A cool herbal minted aroma. This wine was one that split opinions. One of the most noticeably direct and tannic wines, it is a real powerhouse, expressing masculinity whilst retaining sweet black fruit flavours. It wasn’t my favourite but I can certainly appreciate its appeal.
Pontet Canet was our first stop this vintage and we were greeted warmly by Alfred and his labrador. The 2003 and 2004 were the best wines that we have tasted from this château, until 2005 that is. A definite favourite during this trip. Powerful, rich yet precise with dark chocolate and black cherry notes, it was a wine which followed 2005's style: classic but huge. Drink 2013-2030+.
Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 2005 Château Pontet-Canet has long been one of the stars of the vintage and this might well be the best of over a dozen showings of this wine. However, do not expect ostentation on the nose. This is 2005 and like many wines of this vintage, even with considerable decanting, it remained broody and introspective on the nose, as if it is checking you out and seeing if you are worthy. Once you have been accepted, then it swings the doors open to reveal gorgeous scents of blackberry, briary and cassis fruit, perhaps a little more sous-bois than I have noticed compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied, but dense and structured—certainly a more masculine Pontet-Canet built for long-term ageing. Yet it retains marvelous freshness and vitality all the way through to the pencil-lead, quite saline finish. I suspect that the 2009 Pontet-Canet is more approachable than the 2005, so heeding Robert Parker's sage advice, afford this up to ten years in your cellar and then reap the rewards of patience. Tasted February 2016. Neal Martin
Possibly the youngest wine of all the 2005 Médocs in terms of its evolution, at age 10 the inky purple 2005 Pontet-Canet tastes more like a two-year-old wine. Loads of pure blueberry, blackberry and cassis fruit are present along with a hint of licorice and background oak. It is full-bodied, ripe, and excruciatingly fresh, vigorous and exuberant. This is a tour de force, and a sensational effort that rivals the first growths. Give it another 5-10 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 30-40 years.
The work that Alfred Tesseron and his winemaking team have done at this estate since 1994 is remarkable. At this fabulous terroir just south of Mouton-Rothschild, Tesseron has made major investments, and instituted incredibly severe selections in both the vineyard and winery. The result is a succession of extraordinary wines. It is difficult to know whether the 2005 Pontet-Canet will ultimately eclipse the hedonism and density of the flamboyant 2003, but it is unquestionably a stunning effort. Inky/black-colored with a classic Pauillac perfume of licorice, black currant liqueur, graphite, cedar, and spice box, it is full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, formidable tannins, and an Arnold Schwartzenegger-like structure (when he was 25 years younger). This backward, formidably endowed 2005 will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.
One can't say enough about the extraordinary work proprietor Alfred Tesseron has done since 1994 intaking Pontet-Canet to a remarkable level of quality. Every top vintage has been impressive, and the 2005 rivals the brilliant efforts of 2003, 2000, 1996, and 1995. A black/blue/purple hue precedes a classic Pauillac perfume of creme de cassis, melted licorice, cedar, and spice. Full-bodied with superb concentration, fabulous opulence, and huge tannins and muscle, this is an uncompromisingly made Pauillac boasting sensational concentration, power, and aging potential. Prospective purchasers should keep in mind, it requires at least ten years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035+.
Absolutely spectacular, Pontet-Canet's 2005 receives the full attention of dedicated proprietor Alfred Tesseron. Produced from yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare (25% less wine than in 2004), it is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The first vintage vinified in tiny cement cuves with pigeage for some lots, this wine will have 40-50 years of longevity, and should turn out to be the greatest Pontet-Canet since such ancient classics as 1961, 1945, and 1929. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as pure creme de cassis aromas, first-growth nobility and raciness, massive body, tannin, and extract, and a finish that lasts nearly a minute. With extraordinary purity and density, it is unapproachable at present, and is best cellared until 2012, and drunk over the following 50 years. Drink: 2012 - 2062.
Rather raw simple black fruit flavours. Quite aggressively crude. Lots of acidity and tannin and not much attempt to integrate them. Positively inky. Drink 2014-20.
Glorious aromas of currants, blackberries and cherries with hints of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied, with exuberant fruit. Velvety tannins. Soft and round mouthfeel. This is supercharged with fruit. Wonderful purity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Very low yields this year. Best ever from here?
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.