Chateau Pontet Canet 2014

Chateau Pontet Canet 2014

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Grapes are harvested using a "homogenous terroir" technique which involves dividing the parcels into two or three sub-parts. Each year brings its own truth, there is no immutable harvest: everything depends on how the grapes ripen. Harvesters collect the bunches in small crates, which ensure that the grapes stay whole. They are then hand-sorted a first time, destemmed and hand-sorted a second time on a vibrating table for a final check, ensuring that only perfect grapes are kept.

In response to a vinegrowing method which refuses to force the grapes, the vinification process also respects them. Letting things happen as naturally as possible has become the rule, with natural yeast and minimal intervention. Maceration lasts four weeks on average before the wine is run off.

At Pontet-Canet, the ultimate goal of the maturation process is transparency, trying never to hide what the vines have produced. The proportion of new oak has consistently diminished in order to limit the impact of oak on the wines.

To this end, trials were conducted over the course of a few years and have led to the arrival of a hundred concrete dolia (amphorae), used to mature about a third of the wine. They were designed by Pontet-Canet for the estate’s wines. As the ultimate link between the wine and its terroir, the wall of each dolium contains a small amount of soil from the vineyard. They ensure respect for the purity of the fruit and the truth of the place where it originates. Taste alone decides how long the wines are matured.

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

The 2016 Pontet Canet is vibrant and deep in color. The nose is a fusion of red and black berries, graphite and spices. The palate's structure is particularly dense and long with chiseled tannins of incredible precision.

Wine Spectator: 93
This delivers a notable menthol note, showing an ample core of well-steeped blackberry, plum and black currant fruit. A bright anise streak checks in on the back end, with a slightly loamy structure. Best from 2020 through 2030.
Wine Advocate: 94
The 2014 Pontet-Canet, now in bottle, was tasted twice during my trip to Bordeaux. It has an attractive bouquet: graphite tinged black fruit, incense and violets, perhaps a little more hedonistic than I envisaged when I tasted it from barrel. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannin thanks to the keen line of acidity. I like the precision of this Pontet-Canet. It feels linear and correct, pencil lead notes developing towards the second half, more quintessentially Pauillac than previous vintages, with what you might describe as a classic Pauillac finish that retains the focus that I remarked upon from barrel. Tasted February 2017.
Decanter: 96
Classic Cabernet nose of cassis. Lovely purity and depth with a silky texture that caresses the palate - more obviously Pontet-Canet than Pauillac. An extremely fine wine almost in a class of its own.
Wine Enthusiast: 96
This is a finely structured wine with dark tannins and intense black fruits. The estate, with its biodynamically grown fruit, has given an impressively pure wine, packed with tight serious tannins and a fine structure of black-plum skins and intense acidity. It is direct, firm and with a huge potential over many years. Drink from 2027. Cellar Selection.
James Suckling: 98
A stunning wine for this vintage although its still a bit shy on the nose (more spice than fruit showing than now). Theres wet earth, too, but on the palate its bursting with ripe yet subtle flavors. Very long and complex finish that goes on and on.