I didn’t get to taste the 2020 Chateau Pontet Canet. But having tasted it over many, many years, I have every confidence this vintage of Chateau Pontet Canet will be its usual powerful, impressive self. Chateau Pontet Canet is a wine to age for the long-term if you are to get the most out of your investment.
Chateau Pontet Canet 5th Growth Pauillac 2020 is sold En-Primeur. You order and pay now, to receive the En-Primeur pricing. You will receive the wine in mid-late 2023.
Always impressive, Chateau Pontet Canet is one wine in Bordeaux that proves the 1855 classification could use an update. For a 5th Growth, Chateau Pontet Canet is clearly as good as the super Second Growth wines. The Tesseron family (who own Lafon-Rochet, too) have introduced organic and biodynamic practices to further improve the quality of the wines. Chateau Pontet Canet has 80 hectares which are located just south of Lafite and Mouton Rothschild. It has 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine from Chateau Pontet Canet has rich fruit, bold structure, balance and harmony. It always looks better after 15 years.
Chateau Pontet Canet 5th Growth Pauillac 2020 Wine Review
“This is integrated, with superb density and beauty, offering blackcurrant, mineral and some bark. Full-bodied, yet so polished and refined. Crushed stone. Lots of expression and texture to this wine. Creamy. Pure and precise. Elegant, yet layered. Slightly plusher than the 2019. Dense, yet agile. Fresh as always. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. 50% new oak 15% old oak and 35% concrete amphorae.”
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last minute by timely sunshine.
The powerhouse of the Left Bank. It contains three of the five first growth wines in the Medoc and a wealth of other great Chateaux beyond that. It combines the cool charm of St-Julien to the South and the rugged richness of St-Estephe to the North. Therefore Pauillac is the benchmark for classic Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon reigns here. In a great vintage, Pauillac wines keep forever.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid, but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Cabernet Franc is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux. But also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highly aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Often the fifth wine on the depth chart of Bordeaux’s magical quintet. In the great years, it is an amazing variety to work with, but often in the great years, it is not needed. It can add body, structure and acidity but lacks some charm for a single variety wine. But in the hands of a skilful blender, it can really lift a wine, or in some cases, a particular site can make Petit Verdot sing a song like no other.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.