I loved this 2014. It was almost reminiscent to me of Pontet Canet’s brilliant 1996 vintage. With so many similarities between the seasons and fruit characters, the Tesseron family have justification for being hugely optimistic about this little stunner. Brilliant purple in colour, it oozes concentrated, crisp currant flavours and has a wonderfully pure freshness, superbly natural intensity and a long driving minerality on the finish. This wine has a real sense of terroir and is totally alive.
The Château Pontet-Canet 2014 was picked between 29 September and 10 October, the 10th biodynamically. It is initially quite reticent, a little broody in the glass. However, it unfolds with each swirl revealing a very pure and I feel, a more contained and classic bouquet compared to the 2013: blackberry, graphite, minerals and a touch of incense. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite tensile tannin. The acidity is very well judged – crescendo of flavors that lead to a precise, lightly spiced, quite vivacious finish. What I like here is that it is very Pauillac, in the sense that I feel that recent vintages were flirting with deviating too far away from what a typical Pauillac ought to be. This is unmistakable in terms of where it comes from, but there it retains that sense of focus and mineralité that ensures this is a total success for the vintage. I find this more appealing than the 2013 last year and this 2014 should be a vintage that puts a smile on Jean-Michel Comme's face.
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 35% in cement, 50% in new oak and 15% in older oak. A robust, intense nose. Rich and toasty flavours. Lots of tannin, but very ripe tannin. Quite raw and rude in some ways. Then a great weight of fruit on the finish. Just a little dryness on the end. But distinctive overall. Energetic. Very confident and robust. Not fine and refined but admirably confident. Drink 2023-2035
The strength of this Pontet Canet is very impressive, making it structured and tannic with a long and intense finish. Yet it turns to bright and vivid fruits. Full body. A modern classic. It builds on the palate.
Deep and translucent to the core, the 2014 Pontet-Canet is one of the sexiest wines of the vintage. A host of violets, lavender, mint, spices, new leather and plums grace the palate in an utterly exquisite wine endowed with magnificent yet understated depth and crystalline purity. This is without question one of the highlights of the vintage. The 2014 isn't a big wine; rather it is a Pauillac built on a total sense of finesse. The 2014 was vinified in equal parts cement and oak, and is aging in a combination of 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once used barrels. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Personally, I can't wait to taste the 2014 from bottle.
Classic Cabernet nose of cassis. Lovely purity and depth with a silky texture that caresses the palate – more obviously Pontet-Canet than Pauillac. An extremely fine wine almost in a class of its own. Drink: 2019-2035
(65 Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 Merlot, 4 Cabernet Franc, 1 Petit Verdot) | 13.5% alc. This is the 10th vintage with ‘full biodynamics’ occurring in the vineyard and this has really improved the Cabernet Sauvignon at Pontet-Canet. What is amazing is that the Cabernet and Merlot almost ripen at the same time – in most properties they can be a week or more apart. This means that ‘true vineyard harmony has been achieved’, according to winemaker Jean-Michel Comme. This is further underlined by there being no need at all for a green harvest. They can also use 20% press wine in the finished blend because their press wine is of such high quality because they use very little pressure on the marc. There is an effortless purity about this vintage at Pontet-Canet. The finish has some of the finest and fittest tannins I have seen, without any trace of dryness. I feel that this wine is very close to the beauty and majesty shown by the great 2010 vintage. It is neither as firm, nor as imposing but it is every bit as arresting and magical. The key to its amplitude and succulence is the dryness and length of the Indian Summer versus the heat of the mid-Summer period (as seen in 2005 or 2009). I happen to like these rare conditions and Pontet-Canet clearly relished this vintage, too. Top class wine signals greatness and inspires emotion – Comme suggests that it either makes you shiver or shed a tear. Without wanting to fall headlong into this stereotype I can honestly tell you that my spine was tingling from the moment I dipped my nose into this wine and I was still under its spell as I bid owner Alfred Tesseron adieu.
After a tricky vintage in 2013, when Pontet-Canet misjudged the market too, this is an impressive return to form for this biodynamic property. Bold, concentrated and built to last, it’s smoky, compact and powerful, with classy oak usage, plush black fruits, savoury tannins and very good length. Drink: 2022-35
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.