Château Pontet Canet 2017

Bordeaux
Photo
Awaiting Release

94-96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck 

Described as a mix of his 2015 and 2016 by owner Alfred Tesseron, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is another tour de force from this estate that readers will be thrilled to have in the cellar. A blend of roughly 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, harvested between September 18 and October 4 (which is later than most), it will spend roughly 16 months in 50% new barrels, 35% in amphora and the rest in once-used oak. Gorgeous blueberries, crème de cassis, incense, and spring flower characteristics all soar from the glass of this inky-colored, medium to full-bodied, deep, beautifully concentrated 2017. It doesn’t have the sheer weight of the 2009, 2010, 2015, or 2016, yet it’s no lightweight and excels on its purity and balance. This is a classic Pauillac that will be approachable with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two to three decades.

Antonio Galloni

Score: 92-95

The 2017 Pontet-Canet showed progressively better on each of the three occasions I tasted it. Deep, pliant and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2017 exudes class. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, licorice and rose petal infuse this super-expressive and highly nuanced wine from proprietor Alfred Tesseron and technical director Jean-Michel Comme. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is aging in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% one year old oak. Tasted three times.

Antonio Galloni

Decanter

Score: 94

This is a very charming Pauillac with texture, rippling energy and undoubted finesse. It's deceptive, because the dark, luscious blackberry, bilberry, and damson notes are fairly fresh, with a luscious lipsmacking quality, but the tannins build over the palate. It almost tastes like a St-Julien rather than a Pauillac as they're so fine and elegant, but the Pauillac character becomes more apparent by the close of play - there's no hiding those swirling cassis, smoke and menthol notes. This has a really gorgeous tension and freshness without sacrificing concentration. They used brand-new concrete vats this year, designed by technical director Jean-Michel Comme's, for one-third of the crop. The concrete was made from sands and gravels extracted from the exact spot that the building containing them now stands, utilising geothermal heating and cooling, with as few metallic parts as possible and insulated with hemp. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak, 35% concrete vats and t15% in one-year-old barrels. They have made nearly no second wine again. Just 1% frost loss in 2017. The Merlot was harvested from 18 September, block by block over 10 days, then deleafed. The Cabernets were picked from 28 September through until 4 October. Drinking Window 2025 - 2038.

Decanter

James Suckling

Score: 96-97

This is incredibly transparent and refined with blackcurrant, blueberry and mineral character. Full-bodied, layered and ethereal. Tannins have a crushed-stone character. Long and persistent.

James Suckling

Jeb Dunnuck

Score: 94-96

Described as a mix of his 2015 and 2016 by owner Alfred Tesseron, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is another tour de force from this estate that readers will be thrilled to have in the cellar. A blend of roughly 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, harvested between September 18 and October 4 (which is later than most), it will spend roughly 16 months in 50% new barrels, 35% in amphora and the rest in once-used oak. Gorgeous blueberries, crème de cassis, incense, and spring flower characteristics all soar from the glass of this inky-colored, medium to full-bodied, deep, beautifully concentrated 2017. It doesn’t have the sheer weight of the 2009, 2010, 2015, or 2016, yet it’s no lightweight and excels on its purity and balance. This is a classic Pauillac that will be approachable with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two to three decades.

Jeb Dunnuck

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Score: 96-98

Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pontet-Canet opens with vibrant wild blueberries, black raspberries and crushed plums with notions of cinnamon stick, violets, unsmoked cigars and pencil lead plus wafts of roses, lavender and tilled black soil. Medium-bodied with very fine, incredibly plush tannins, it is deliciously savory in the mouth, with wonderful freshness and spectacular energy delivering many layers, resulting in a very long, mineral-laced finish.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Neal Martin

Score: 92-94

The 2017 Pontet Canet has a very ripe and pure, slightly high-toned bouquet with touches of iodine inflecting the black cherry and cassis fruit. There is a subtle floral aspect to this Pontet-Canet, more iris than violet. With aeration there are hints of graphite and crushed stone, some of its initial opulence ebbing away. The palate is medium-bodied with fine balance on the entry, slightly chalky tannin, a fine sense of energy and poise. On the two readings of this wine, this was perhaps the most difference. The mid-April tasting had a very similar nose however, the palate demonstrated far more backbone, linearity and mineralité, not to mention a sapidity that was not present in the showing at the end of March. Ah yes, that’s the Pontet I love. I expect this to land at the upper end of my banded score once in bottle. Tasted twice at the property.

Neal Martin