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2026 - 2056
Reviewed by - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2020 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new French oak barriques, 35% concrete amphorae and 15% in one-year-old barrels. Harvest began on the 14th September for the Merlot, and the final lot of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on 30th September.
Opaque purple-black in color, it needs significant aeration and swirling to coax out evocative notes of black cherry preserves, raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles and damp soil, before launching into gorgeous floral and spice notions of red roses, cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom, with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals a lot of depth and polish, delivering mouth-coating red and black fruits with loads of fragrant earth and floral sparks, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. This is a singular, fascinating expression of the vintage and highly recommended!
The 2020 Pontet Canet, picked from 14 to 30 September, has a well-defined bouquet with scents of black cherries, raspberry, crushed iris and violet. This is demonstrating more delineation than the 2018 that was tasted just a couple of days previously. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a spicy entry, a liberal sprinkling of black pepper and a hint of cedar. Fine structure and focus here. It is fresh with a touch of pencil lead towards the finish, and a touch of pepper lingering on the aftertaste. Here, I can taste Pauillac DNA, which has been my pet peeve in recent vintages. I look forward to revisiting this in bottle. Tasted at the estate with Alfred and Justine Tesseron.
(60% CS, 32% M, 4% CF, 4% PV; 13–13.5% ABV; 50% new, one third in cement “amphorae”)
Dense, crisply ripe black fruit and mineral infusion; rich and ample, fresh and very fine in firm tannin, an impression of a particularly complete PC; deep, plush yet contained, generous and fleshy yet fresh, with a lovely defining and enriching tannin texture and presence; dark black-fruit ripe and red-fruit fresh Cabernet flavor, long and close-grained, very mineral, complex, compact, complete. A most successful Pontet-Canet, maybe the best yet? 2030–50+.
This is integrated, with superb density and beauty, offering blackcurrant, mineral and some bark. Full-bodied, yet so polished and refined. Crushed stone. Lots of expression and texture to this wine. Creamy. Pure and precise. Elegant, yet layered. Slightly plusher than the 2019. Dense, yet agile. Fresh as always. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. 50% new oak 15% old oak and 35% concrete amphorae.
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Dark, dense and very ripe on the nose. Riper than most Pauillacs tasted. Suave attack then a firm charge of grainy tannin. Fresh and persistent but some chew on the finish. (JL)60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
Dark, dense and very ripe on the nose. Riper than most Pauillacs tasted. Suave attack then a firm charge of grainy tannin. Fresh and persistent but some chew on the finish. (JL)
The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can't wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-à-vis its peers among top Left Bank châteaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14–30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7–10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.
Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)
Part of Best Pauillac 2020 wines tasted en primeur
Highly successful Pontet, one of the few Pauillacs that, for me, overperforms on its 2019. Inky purple with ruby reflections in colour. Lots of firm but upright tannins, a good dollop of graphite, pencil lead and cassis bud, there is depth through the mid palate shot through with wild blackberry, hawthorn, sage, rosemary and wild mint. It has personality, and is a little old school in the best possible way. Recommended. They have avoided the over-concentrated feel of some Pauillacs in the vintage, while remaining true to the appellation. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend, 50% new oak 35% amphoras, 15% one-year barrels. First full vintage for Mathieu Bessonnet who replaced the previous long-term director Jean-Michel Comme in 2020. 100% first wine, as it has been for the past four years. 45% will be aged in new oak barrels, 15% one year, 40% in amphoras. The mildew pressure was stressful in the early part of the year, but they had learnt from 2018, and brought in the manpower to get around the whole vineyard in a (very long) day, so their yields ended up being close to normal.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042