Château Pontet-Canet, 2016 Update

I’m convinced that Château Pontet-Canet needs no introduction. Once something close to being the laughing stock of the Pauillac appellation (nowadays I can only assume that title must lie elsewhere – I dare not suggest where!), the wines sold as a non-vintage blend on the French railways, the estate has been rescued from this ignominy by the Tesseron family. Today Alfred Tesseron, together with technical director Jean-Michel Comme and increasingly supported by his niece Melanie Tesseron, have the helm of an estate that regularly challenges the other stalwarts of the appellation, first growths and super-seconds alike.

Château Pontet-Canet

This opening paragraph perhaps make it sound as though it is all a ‘done deal’ at Château Pontet-Canet, but this is far from the truth. The vineyards have been 100% biodynamic for many years now (more than a decade if we ignore the chemical blip in the 2007 vintage), but the team continue to develop their methods of viticulture, in particular increasing the percentage of the vineyard managed solely using horses as the years go by. This means the 80-hectare estate has a need for new stables, and there has been a no-expense-spared building programme ongoing during the past few years. And of course it is only in the past few years that Jean-Michel Comme has completed his collection of cement amphorae. Little wonder that the Pontet-Canet of today tastes very different to the wine made here during the 1970s.

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