Pontet Canet is located in the great village of Pauillac, high on the illustrious, elevated real-estate sandwiched between Lafite and Mouton Rothschild. Pontet Canet has been one of the pioneering Bordeaux estates over the last 15 years and under the influence of Alfred Tesseron and his niece Melanie, Pontet Canet was the first Chateau to earn the official Agence Bio (AB) organic certificate. This heady combination of some of the very best terroir in Bordeaux and leading winemaking, has resulted in wines of First Growth quality, scoring 100 points in 2009 and 2010, a staggering achievement.
Prior to these vintages the wine had already started vying with the First Growths in terms of quality and in 2008 they made a wine that has to be considered amongst the best value for money of any Grand Cru wine from Bordeaux. The 2008 vintage scored 96 points, putting it on par with Latour, Haut Brion and besting Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Margaux. However, the average price of these four First Growths in 2008 is £245, while the 96 point scoring Pontet Canet is available today for £47 per bottle in bond, truly remarkable value.
Pontet Canet 2008 traded as high as £950 per case in late 2011. Today’s price of £560 per case of 12 therefore, looks incredibly appealing, particularly considering £560 was the 2008 ex-London release price back in 2009. Pontet Canet 2008 has the equal lowest Price Over Points (POP) score of any vintage and looks undervalued when compared to the 96+ scoring 2005, which costs £940 per case.
We recently selected Pontet Canet 2008 as undervalued and tasted it to evaluate its development. It is currently drinking beautifully and provides immense pleasure after decanting, showing early signs of tertiary flavours such as tobacco and new leather. It is beautifully balanced, but with sufficient concentration to improve in bottle for another 20 years. When Parker tasted it in April 2009 he said it is ‘A wine for our children’s children…it should still be superb circa 2060’. In his 2011 bottle tasting he describes it as ‘full bodied, with fabulous richness, texture and tremendous freshness, this first-growth-like effort is more developed than the uber-powerful 2010. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades. Bravo!
Robert Parker, 96 Pts
A candidate for the “wine of the vintage,” Pontet Canet’s 2008 boasts an opaque purple color as well as copious aromas of sweet blueberries, blackberries and black currant fruit intertwined with lead pencil shavings, subtle barbecue smoke and a hint of forest floor. Full-bodied, with fabulous richness, texture and tremendous freshness, this first-growth-like effort is more developed than the uber-powerful 2010. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades. Bravo!
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