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Pontet Canet 2019

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Alfred Tesseron has been making constant improvements here 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. Long-standing technical director Jean-Michel Comme, who oversaw the conversion to biodynamics and the move to concrete eggs, stepped down in Spring 2020, so the 2019 will be his last vintage here.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Pontet-Canet


Tasting Notes

The aromas to this are really amazing, with a potpourri of spices and dried flowers, as well as redcurrants, sweet plums and even some peaches. Full-bodied with layers of ripe fruit and ultra-fine tannins that spread across the palate in an encompassing yet always elegant and pure way. It’s succulent and unadulterated. Like crushed, perfectly ripened grapes. The length is rather endless. The tannins build. Fabulous young red. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2028, but an absolute joy to taste now.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2022

Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Pontet-Canet is deep garnet-purple in color. It features notes of prunes, creme de cassis, and wilted roses, followed by suggestions of spice box, iron ore, Ceylon tea, and underbrush. The medium to full-bodied palate is rich, concentrated, and seductive, with a racy backbone and ripe, fine-grained tannins supporting the complex, layered flavors, finishing long and minerally.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2023

The 2019 Pontet-Canet offers up an expressive bouquet of plummy fruit, kirsch, dried herbs and peonies. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ample and seamless, with melting tannins, succulent acids, and a long, liqueured finish. Tasted twice, it's a wine I find somewhat perplexing: in a blind tasting, I might be more inclined to place it in Gigondas than Pauillac. I'm far from dogmatic when it comes to what the French call "typicité," and stylistic diversity surely enriches every appellation; but by the same token, I'm not convinced that this is the most compelling aesthetic that a Cabernet-based blend from this part of Bordeaux can realize. Checking in at 13.7% alcohol, some 35% of the production was matured in amphorae, which no doubt contributes to the wine's idiosyncratic identity. - Drink 2021-2045

William Kelley, RobertParker.com (April 2022), April 2022

The 2019 Pontet-Canet is the outlier in the flight with its arresting exotic blueberry, cassis and mulberry scents. It is attractive, seductive even, yet it is cut from a totally different cloth to other wines in the flight of Pauillacs. The palate steers it back towards Bordeaux, albeit not all the way. Grainy tannins, mulberry and game, almost Syrah-like in style. Quite powerful, this has a chewy finish with some dry tannins. Perplexing. Fascinating. Sui generis. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. Drink 2024-2038.

Neal Martin, vinous.com (Southwold), February 2023

Particularly successful during En Primeur, and even better now, just bursting out of the glass. Plump and fruit forward, plenty of character, with spiced cedar and smoked earth, violet and iris notes play around the edges, but the focus is on creamy cassis, bilberry, cocoa bean and aniseed. Last vintage with Jean-Michel Comme as technical director, and you really now see the skilled use of amphoras, which added notes of austerity in the early years (they introduced them in 2012) but now showcase the precision of the fruit. 100% 1st wine, with the ageing taking place in a mix of 45% new oak barrels, 15% one year barrels and 40% amphoras.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2022

Tasted blind. Looks quite evolved. A hint of char on the nose and then very sweet palate entry. Acid sticks out a bit – not integrated with the fruit. Floral. 13.5%
Drink 2029– 2044

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2023

The 2019 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak, 35% in Pontet Canet's bespoke concrete eggs, and 15% in second fill barrels. The entire production was de-stemmed berry-by-berry by hand, an incredibly laborious, painstaking process that should retain the integrity of each grape, and can enhance aromatics and purity. Deep purple in colour wiht an expansive nose of black pepper, baked plums and violets. The palate bursts forth with red cherries, kirsch and forest fruits. The tannins are fine and integrated, allowing the fruit and peppery spice to shing through. Sweet fruits and violets linger on the finish. Tasted in Bordeaux.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, May 2020

The 2019 Château Pontet Canet checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot that was brought up in a mix of barrels and concrete tanks. It shows the new style of the estate with a more savory, exotic, medium to full-bodied style that's a dramatically different beast than the benchmark 2009 and 2010 vintages, which to my mind, are the greatest vintages from this estate to date. The 2019 has a ruby/plum color as well as a perfumed nose of redcurrant and mulberry fruits as well as notes of brambly herbs, woodsmoke, peony, leather, and cedar pencil. It's aromatic and complex, although certainly not classic Pauillac, and on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with firm, savory, yet quality tannins, good balance, and outstanding length. It warrants 7-8 years of bottle age and will evolve for 30+ years. While the style of the estate has been gradually shifting with the winemaking moving to hand destemming and aging in concrete and amphora, this is the first time where the winemaking seems to dominate the wine, and the quality is unquestionably not at the same level.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, April 2022

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Hand-destemmed grapes. Barrel sample.
Deep purple-black hue. Pure, ripe and creamy on the nose, the fruit very much to the fore. Cassis and blueberry notes with a hint of chocolate behind. Ripe and silky on attack then a depth of generous fruit and plentiful tannins. Firm, dry finish. Pauillac but in a more luxurious, modern vein. Drink 2027-2045.

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2020
Read more tasting notes...

The 2019 Pontet-Canet is made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little shy to begin, slowly drifting out of the glass with an evocative perfume of violets, black tea, rose petals, and cinnamon stick over a core of cassis, juicy blackberries, and black cherries, plus touches of star anise and cardamom. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and delivering layer upon layer of black fruits and savory accents, it has a firm, ripe, grainy texture and just enough freshness, finishing very long and fragrant. So stunningly vibrant that it shimmers, give it a good four years further in the cellar to open out and enjoy its transformation over the next 40 years+. Tasted three times with consistent notes.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

The 2019 Pontet Canet was picked from September 23 until October 10, finishing with the Petit Verdot, and bottled in mid-June/July. My sample, tasted at the property, was decanted. Matured in 50% new oak and 35% concrete amphora, this is endowed with an intense, enveloping bouquet of opulent blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with crushed violet and light fig aromas, becoming more floral with aeration and revealing crushed violet petals. The palate is medium-bodied with layered black fruit, cracked black pepper, hints of pencil lead and a splash of soy. This is one of the most powerful Pauillac wines that I encountered this vintage, very juicy and with plenty of rondeur on the very spicy finish. This should give three decades of drinking pleasure.2025 - 2050

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2022

A very tight, compact red that shows wonderful precision and definition with lots of blackberries, blueberries, stones and black tea. The sorting and de-stemming was all done by hand. Love the sensibility to this. Superb length and finesse. Subtle and sophisticated. No pumping over and gentle pushing down. Handmade. Very exciting and thought-provoking. Very long. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. Biodynamic grapes.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2020

The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (End of May), May 2020

Clear Pauillac character in terms of its tannic structure, overlaid with the Pontet signature of recent vintages that translates into spirals of peony and iris alongside brambled hedgerow. As it settles, coffee bean and tobacco adds a charred character alongside blackberry and cassis puree. It opens extremely slowly, with so many subtle nuances that gather in confidence. The tannins have unmistakeable Pauillac strength, but the structure and the subtlety of this wine is Pontet-Canet, with the amphoras having an influence in terms of the tannins feeling less silky than they do in many of the appellation's biggest wines, but still with swagger. Back to a normal yield after the difficulties in 2018 with mildew that saw production drop to 12hl/ha. This is the last vintage under Jean-Michel Comme, technical director and estate manager for past 32 years. He has been replaced by Mathieu Bessonnet who has spent the last 15 years with Michel Chapoutier on his (also biodynamically farmed) estates in Australia and Alsace and who was, they tell me, selected by Comme who chose him and worked with him. 100% 1st wine, as it has been for the past four years. 55% will be aged in new oak barrel, 45% in amphoras.This is a two-point score under the 2016, because it doesn't have the concentration of that exceptional vintage, but it's an excellent Pontet, full of vigour. Manual punching down across the entire production. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2020
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.