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Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2017  - First Bottle


96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Composed of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pontet-Canet gives up beautifully fragrant notes of rosehip tea, lilacs, cinnamon stick, cloves, dried leaves and underbrush with a core of kirsch, raspberry coulis, warm plums and red and black currants plus a waft of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate is refreshing, minerally and wonderfully elegant with a well-played texture of approachable, plush tannins and a long, fragrant finish. Beautiful. Aging took place in 50% new and 15% in second fill barrels and the remaining 35% in amphorae for 16 months, much of the material for which came from the soil at Pontet-Canet!
96 Wine Enthusiast -
The perfume intensity of this wine is remarkable. Firm yet velvety at the same time, the tannins are the prelude to the pure, opulent blackberry fruits and balanced acidity. The lines of the wine are clear and direct, a true promise for aging. Drink from 2024.
96 James Suckling -
This has ethereal transparency to it with a fresh, red-berry and cherry nose. Terra-cotta and dried-flower notes. Plums, too. Quite complex. The palate has a very detailed tannin texture with attractive cassis and blueberries that hold very long, fresh and pure. Fruity and fresh. Try from 2023.
95 Vinous -
A gorgeous, alluring Pauillac, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is racy and exceptionally polished, with floral top notes that bring out the natural brightness of the red-toned fruit. Super-silky tannins add to the wine's immediacy and sheer allure. The 2017 was the first wine made with the new sorting table. About half the fruit was destemmed by hand. As always, visiting Pontet-Canet is like stepping back into another time, a time in which wines were made much more manually than they are today. Here that means manual punch downs and pump overs, with no electricity.
94 Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider -
The first vintage with the new fermentation vats when the estate began destemming by hand. Bright, fresh, crisp, and crunchy, this is a return to classicism. Here, you find notes of spearmint, currants, crushed rocks, lead pencil, and red fruits. Medium/full-bodied, with a bite to the fruit on the palate and in the finish, give this a few more years in the cellar and it could soften and fill out as it develops additional complexities. One of the most successful wines of the vintage, the wine blends 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 13% ABV. Drink from 2030-2055.
94 Falstaff -
Dark ruby ??garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, delicate water edge. Delicately floral nuances of cassis and blackberry jam, candied orange zest, dried rosehip and tobacco, needs air. Complex, full-bodied, dark berry fruit, delicate fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, freshly structured, minerally, similarly light-weight as in 2013 - at the moment something in the direction of a longer hibernation, as young, great wines like to do before they have gone through adolescence and presented themselves as a young man - will make a secure career as an elegant accompaniment to meals in the future. (2025 -2040)
94 Wine Spectator -
Very tight, with notes of wet stone, plum pit and chalky minerality leading the way, backed by an ample core of steeped currant, blackberry and black cherry fruit waiting to unfurl. The finish smolders with cast iron details.
93 Decanter -
Compared to the flamboyant 2018 and the fantastic 2016, this comes in a lower gear, with less potential complexity. I like the ripe cassis, red and black berry aromatics with a lovely tannic finesse, but I wanted more palate density here. Medium finish.
93 Jeb Dunnuck -
Deep ruby/purple-hued and based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Chateau Pontet-Canet spent 16 months in a 50% new barrels, 35% in amphora, and the balance in once-used barrels. It's an exceedingly elegant Pontet-Canet that has textbook Pauillac notes of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, lead pencil shavings, new leather, and flowery incense. It's not a blockbuster and reminds me slightly of the 2004, yet it has wonderful depth of fruit, ultra-fine tannins, and beautiful purity and elegance.

Technical Details

  • Blend64% Cabernet Sauvignon - 30% Merlot 4% Cabernet Franc - 2% Petit Verdot
  • WinemakerJean Michael Comme
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • AppellationPauillac
  • Aging/Cooperage50% new and 15% in second fill barrels and the remaining 35% in amphorae for 16 months
  • Alcohol13%

Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2017

Proprietary Blends  |  France
WA96, WE96, JS96, WI96, VN95, JL94, FS94, WS94, DC93, JD93

23% off retail!

96 POINTS from three top critics – not to mention a spot in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2020. The folks at Pontet-Canet have done it again, and we made a deal to take everything we could of this remarkable 2017.

The estate was born in the late 1700s, when Jean-François de Pontet, a high-ranking magistrate and aristocrat, purchased a vineyard just north of the town of Pauillac, in an area known as Canet. Perfectly situated in Paulliac’s gravelly Rodeo Drive, next to the First Growth Mouton Rothschild, Château Pontet-Canet thrived immediately – earning Grand Cru status in the great classification of 1855. Over the centuries, the estate changed ownership only twice – to influential Bordeaux négociant Henri Herman Cruse in 1865, and then again in 1975 to Cognac-based négociant and wine grower, Guy Tesseron.

Today, Château Pontet-Canet is led by Guy’s irrepressible son, Alfred Tesseron, who famously brought the Château into rockstar status during the 90s (when most of the First Growths with the similar press were selling for 3-4 times as much). Leaving behind conventional vine growing techniques and embracing organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins – becoming the first major estate in Bordeaux to achieve organic and biodynamic certifications.

The 2017 vintage is composed from a mix of 64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. While the winemaking style has remained classic and traditional for some time, 2017 was the first vintage made in the newly constructed vat house, where 32 concrete vats – each 40 hectoliters in size - became the new fermentation vessels for the wine. A noticeable increase in the freshness and aromatics of the recent vintages has been the most obvious result here, and this 2017 is no exception. Loaded with a perfumed intensity that ranges from floral notes of roses, violets, and lilacs, to fruit notes of red currant, raspberry, and cherry, and earth notes of clay and wet stone – this is a wine that guarantees as much pleasure from the smell as it does the inevitable taste! And that is no disappointment either – as deeper and darker berry notes, blackberries in particular, meld with plums, and blueberries, graphite, velvety dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Wave upon wave of flavor and highly polished tannin wash over the palate – with a finish that lasts for a full minute or more. The complexity only increases with air and time – assuring that this is indeed a pristine wine to cellar and revisit over the coming decades.

PAIRING IDEAS: The high toned and floral perfume of this wine is perfectly balanced by the earthy richness of mushrooms. One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is a rich, smooth mushroom soup and it will really pop here. Saute the mushrooms in a dry pan to release the liquids, then fold in a bit of olive oil and color. Once a nice caramelization has occurred, fold in some diced onions, garlic, and thyme. Sweat that, deglaze with red wine, and cover with mushroom stock. Simmer for a bit, blend to smooth, and mount it with a healthy dollop of butter and a touch of cream...perfection!

About the Producer

Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet?s estate manager, since 1989, have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Chateau Pontet-Canet. Leaving behind conventional vinegrowing techniques in order to embrace organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins. Speaking of terroir, Pontet-Canet happens to be perfectly situated in Paulliac's gravelly Rodeo drive, next to Mouton.