Château Pontet Canet

Château Pontet-Canet, history, domain, wines


The fertile soils of the left bank of the Gironde are home to this vineyard. Château Pontet-Canet is renowned for its rich and unctuous wines with an interesting ageing potential. Awarded the fifth grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines in 1855, this estate is also part of the legend of wine producers in Bordeaux. Discover the history of this estate, its vineyard and its wines.

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History of Château Pontet-Canet : key points


Located in the Pauillac AOC, the history of this Château which produces vintage after vintage goes back to the 18th century. Over the course of these three centuries, the estate has passed through the hands of three families of owners. At the beginning, it belonged to Jean-François de Pontet, a governor of the Médoc and grand equerry of the king of France. A part of the château bears his name. Then in 1865, the property was for sale. The Cruse dynasty, a wealthy family of merchants, fell in love with it and bought it. They brought it up to date by modernizing the estate and improving the winemaking process. But the financial crisis of the mid-1970s affected the business of many merchants. The Cruse family was forced to sell the estate. The estate was taken over by Guy Tesseron, who was well established in the region. The latter, who is a great name in Cognac, gave it a new lease of life. Supported by his children and nieces, Guy Tesseron has implemented the biodynamic wine method since 2004. This method consists in limiting the inputs while intensifying the life of the soil in order to strengthen the vines through a kind of preventive treatment. This method of modern viticulture respectful of nature and the environment has greatly contributed to the reputation of the wines of Château Pontet-Cantet.

Vineyard of the domain


The family business produces certified organic wines of rare quality. Its wines are certified biodyvins and Ecocert in 2010 and Demeter in 2014. These certifications are granted to it as products of biodynamic agriculture. The estate covers 120 ha of which 80 ha are planted with vines. The vineyard is located just south of the famous Premier Cru Château Mouton Rotschild. The well-drained sub-soils are composed of clay, limestone and gravel. This type of soil stores heat during the day and releases it at night. This helps the progressive ripening of the fruit. Concerning the composition of the grape varieties of Château Pontent-Canet, it is divided between Cabernet-Sauvignon (62%), Merlot (32%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and 1% Petit verdot. The vines have an average life span of 45 years and 80 years for the older vines. In the innovative biodynamic approach aimed at rehabilitating the organic life of the soil, the natural environment is respected. The property does not use tractors for heavy vineyard operations, but horses. The sorting, destemming of grapes is done by hand, then the sorting is done for the second time on vibrating sorting tables before transferring to the tanks. The fermentation is produced by indigenous yeasts. The wines are then aged in terracotta and cement amphora jars and in barrels. Wines aged in these containers benefit from more minerality, smooth textures and less contact with air. This winemaking process results in the energetic and intense characters attributed to this wine. Over the years, the young wines also gain in precision while becoming more powerful.

The distinctive style of Château Pontet-Canet wines


Adjectives abound to describe the wines of the château. Sublime, magnificent, elegant, majestic, absolutely stunning, racy and light... the estate's wines never cease to offer a unique tasting experience. The young wines from 2015 onwards show a high level of tannins and concentration but they improve with 10-12-15 years in bottle. These characteristics may differ depending on the vintage. As for the older vintages, once they have reached maturity, they form a formidable combination of precision and power.
-The 1974 Château Pontet-Canet, for example, is a great vintage red wine, a promising bouquet reaching maturity, with a light note of black currant and oak. The generous wine ends with a very long finish. A must have in your wine cabinet.
-The 2005 Château Pontet-Canet is also a saturated red, with aromas of sweet fruit, vanilla, cedar and silky tannins on the aftertaste. This deep, dense, beautifully vinified wine with textured finish and lingering sweetness is a beautiful richness for the vintage. Pair it with your red meat dish or game.
-The 1992 Château Pontet-Canet is a beautiful purple color, clear and bright with highlights. It also offers a very ripe nose of red and black fruits, spices and some oak. The vintage goes perfectly with all types of classic meat such as pork, beef, duck, game, roast chicken...
-The 1990 Chateau Pontet-Canet: this vintage is also an irresistible purple wine on the nose and palate like all the other wines of Pauillac. A wine of great volume, powerful with notes of stewed fruit, earth and licorice as well as an impressive and round quality of tannins. You can keep it for 2 or 3 decades in a cool cellar. But if you drink it right away, game, duck and poultry are always the best accompaniment.
-The 1993 Chateau Pontet-Canet: it is also a great privilege to taste this rare vintage, remarkably refined, with body and power. The wine has a deep ruby color and a fruity finish, with concentrated notes of ripe black currants. The ripe tannins slowly reveal themselves on your palate but do not stay there long. Lamb, tender and fine game, veal are good matches.
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