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May 08, 2013

Pontet Canet 2009 and 2010

Judgement on Pontet Canet 2009 and 2010 is unanimous across the board: Pontet Canet’s dual vintages are truly exceptional, but truly different!  2009 and 2010 were given a perfect 100 points by Paker and 98-99 and 100 points respectively by James Suckling; all other top critics concurred. These are two wines that offer obvious potential for capital appreciation, nevertheless a word of warning, few will want to resale them in five year’s time. These are two of the greatest wines made from one estate in dual vintages and for £140 a bottle it will be tempting to drink, not resale. This offer represents an opportunity to secure a half case of each for £855.

Pontet Canet is the best performing left bank wine over the last four years. Their 100% biodynamic wine-making techniques and fastidious focus has lead Pontet Canet to produce First Growth quality; located high on the illustrious, elevated real-estate of Pauillac, sandwiched between Lafite and Mouton Rothschild. Pontet Canet’s signature notes are dense black fruits and cassis with ripe velvety tannin, juicy blueberries, tobacco and pencil shavings.

The two vintages are very different, the 2009 has incredible concentration and the ripest tannins we have ever tasted and as a result it can be drunk now. The 2010 is the epitome of structured; it has massive density and power. The two vintages have been divisive, which is better will be a question only answerable in 10-20 years’ time.

Pontet Canet has been very reasonable on price when one considers they are the hottest property on the left bank and in huge demand. They are one of only four chateaux to receive 100 points consecutively. Both vintages offer incredible value for 100 point wines, especially when you consider other 100 points wines of equal quality. Montrose and Latour 2009 trade at £2,500 and £11,500 respectively per case of 12 bottles and Haut Brion and Latour 2010 trade at £6,900 and £12,000 respectively per case of 12.

Pontet Canet 2009
An amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who continues to reduce yields and farms his vineyards biodynamically – a rarity in Bordeaux. Black as a moonless night, the 2009 Pontet Canet offers up notes of incense, graphite, smoke, licorice, creme de cassis and blackberries. A wine of irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness, this is a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years. The tannins are elevated, but they are sweet and beautifully integrated as are the acidity, wood and alcohol (which must be in excess of 14%). This vineyard, which is situated on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, appears to have done everything perfectly in 2009. This cuvee should shut down in the cellar and re-open in a decade or more. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2075. 100 Parker Points

Pontet Canet 2010
…An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience. It is very easy, to become jaded tasting such great wines from a great vintage, but it is really a privilege to taste something as amazing as this. Unfortunately, it needs a good decade of cellaring, and that’s assuming it doesn’t close down over the next few years. This is a 50- to 75-year wine from one of the half-dozen or so most compulsive and obsessive proprietors in all of Bordeaux. Is there anything that proprietor Alfred Tesseron is not doing right? Talk about an estate that is on top of its game! Pontet-Canet’s 2010 is a more structured, tannic and restrained version of their most recent perfect wine, the 2009. Kudos to Pontet-Canet! 100 Parker Points