Pontet Canet is 81 ha, situated in Pauillac's northern part, close to Mouton Rothschild. Alfred Tesseron has been here since 2000. Before his arrival, this property suffered a lot because of a lack of money, which prevented essential improvements in the vineyard and cellar. He's worked closely with longtime cellar master Jean-Michel Comme, who was in charge of vineyard and vinification. However, Jean Michel Comme left Ponet Canet in 2020, and Mathieu Bessonet replaced him.
Michel Rolland is a consultant here, and Alfred Tesseron greatly appreciates his deep vineyard knowledge.
The varieties planted are Cabernet Sauvignon 62%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Merlot 32%, and Petit Verdot 2%, 40 years old on average. Pontet Canet is aged in oak, which is 60% new.
Since 2004 vintage Pontet Canet has been organic and biodynamic. Today there are five horses to plow vineyard, and there is a particular device, so the worker can sit on a chair while steering the horse.
Alfred Tesseron impeccably runs Pontet Canet and has brought the quality of the wine to new heights. Since the 2005 vintage, Pontet Canet has produced wines very close to 1. Growth quality. In 2016, Alfred Tesseron's niece, Melanie Tesseron, who was supposed to run the property in the near future, changed her mind and went back to London to pursue working in a different direction. Alfred Tesseron's daughter Justine works now with the Pontet Canet team, and she'll run the property when her father steps down.
NB. Due to the corona lockdown and tight schedules, I haven't tasted vintages of 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Justine Tesseron, young generation at Pontet Canet
Pontet Canet 2022 (barrel sample) 97-98p
Tasted in April 2023. 57% C. Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% C. Franc and 4% P. Verdot. 35% of concrete amphoras have been used to age the wine. Very intense aroma of black fruit on the nose, well supported by fragrant roses and a scent of tobacco leaves. Great structure, depth, and length on the palate, vibrant and excellent mid-palate. Refined and sophisticated. Stunning effort.
Pontet Canet 2018 96-97p
Tasted twice - last time in December 2020. Consistent notes. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Yield only ten hl/ha due to mildew in the spring. After tasting from the barrel, I wrote this: "This vintage is by no means a powerhouse at Pontet Canet, merely an elegant wine with much finesse, style, great complexity, and excellent length." Now in the bottle and the description is different! Intense nose of tobacco leaf, cigar box, and mint on the nose, strong and tight on the palate, creamy blackcurrants and fat tannin, exquisite complexity, and long-lasting aftertaste. Awesome stuff.
Pontet Canet 2017 (barrel sample) 95-96p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2018. Consistent notes. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon + 31% Merlot + 4% Cabernet Franc + 1% Petit Verdot. One-third of production was in new amphoras (concrete outside, clay inside). Elegant, finesse, silky texture, splendid depth, and great complexity. Very successful for the vintage.
Pontet Canet 2016 97p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2018. Consistent notes. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon + 35% Merlot + 4% Cabernet Franc + 1% Verdot, treated with 55% new oak, 35% amphora, and 10% one-year-old barrels. Better after bottling. Robust, distinguished, velvety, outstanding balance, dense, complex, precise, long, and silky.
Pontet Canet 2015 96p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2018. Consistent notes. It had an intense nose of black fruit, great complexity, style, sweetness and complexity, sophisticated touch, and a long fruity finish. 95% of the production went into Grand Vin, and the yield per ha was 33 hl.
Pontet Canet 2014 (barrel sample) 94+p
Tasted in March 2015. Meaty wine, very stylish, refined, silky fruit, and tannin, long finish. Also, acidity so remarkable in the 2014 vintage has its well-defined role, assuring long life.
Pontet Canet 2013 (barrel sample) 92-93p
Tasted in April 2014. This wine was aromatic, with splendidly ripe fruit on the nose and palate, silky texture, freshness, excellent balance, and elegance. Finesse rather than power and muscles.
Pontet Canet 2012 (barrel sample) 94p
Tasted in April 2013. here was made from 65% C.Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% C.Franc and 1% P.Verdot. It is aging in 35% amphora tanks, 50% new oak, and 15% one-year-old barrels. Very enchanting and seductive nose of black cherries. Refined, excellent fruit ripeness and perfect balance, lush, silky fruit, and tannin, long and smooth finish. Impressive stuff.
Pontet Canet 2011 (barrel sample) 94p
Tasted in April 2012. This property produced an elegant wine in 2011. Not quite in the league of 2010, 2009, and 2005 vintages, but you can't take away finesse, refined touch, and silkiness from this catchy wine.
Pontet Canet 2010 (barrel sample) 96p
Tasted in April 2011. This wine had an extraordinarily aromatic and intense nose with sweet black cherries, strong structure, excellent balance, and stunning length. It was sophisticated and nuanced. Less concentrated than in 2009, but still a great effort!
Pontet Canet 2009 97p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2012. Consistent notes. Very ripe fruit on the nose and palate, very long on the palate, velvety with silky fruit and silky tannin. An impressive sweetness of the fruit. Rich and sophisticated. Excellent balance. Surprisingly drinkable now. It's more finesse and elegance than power and strength, I did expect more concentration here, but this wine may represent the vintage style. Excellent effort but not a 100p wine for me.
Pontet Canet 2008 95p
Tasted in October 2012. More intense and powerful than 2006, with greater complexity; a deeper and longer reach; a strong structure; a sophisticated tone; and a stunning length. Excellent stuff. Again, a great, stylish, and classy Pauillac/Bordeaux wine.
Pontet Canet 2007 91p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2012. Consistent notes. Very fruity, charming, and round, with a well-balanced, smooth, and elegant finish. Great success for the vintage.
Pontet Canet 2006 93p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2012. Consistent notes. Very intense and fresh nose of aromatic blackcurrants and blackberries, tannin is very finely grained, with impressive balance, splendid concentration, complexity, and length. An elegant wine with a long shelf life.
Pontet Canet 2005 97p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2007. Consistent notes. Black red. In April 2006, it had a lot of new oak and black cherries. It was a powerful wine with stunning balance, multilayered structure, and a lingering aftertaste that came perilously close to 1. Cru status! Breathtaking! It was even better in October 2007 at the property (already bottled), with fabulous texture, fantastic balance, and exceptional richness.
Pontet Canet 2004 94p
Tasted twice - last time in October 2012. Consistent notes. Impressive, very aromatic, and sappy wine, with many ripe blackcurrants and blackberries here, lovely structure and length on the palate. Velvety. Outstanding balance and rich in nuances. Excellent stuff.
Pontet Canet 2003 93p
Tasted in October 2012. Alfred Tesseron calls this wine a "Mediterranean" style. I don't quite agree, as it didn't show any "warm" flavors on the fruit, and the tannin wasn't dry. It showed more concentration, more depth, and better complexity than in 2001. Long finish. Superb wine.
Pontet Canet 2002 90p
Tasted three times - last time in September 2010. Consistent notes. An elegant and fruity wine with a nice balance and long aftertaste. A joy to drink now.
Pontet Canet 2001 91p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2009. Consistent notes. It catches your attention with aromatic flavors, superb structure, and superb balance.
Pontet Canet 1999 87p
Tasted in August 2005. Charming and ready to drink. It should be consumed quickly.
Pontet Canet 1994 85p
Tasted in September 2004. This vintage didn't give grapes enough maturity, and the nose and palate had a bit of greenness. Lean and with wet cardboard flavor.
Pontet Canet 1918 93p
Tasted in November 2018. Fresh on the nose, real bang on the palate, fine acidity, and depth, delicate complexity and length. Eschenauer bottling.
Tesseron family also produces excellent Cognac (picture below).