2018 Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac

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  • 99 Point Pontet-Canet
  • "A Hedonist's Dream" ~98 Robert Parker
  • "2018 Possesses off the Charts Richness, Phenomenal Balance and Head-Spinning Intensity" ~Vinous Media 
  • 5th Growth Classified Château 
  • Free Shipping on 6 or More Bottles

About the wine

The name of this Châteaux comes from the first owner named Jean-François de Pontet, who was the royal governor of the Medoc region. This property is currently owned by the businessman Guy Tesseron; since the Tesseron family took possession, this Châteaux began to notably improve the quality of its wines and has managed to position itself as one of Bordeaux's favorites. Consumers even assure that this wine is comparable in quality to a 2nd  or 3rd Growth wine.

The Tesseron family has other Châteaux, including Lafon Rochet in the appellation of St. Estephe and Pym-Rae, an estate in Napa Valley, which previously belonged to comedian Robin Williams. With special care in the vineyard, biodynamic and sustainable agriculture, and the oenological direction of Michelle Rolland, this Châteaux is one to watch! Wine Spectator spoke about Chateau Pontet-Canet “It's a fifth-growth Pauillac that can perform like a first-growth, often offering pure, rich Cabernet fruit that's deeply concentrated.”

Pontet-Canet is located just 800 meters from 1st Growth, Château Mouton Rothschild. The vineyard is composed of 200 acres placed in a blessed terroir known as the “plateau”, a gentle broad outcrop of Garonne gravel soil dating from the Günz era that sits on a bedrock of limestone.

Tasting Notes: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.


Dark ruby garnet, violet reflections, delicate rim lightening. Ripe dark berries, black cherries, a hint of figs and nougat, candied violets and fine nuances of precious wood in the background, very complex bouquet. Full-bodied and complex, sweet wild berry fruit, fine nougat, ripe, silky, but carrying tannins, has an impressive length and spice, a multi-faceted companion at the table. ~99 Falstaff. 

The 2018 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It was aged in 55% oak barriques and 45% amphorae. Deep garnet-purple colored, it explodes from the glass with an atomic perfume of raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles, rose oil and Chinese five spice, giving way to suggestions of cinnamon stick, dusty soil, pencil lead and underbrush. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is a hedonist's dream, delivering layer-upon-layer of black and red berry preserves with loads of fragrant accents, a beautifully firm yet plush texture and tons of freshness, finishing long with a whole firework display of exotic spices. This is pretty much out-of-the-gate delicious, but it has the backbone to evolve over three decades or more. ~98 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. 

This wine combines the richness of the vintage with a sophisticated structure of smoky tannins and spicy wood aging. It is still young, with a powerful structure and ripe, vibrant black-currant fruits. The wine needs plenty of aging. Drink from 2028. Organic and biodynamic. ~98 Wine Enthusiast. 

A complex nose of blueberries, elderberries, dried fruit, spice, and dark chocolate. It’s full-bodied with a harmonious, balanced texture. The tannins are still firm and powerful, but there’s balance and finesse to the whole thing. Tight and reserved, yet long and energetic. The tannins open slowly. Dusty texture. From biodynamically grown grapes. ~98 James Suckling. 

When I tasted the 2018 Pontet-Canet in barrel I described it as a "freak of nature." The 2018 is more than that, it is a freak of nature. Made from yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness, phenomenal balance and head-spinning intensity. Crushed red berries, flowers, mint, cedar and rose petal saturate the palate in a Pauillac of breath-taking richness. The silkiest of tannins frame the phenomenally pure, long finish. This is a towering achievement from the Tesseron family and former Technical Director Jean-Michel Comme, who together spearheaded biodynamic farming in Bordeaux and built the present-day estate around a philosophy of non-interventionalist winemaking. In 2018, grapes were crushed solely by hand. Because of the tiny yields, the entire production was vinified in Pontet-Canet's new smaller concrete vats. All winemaking was done manually, without the aid of external temperature control or electricity. Put in another way, if Lalou Bize-Leroy made Bordeaux, it would taste like this. ~98 Vinous Media. 

An unevolved, almost primordial 2018, the 2018 Château Pontet Canet sports a dense purple hue as well as loads of blue and black fruits, damp earth, tobacco, candied violets, and graphite-laced aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, serious mid-palate depth, and building tannins, it's mostly potential at this point, but it's a beautiful wine in the making. A decade of bottle age is going to be required, though, so it's not for those seeking instant gratification. ~97+ Jeb Dunnuck. 

The nose is fruity, aromatic and offers a beautiful purity of the fruit, pulpiness/juiciness as well as a good maturity of the fruit. It reveals notes of fleshy/juicy/bright redcurrant, crushed raspberry and small notes of fleshy/juicy plum associated with touches of violet, bright red fruits as well as fine hints of rose, lilac, discreet hints of liquorice and spices. The palate is fruity, ample, bewitching, well-balanced and offers juiciness, a good definition, an acidulous frame, a beautiful dimension, a multi-layer side, gourmandize, suavity, tension, a certain straightness (full of finesse), richness, a superb bright/pulpy fruit and a beautiful purity of the fruit. On the palate this wine expresses notes of bright redcurrant, crushed raspberry and small notes of juicy/pulpy wild strawberry associated with touches of bright cassis, hints of tonka bean, almond and a subtle hint of Badiane. Tannins are fine, racy and offers a certain chewiness. A very fine chew on the persistence. A beautiful evolution on the nose and in the glass. ~96-97 VertdeVin

In the glass, you get a richly nuanced and aromatic glass of Pontet. Plum, gooseberry, cassis, rosemary, violet, tobacco leaf, sage and white pepper. Clear freshness, with beautiful floral aromatics through the palate - peony alongside the deeply textured fruit. A touch of bitterness on the finish and in the final moments the tannic grip of Pauillac takes hold. Has its own character and it feels very much of itself. Extremely small yields in this year, in which mildew meant they lost two-thirds of the crop, coming in at under 15hl/ha. 55% new oak, 45% amphorae. ~95 Decanter. 

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