Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Lagrange sashays out of the glass with notions of candied violets, cassis, underbrush and warm black plums with waves of Black Forest cake, cedar chest and yeast extract scents. Medium to full-bodied, the bags of perfumed black fruits are solidly structured with super ripe, grainy tannins, finishing long and layered.
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."
100 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (RobertParker.com) “The 2016 IX Proprietary Red Estate is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple, it comes strutting out of the glass with flamboyant Black Forest cake, blueberry compote and plum pudding notions plus hints of spice cake, unsmoked cigars, menthol, licorice and dusty soil and accented by wafts of tar and black tea. The palate is full-bodied yet incredibly poised and vibrant with amazing freshness and very fine-grained, very firm tannins. It possesses the most provocative earthy sparks, providing arresting depth to the very long, beautifully perfumed finish. Stunning”.
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Lastly, the 2016 Syrah IX Estate reminds me of the otherworldly 2010 and is as profound as Syrah gets. Tasting like Guigal’s Côte Rôtie La Mouline (maybe on steroids) with its huge notes of bacon fat, spring flowers, blue fruits, barbecued meats, and incense, it’s full-bodied and massive yet also thrillingly pure, seamless, elegant, and weightless. It’s certainly approachable today yet is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.
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."