if it is a little tight fisted here and it remains that way after an hour. Drink 2012-2025+ Tasted October 2009.
Glorious aromas of currants, blackberries and cherries with hints of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied, with exuberant fruit. Velvety tannins. Soft and round mouthfeel. This is supercharged with fruit. Wonderful purity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Very low yields this year. Best ever from here?
The 2005 Pontet-Canet is a heady, exotic wine. Inky dark fruit, mocha, chocolate, licorice, spice and tobacco are front and center. Readers will find an unabashedly opulent, full-throttle 2005 with quite a bit more oak influence and overall extraction than is the norm these days. Even so, the 2005 is a young, young wine with a bright future. This is one sexy Pauillac, that's for sure. Drink: 2025-2045
Tasted blind. Blackish crimson. Spicy sweet fruit and then dry. Pleasure before a bit of pain, but overall it’s well done and pretty glamorous.
Dark crimson. Silky sleek but very dry indeed! Really quite hard work at the moment. Some green-tomato flavour. Chewy end, some furriness. Quite extreme. 13%
Bright and glowing crimson. Sweet and spicy on the nose. Round and easy though not very intense - just a little slack with a hint of green. Tannins still very much in evidence. Dry end. Drink 2014-2024. Date tasted 18th Feb 09.
Rather raw simple black fruit flavours. Quite aggressively crude. Lots of acidity and tannin and not much attempt to integrate them. Positively inky. Drink 2014-20
Good full ruby-red. Complex, enticing aromas of black raspberry, licorice, minerals, bitter chocolate, lead pencil and pungent cedar; just this side of exotic. Wonderfully silky, sweet and thick, with a powerful minerality framing the currant, graphite and spice flavors. This boasts superb inner-mouth energy and great length, with the full, ripe tannins totally enrobed by the wine's mid-palate richness. (My sample of the 2006 was old and tired, so I'll wait until next year to report on the finished wine; this was a star in the early going.)
Black-red, quite smoky, concentrated fruit, shows great firmness and depth, high levels of tannin, a wine for the long term. Drink 2015-40.
"Big, concentrated, extracted nose. Very powerful. Very different- black, pruney, raisiny, thick, with tannins to match. WOW!" Drink from 2015. Awarded 5 stars.