97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "My third bottle and my opinion has not changed. An ineffably complex bouquet which builds and builds with more aeration in the glass. Emphatically, mineral-dominated, which combine perfectly with Amalfi lemon peel and orchard fruits (quince). The palate is full of energy, exhilarating, tightly coiled and perfectly balanced. The wine is chiselled, builds slowly and would benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wine's fullness comes in the form of texture (phenolic weight) which is undeniably attractive (a nod to the painstaking work carried out in the vineyard). Wet stones wash across my palate but it’s the salinity which I love and sets this New Zealand Chardonnay apart from all the others. There’s a killer line of acidity which will ease with more time in the bottle. Wonderfully alive, memorable and a breathtaking wine. Wow! Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Drink now to 2026
91 Points - Robert Parker
Another sleeper of the vintage, the relatively evolved, elegant, complex 2008 Haut-Bergey offers up notes of smoked tobacco, cassis, cherries, licorice, Asian plum sauce and spice box. With abundant fruit, an opulent texture and an elegant style, this pretty, medium-bodied, richly fruity wine should drink well for 12-14 years. (Tasted May 2011)
94-96 Points - Neal Martin
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2011 Pontet Canet has a voluptuous bouquet with saturated dark cherry fruit, creme de cassis and a touch of blueberry with underlying minerality. It is exuberant, almost ostentatious at first, but it begins to calm down with time. The palate is medium-bodied with firm structured cloaked by layers of ripe black fruit infused with minerals and graphite. It is a quite a strict Pontet Canet underneath what is a hell of a lot of fruit for a 2011. The finish is composed with a touch of citrus fruit towards the finish. Amazing that such a good wine comes from 90% of the crop. Tasted April 2012.
94-96 Points - Neal Martin "There is certainly great purity and terroir expression on the nose: blackberry, briary and background scents of fresh raspberry and cold stone. The definition is very impressive. The palate is interesting – quite different from the previous vintages. I love the tannins here – very fine but lending the Pontet-Canet great backbone It is utterly harmonious but I feel more understated, perhaps more controlled than recent vintages. The finish is much more introspective – a Pauillac politely informing you to go away and wait before bottling before making any judgement! This is a divine Pontet Canet - very succinct."
Winemaker "Very intense colour. The nose is dominated by fruit notes such as cherries and blackcurrants. A touch of cedar elegantly brings the nose together as a whole. On the mouth, the wine is well balanced and expresses with subtlety its purity and loyalty to the Pauillac’s territory. It really is Château Pontet-Canet’s little brother."
Stuart McCloskey "It’s difficult not to be impressed, silky / supple tannins work harmoniously with the high quality fruit. Cabernet flavours dominate with blackberry leaf, cassis with a touch of cocoa coming through as the wine starts to reach its tenth birthday. Really delicious but does require 2-3 hours in a decanter."
Stuart McCloskey "Alfred and his team produced a super-delicious wine during a difficult vintage. The Grand Vin equalling all the First-Growths and his second wine is comfortably comparable (if not better) than many second wines for double the money. This is a refined Pauillac and drinking beautifully now..."
Winemaker "Very deep colour. The nose is a complex spectrum of fruit and graphite notes with a touch of vanilla which comes to elevate the ensemble. A dense and distinctive mouth with a touch of silky tannins. A very beautiful wine of pure pleasure."
Stuart McCloskey "Showing all the hallmarks of Pontet Canet itself and unmistakeably a powerful Pauillac. The nose is a little closed at first, however, with a little aeration, blackberry, cassis, boysenberry and cedar emerge from the glass. Lovely concentration on the palate too. This is one of the best second wines available and knocks the socks off Château Lafite's, Carruades de Lafite."
96 Points - Bob Campbell "Attractively scented pinot noir with cherry, violet, cassis, fresh herb and subtle chalk-mineral flavours. A bright, fresh, high-energy wine with a backbone of fruity acidity that helps drive a lengthy finish. Delicious now but shows potential."
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Made from grapes organically grown on the oldest blocks (planted in 1993). Mellow, integrated pinot noir with savoury, 'forest floor' bottle-aged characters adding extra complexity to bright plum, cherry, floral and spicy oak flavours."