The blend of the 2016 Pontet-Canet is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Around 55% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, 15% in two-year-old barrels and 35% in cement amphorae for 16 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with opulent scents of plum preserves, spice cake, hoisin and crème de cassis with fragrant wafts of potpourri, wood smoke and rose hip tea. Medium to full-bodied, rich and decadent, with loads of spicy layers, it has a firm, velvety texture with great freshness and incredible depth, finishing very long and on a compelling mineral note.
2016 marks the 40th vintage at Pontet-Canet for Alfred Tesseron. Winemaker Jean-Michel Comme mentioned it was wet at the beginning of the year, but thankfully the weather changed in late June. Thus, 2016 was a more normal/typical mildew year, so the disease pressure wasn’t too much of an issue. Then it was very dry until fall. He believes the vintage could be compared to 1961 or 2010. The result is an uninhibited, truly singular showing of Pontet-Canet this year—perhaps the richest, most sumptuous and hedonic expression of the vintage of all the great Left Bank wines.
Score: 98 punten. The 2016 is a vintage that shows off the best of Pontet, and is similar in feel to their 2010. Gorgeously rich right from the first nose, it opens stunningly in the glass, showing waves of tight black fruits, touches of redcurrant, liquorice and aniseed, fine tannins and mouthwatering salinity. It manages to remain balanced without losing the punch and concentration of Pauillac, rising up through the palate. It's hard not to fall in love with this wine, and it will clearly age with grace and ease. Bottled in July 2018.
Vinous | Antonio Galloni
The 2016 Pontet-Canet is absolutely breathtaking. Powerful, ample and racy in the glass, the 2016 is one of the most exquisitely well-balanced young Pontet-Canets I can remember tasting. Savory, high-toned aromatics and brisk mineral notes lend energy and delineation as this vivid wonderfully alive wine opens up in the glass. The flavors are dark and incisive, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that is most compelling. All of the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 is tremendous. It's as simple as that. As is often the case, Pontet-Canet is one of the most singular wines in Bordeaux. Alfred Tesseron could have chosen to play things safe when he took over the management of the estate in the mid-1990s. Instead, he chose a very different path. No proprietor in Bordeaux has taken more risks over the last two decades than Alfred Tesseron. A commitment to biodynamic farming, sustainability across the entire estate more broadly, and the adoption of new concepts for Bordeaux, such as aging a portion of the wine in terra cotta, set Pontet-Canet apart from other properties in Pauillac and the Left Bank. Not surprisingly, the wine is also starkly different from the wines of neighboring estates.