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Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Pontet-Canet is made up of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Picking began on September 24 and finished on October 5; aging is in 55% oak barriques and 45% amphorae. Very deep purple-black in color, it comes rolling sensuously out of the glass with all the opulence and seduction of Cleopatra on a carpet. It emerges with flamboyant scents of crème de cassis, preserved plums and blueberry compote, and after a few moments, it bursts with nuances of molten licorice, sandalwood, Chinese five spice, candied violets, dark chocolate and dried roses, followed by underlying earthy suggestions of fallen leaves, black truffles, underbrush and wild sage. Full-bodied, wonderfully dense, rich, impossibly layered and very, very decadent, the palate delivers all it promises on the nose, with a firm, wonderfully velvety frame and finishing with epic length, a scintillating wave of freshness and a beguiling perfume. This is one for true hedonists.
Barrel Sample:97-99
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck

Deeply colored, the 2018 Pontet-Canet checks in as a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot that was destemmed by hand, fermented all in concrete tanks (punch downs only) and is still aging 55% in new French oak and the balance in concrete amphoras. It's an incredibly rich, opulent, and plush Pontet-Canet that offers loads of black and blue fruits, licorice, crushed violets, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, powerful, beautifully textured and layered, it's reminiscent of the magical 2009 with its rare mix of both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure. Unfortunately, the estate was decimated by mildew in the spring and lost a full two-thirds of their total production. Barrel Sample: 96-98

WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is densely textured in rich tannins and beautiful fruit. Flavors of black currant and blackberry are there along with the solid structure that will allow the wine to age. This biodynamic wine has low yields in 2018 because of mildew, but what has been made is impressive and long lasting.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
JS 98
James Suckling
A bright and open young wine with polished and soft tannins that spread out and fold into the wine, becoming barely discernible, yet the feel and beauty of them frames the wine in a beautiful way. Love the fruit and purity.
Barrel Sample: 97-98
D 96
Decanter
The concentration that comes from having yields of 12hl/ha is extremely clear - it makes it feel very Pauillac, again resembling as at Latour, a 2010 style in terms of its backbone and sense of hunkering down.

The fruit quality is dark and knitted, with a creamy texture if you give it a minute to settle, an obvious tannic structure and a menthol finish that lets in some juice, bramble and hedgerow pleasures. It’s clearly impressive, although I get just the slightest touch of over-concentration with hints of prune on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 96

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Chateau Pontet-Canet

Chateau Pontet-Canet

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Chateau Pontet-Canet, France
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Jean Francois Pontet, Royal Master of the Horse in the early 18th Century, bought and consolidated several plots of land located northwest of Pauillac. Several years later, in 1750, his descendants bought neighboring vineyards in an area named "Canet", thus creating one of the largest estates in the entire Medoc. Chateau Pontet-Canet's topography and soil predestined it to produce great wine.

In 1865, the noted wine shipper Hermann Cruse acquired the chateau and its 120 hectares of vones. The Cruse dynasty provided the financial means to make one of the greatest wines in the Medoc. In 1975, Guy Tesseron, solidly implanted in the Cognac region, and owner of Lafon Rochet in St-Estephe, purchsed Pontet-Canet.

The family's avowed ambition is to pass on the history of Chateau Pontet-Canet and secure its future. Today, it is Guy Tesseron’s descendants who own the estate today: Alfred and his nieces Mélanie and Philippine, daughters of his late brother Gérard. Together, they have the same outlook. Alfred shares his vision of the estate with Mélanie, passing on to her its traditions, his outlook on vinegrowing and his passion for wine.

In 2004, the year of the first biodynamic trial which took place on 14 hectares, the wines were radiant, tighter and brighter. Alfred urged Jean-Michel to go further. The estate was fully converted to biodynamic agriculture. This decision became a commitment and a challenge, but also a first for a Médoc Classified Growth.

Since then, with each vintage comes new knowledge, furthering the understanding of the terroir in a profound way. The vine’s resistance to disease is better known today, the understanding of how different parcels behave has improved, always in keeping with biodynamic principles. It requires sincerity, pragmatism and transparency: in a nutshell, absolute dedication.

The wines of Chateau Pontet-Canet obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2010 and from Demeter in 2014.

A shared state of mind and a particular sensitivity are the key factors which have propelled Chateau Pontet-Canet to the summit of Bordeaux wines in recent years. They are the expression of the Tesseron family’s quiet determination to ensure continuity over the long term.

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Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

JOAF520649_2018 Item# 520649