- Blend64% Cabernet Sauvignon - 30% Merlot 4% Cabernet Franc - 2% Petit Verdot
- WinemakerJean Michael Comme
- Aging/Cooperage50% new and 15% in second fill barrels and the remaining 35% in amphorae for 16 months
Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2017
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!