The 2019 Pontet-Canet is the outlier in the flight with its arresting exotic blueberry, cassis and mulberry scents. It is attractive, seductive even, yet it is cut from a totally different cloth to other wines in the flight of Pauillacs. The palate steers it back towards Bordeaux, albeit not all the way. Grainy tannins, mulberry and game, almost Syrah-like in style. Quite powerful, this has a chewy finish with some dry tannins. Perplexing. Fascinating. Sui generis. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2038
The Wine Independent 99
Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Pontet-Canet is deep garnet-purple in color. It features notes of prunes, creme de cassis, and wilted roses, followed by suggestions of spice box, iron ore, Ceylon tea, and underbrush. The medium to full-bodied palate is rich, concentrated, and seductive, with a racy backbone and ripe, fine-grained tannins supporting the complex, layered flavors, finishing long and minerally.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2066
Robert Parker 93
The 2019 Pontet-Canet offers up an expressive bouquet of plummy fruit, kirsch, dried herbs and peonies. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and seamless, with melting tannins, succulent acids, and a long, liqueured finish. Tasted twice, it’s a wine I find somewhat perplexing: in a blind tasting, I might be more inclined to place it in Gigondas than Pauillac. I’m far from dogmatic when it comes to what the French call “typicite,” and stylistic diversity surely enriches every appellation; but by the same token, I’m not convinced that this is the most compelling aesthetic that a Cabernet-based blend from this part of Bordeaux can realize. Checking in at 13.7% alcohol, some 35% of the production was matured in amphorae, which no doubt contributes to the wine’s idiosyncratic identity.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2045
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Quite evolved-looking dark garnet. Fresh, mild nose. Soft tannins. Just lacking a little freshness. A tad stodgy. Without real follow-through.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2040