Despite an incredible 2005 and a spectacular 2009, Alfred Tesseron feels that the 2010 is his best vintage to date. Perhaps working even more of his vineyard biodynamically played a part, but the results are pretty exceptional. Dark and brooding with violets, sweet damson plums, blueberries and incredibly fine, mouthcoating tannins. Firm with excellent backbone and length. Very Pauillac. RK
An absolutely amazing wine, from grapes harvested between the end of September and October 17, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot has close to 15% natural alcohol. It comes from one of the few biodynamic vineyards in Bordeaux, but you are likely to see many more, given the success that Tesseron seems to be having at all levels, both in his vineyards and in his fermentation/winemaking. An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience. It is very easy, to become jaded tasting such great wines from a great vintage, but it is really a privilege to taste something as amazing as this. Unfortunately, it needs a good decade of cellaring, and that’s assuming it doesn’t close down over the next few years. This is a 50- to 75-year wine from one of the half-dozen or so most compulsive and obsessive proprietors in all of Bordeaux. Is there anything that proprietor Alfred Tesseron is not doing right? Talk about an estate that is on top of its game! Pontet-Canet’s 2010 is a more structured, tannic and restrained version of their most recent perfect wine, the 2009. Kudos to Pontet-Canet!
Pontet-Canet's 2010 harvest took place between September 29 and October 17 (this vineyard is one ofthe few in Bordeaux that is fully certified as biodynamic) and the final blend was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that achieved nearly 15% natural alcohol. A remarkable, full-bodied effort (as was the estate's 2009 and 2008), like so many recentvintages from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, it is of first-growth quality (some may even argue that it eclipses several first-growths). Dense purple to the rim, it offers classic notes of creme de cassis, graphite, subtle smoke and spring flowers. Multidimensional with massive concentration as well as vivid purity, precision and freshness, this is another astonishing effort from an obsessive/compulsive proprietor who is doing everything right. On the downside, this 2010 will require a decade of cellaring and should evolve for 50+ years. It will be fascinating to drink it side by side with the 2009 and 2008. Drink: 2021+
Bottled in late July, the Pontet Canet has a very fragrant nose, with a touch more fruit intensity that its peers: raspberry, wild strawberry, a touch of cedar and pencil lead. It is very well defined, less flamboyant than the 2009, more a bouquet of precision and etiquette. The palate is medium-bodied with a tightly coiled, peppery entry. There is real density to this Pontet Canet: powerful, a little introverted, but very focused towards the structured finish. This will certainly be a long-term wine, the finish very long and so elegant. I actually prefer this stylistically to the 2009...but whatever rocks your boat. Gorgeous and classy.
The Pontet Canet has a very pure bouquet that you could almost compare to a Burgundy. Blackberry, dark cherries, a touch of mint and graphite, exceptionally well defined, flowering with 3-4 minutes in the glass. The palate is full-bodied with very fine but firm, tensile tannins, perhaps even more purity than the 2009, not a million miles away (both geographically and stylistically) from Mouton-Rothschild. The finish is very smooth with a sorbet-like freshness, firm grip, long in the mouth towards the finish with some crème de cassis and blueberry towards the finish. The Merlot content lends this a little more opulence than some of the other Pauillac 2010s. There is a lot of volume to this wine, really fills the mouth with a sweet, sensual finish, but keep find myself yearning for more Cabernet Sauvignon . Drink 2020-2050.
Dense, rich and minty on the nose with real density. Lots of luscious chew. This is clearly from a great vintage with huge vivacity. Heavy undertow. Long. Minerals and firm. Racy. Drink 2020-2034
Seriously dense, with thickly layered fig paste, macerated black currant fruit, Kenya AA coffee and roasted tobacco. But really fresh and invigorating throughout, with mouthwatering iron and apple wood notes. Despite the power, this cuts like a knife from the start. When the Bordelais say precise, this is what they mean. -J.M.
What a nose of black currants, minerals and blueberries. Flowers too. Licorice. Full bodied, with a wonderful texture of super refined tannins and a long, long finish. A beautiful concentration of fruit and purity and precision. So clear and focused. Super, super long. The tannins and finish are all in balance. This is the first vintage completely certified for biodynamic. Like a Swiss watch – A Lange! 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Franc, 1 percent Petit Verdot.
Masses of concentrated cassis fruit, but already has wild violet fragrance of the greatest Pauillacs, superb middle sweetness, perfect structure and length, perhaps more elegant than Pontet-Canet's great 2009. Drink 2016-35.
This star has been rising since 1994 when Alfred Tesseron began practicing Draconian-like measuresto extract the most potential from his top Pauillac property. Some of the advances include debudding, de-leafing and severe crop thinning. Unlike many advanced Bordeaux cellars, their vinification vats are not set on "auto pilot" but are manually and meticulously controlled. They understand the needs of each vintage vary and respond accordingly.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.