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2021 Château Pontet-Canet En Primeur

2021 Château Pontet-Canet is released this morning at £445 per six bottles in bond.  Tasting at Pontet-Canet is always a highlight of our visits to Bordeaux, all the more so this year because of the enforced absence.  Tesseron is always on hand to greet us, but we were fortunate to taste the wine with Technical Director Matthieu Bessonet, who has recently taken over from Jean-Michel Comme. 

Bessonet was one of several highly impressive winemakers we met during our visit, a reminder that this is a crucible for the world's best winemaking talent and technology.  Technology is perhaps a misnomer, as Bessonet talked us through the war he waged against mildew in June, using biodynamic techniques like spraying with horsetail and salix (boiled willow) and allowing grasses to grow in between the vines to help evaporate excess moisture. 

The vinification itself was low-intervention, with less extraction to emphasise fine aromas.  The alcohol level in the cask sample we tasted was a supremely elegant 12.7%, although the wine seemed much bigger and had a wonderfully dark, succulent core of fruit and creamy tannins, with notes of coffee and graphite.  This all added up to a perfect expression of Pauillac terroir, which we loved, and we can wholeheartedly recommend this vintage to you.

Offered en primeur landing spring 2024. 


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Château Pontet-Canet, Cru Classé Pauillac

Producer Profile

Château Pontet-Canet, Cru Classé Pauillac

Château Pontet-Canet is a Cinquièmes Cru Classé in Pauillac.   The estate is named after Jean-François de Pontet, Master of the Horse to Louis XV at Versailles.  Pontet became Governor of the Médoc and in 1705, he purchased a few acres of land to the north of the village of Pauillac, which he turned into a vineyard.  A few years later, he added several parcels in a place called Canet. 

The estate was owned by the Cruse family from 1865 until 1975, when it was purchased by Cognac merchant Guy Tesseron.  Run since 1994 by Guy's son Alfred Tesseron (with Jean-Michel Comme as his régisseur until May 2020), the estate has been transformed into one of the world's leading practitioners of biodynamics, converting fully in 2004.  Along the way, the reputation of this fifth growth has risen to compete with the very best second growths.  Pioneering the reintroduction of horses into the vineyards and the use of inert maturation vessels like concrete tanks and amphorae (to reduce oak influence and accentuate terroir), Tesseron has become a thought-leader in the very traditional world of the Crus Classés.

The estate has 81 hectares under vine, planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot on deep gravel with clay and limestone soils.


RED 2021 2 cases Château Pontet Canet 75cl £445 per case of 6 Château Pontet Canet
2021 / 2 cases / 75cl
£445 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Purple-crimson hue. Dark, dense and rich with a brush-stroke of vanilla oak. Broad across the palate on attack then prominent tannins on the finish. Certainly, chalky, dry and chewy. Elévage should help. Awkward at present but hopefully will pull together. 13.1%. Drink 2027 – 2038 16+ points" (JL)------"The 2021 Pontet Canet is quite perfumed on the finely delineated nose of blackberry, briar and pressed iris flower, a touch of inkwell coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a pinch of white pepper on the entry and gentle grip. Not as enormously deep as other vintages, as you would expect, but it displays a fine bitter edge and a graphite-infused finish. This should drink earlier than other vintages yet has the substance to mature in bottle. 91-93 points" Neal Martin,"Offering up wild, exotic aromas of blackberries, cloves and Indian spices mingled with notions of rose petal, bruised orchard fruit and cherry pit that evolve rapidly in the glass, the 2021 Pontet-Canet is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a layered mid-palate and refined tannins that assert themselves on the firm, saline finish. Always one of the Médoc's most singular, idiosyncratic wines, it will be interesting to see how it performs in bottle. 91-93 points" William Kelley,"The 2021 is the most classically Pauillac Pontet-Canet I have tasted in modern times. Medium in body, with striking aromatic presence, the 2021 screams with character. Grilled herbs, incense, leather, lavender and plum open with a bit of coaxing, all framed by beams of tannin and bright, salivating acids that give the wine shape and real sense of direction. There's a bit more Petit Verdot in this year's blend, and that comes through in the wine's intensely savory profile. Aging is 50% in new wood, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old barrels. The 2021 was impressive all three times I tasted it. 93-95 points" Antonio Galloni,"Bright berry red in colour, nuanced blackberry and loganberry with bitter black chocolate notes from the first attack. Lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud. This was the third vintage with mildew pessure, but the team are now experienced, and I can attest to seeing the vines during harvest and remarking on how healthy they looked, with no-till farming helping concentration. Plenty of tannins give structure and are shot through with sinew and juice, this is an impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet, with Pauillac typicity. Harvest 24 september until 12 October. 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year barrels, 15% press (aged in the amphora). 95 points""Plenty of blackberry and blueberry with wet earth and crushed stone. Some spice,tobacco and lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with layered tannins and brightness. Fine and chewy at the end. 95-96 points"

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