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. Pontet-Canet is situated near enough to the estuary in Pauillac that it only received minor losses from the frosts in 2017. This vintage, for the first time, 30% of the production was fermented in a brand-new vat room containing 32 custom-built, 40-hectoliter concrete tanks. These are smaller tanks, made entirely of soil coming from Pontet-Canet, with no lining although they do have cooling rings inside. Along with the certified organic and biodynamic principles already practiced in the vineyards since 2005, Alfred Tesseron continues to strive toward the least invasive, most sustainable means of coaxing the very best from the land and the vines.
Colaris WijnenScore: 9+
The 2017 Pontet-Canet offers attractive red berry fruit mixed with cedar and potpourri, underneath which lies subtle aromas of graphite that I would like to see a little more of as it matures in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that render this one of the more approachable vintages in recent years. The cedar-infused black fruit is framed by fine tannins and a harmonious, graphite tinged finish. This Pontet-Canet should offer up to 20 years of drinking pleasure although it will be difficult to resist pulling the cork in its youth.
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
This has ethereal transparency to it with a fresh, red-berry and cherry nose. Terra-cotta and dried-flower notes. Plums, too. Quite complex. The palate has a very detailed tannin texture with attractive cassis and blueberries that hold very long, fresh and pure. Fruity and fresh.