Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2009 Pontet-Canet is a wine that I have tasted several times throughout the year. Here, it is clearly bestowed a very powerful and intense bouquet with raspberry jam, boysenberry, graphite and cold, wet limestone aromas - very well defined and focused, the oak seamlessly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, in a funny way more like a 2010 towards the finish thanks to its structure. It still feels quite backward and with much more to give, a sense of coiled up energy conveyed upon the extremely persistent finish. It remains a deeply impressive Pauillac with decades ahead of it. Tasted December 2016.
This is amazingly expressive now considering how huge it is, with stunning espresso and warm fig confiture aromas followed by lush layer after layer of blackberry paste, cassis and plum sauce. A terrific loam underpinning strides in on the finish, which is weighty but sports serious cut. Equal parts fruit and earth. Best from 2018 through 2038. 26,665 cases made.
"For us, working biodynamically, like Chinese medicine, is a holistic approach. It’s not some magic wand, nor is it a gimmick. It’s constant, everyday work that puts us in close touch with the vineyard."
- Alfred Tesseron, Proprietor
Château Pontet-Canet is one of the largest producers in Pauillac, Bordeaux. Production is around 20,000 cases of their grand vin and 20,000 of their second label per annum. It is a classified Fifth Growth, but many argue that it is boasting at least Second Growth wines. There’s a saying “you are the company you keep” and Pontet-Canet is a close neighbor to Château Mouton-Rothschild. The vineyard practices are biodynamic, even down to the use of horses in lieu of tractors. The Château was the first major Bordeaux wine producer to earn its 'AB', the organic certification for France. Grapes are hand picked, and soils are typical of Medoc - well drained, warm and spare.
Proprietor Alfred Tesseron realized the challenges he had with the property, and looked to Michel Rolland as a consulting oenologist. While most wineries look to modernize, Tesseron maintains that everything should be done by hand. They don’t even use computers to assist with production in the cellar or in the vineyard. Old school. As a Fifth Growth, these wines are under-dogs. Here are some vintages worth rooting for: 1982, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005.
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