Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac [Pre-arrival] 2019
JS98-99: A very tight, compact red that shows wonderful precision and definition with lots of blackberries, blueberries, stones and black tea. The sorting and de-stemming was all done by hand. Love the sensibility to this. Superb length and finesse. Subtle and sophisticated. No pumping over and gentle pushing down. Handmade. Very exciting and thought-provoking. Very long. 35% in amphora and the rest in 50% new oak and 15% one-year oak. 65% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot, the rest cabernet franc and petit verdot. Biodynamic grapes.
WA98-100: The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!
VM95-97: The 2019 Pontet-Canet is plush, dense and explosive, with tremendous richness and pure, soaring intensity that strengthens in all directions with time in the glass. A wine of gravitas, the 2019 is statuesque in build. As always, Pontet-Canet offers a very personal, idiosyncratic expression of Pauillac. A range of lifted floral and savory notes ring out on the finish.
The 2019 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 23 and October 10, which is a typical time frame for the estate. Yields came in a 33 hectoliters per hectare, more or less the historical average these days. For the first time, all sorting and destemming were done by hand and the wine was vinified only with manual punchdowns (i.e. no pumpovers), without any motorized equipment. Cuvaison was around 21 days, after which the wine was taken off the skins for the malolactic fermentation (which was done in the fermentation vats), and then racked into barrels and concrete for aging - 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels. Sadly, 2019 is the last vintage at Pontet-Canet for long-time Technical Director Jean-Michel Comme, who left after 31 years to focus on his own projects. He is succeeded by Mathieu Bessonnet, formerly at Chapoutier.