Chateau Pontet Canet 2012

SKU
PCCM201210 UCAU
  • 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
  • Certified biodynamic
  • First year where a percentage is vinified in Amphorae
  • 1 or more bottles
    $289.99
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  • Decanter
    95 points
  • James Suckling
    95 points
  • Robert Parker's
    94 points
  • Wine Spectator
    92 points
  • Wine Enthusiast
    92 points

Editors notes

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Winemaker Alfred Tesseron is clearly on a roll. After moving entirely to Biodynamic farming in 2004, in the 2012 vintage Tesseron decided to vinify a small percentage of wine in Amphorae.

Lovely aromas of violets, dark berries and hint of mixed herbs. Full bodied, generous, accessible flavours with long length. Velvety tannins with roundness and delicacy with more detail and length than the 2011.

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Cassis
    • Plum
    • Red Fruits
  • Palate
    • Cherry
    • Plum
    • Redcurrant

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Decanter

    95
    "What an expressive nose! Plump, fruit-driven, juicy cherry, blackberry, ripe cassis and rose stem. The opposite of the 2011, this is round and suave, albeit with not quite as long a finish. A juicy, bright palate with high alcohol and full body, some oak-derived coffee tones, with burgeoning touches of earth. The first vintage with 35% ageing in concrete amphorae."
  • James Suckling

    95
    "A wine that makes you want to drink it already. It's stylish with berries, currants, cedar and stone aromas and flavours. Full body, with very integrated tannins and a long, long finish. A small percentage of the wine is now aged in cement vats instead of oak barrels. This touches all the senses. It's a beauty. Made from biodynamic grapes."
  • Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

    94
    "A softer, less powerful and less prodigiously endowed Pontet Canet, the 2012 exhibits notes of creme de cassis and new barrique vanillin followed by a medium-bodied, elegant wine with sweeter tannin (and less of it) than is found in the great vintages that immediately precede it. The 2012 is certainly outstanding and, in fact, many readers may prefer it to the blockbuster, out-of-this-world, over-sized 2010, 2009 and 2008. Medium-bodied, pure and expressive, this classic Pauillac should only require 5-6 years of cellaring. It should drink well for two decades thereafter."
  • Wine Spectator

    92
    "Broad and fleshy, with an alluring feel to the layers of steeped plum, blackberry coulis and raspberry reduction notes, all gliding over ample but polished tannins. Loam, tobacco and warm stone accents stay in the background for now but add steady base notes to the finish. Packs in solid fruit for the vintage, with a commensurate tug of earth. Best from 2017 through 2025."
  • Wine Enthusiast

    92
    "This tastes jammy and very fruity, with tannins that are totally enveloped by the rich texture. Plummy and comfortable, it’s all about ripe berries and currants. Smoky flavors come from the wood aging, and contrast with the Port-like lusciousness of the wine."

Other vintages

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to the Roman times. Today, it is known as one of the most significant wine regions in the world, with a reputation for producing complex, full-bodied red wines. The region is home to a diverse range of terroirs, each with its own unique microclimate, soil composition, and grape varieties.

The left bank of Bordeaux is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the region's gravelly soils. These wines tend to be bold, tannic, and complex, with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. On the right bank, Merlot is king, producing wines that are softer and fruitier, with notes of plum, cherry, and chocolate.

Aside from the red blends, Bordeaux is also renowned for its sweet wines, particularly from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These wines are made using a unique process that involves botrytis, or "noble rot," which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

Bordeaux's classification system has evolved over time, with some estates moving up or down the ranks depending on the quality of their wines. Today, the system includes five growths, with Premier Cru being the highest and Deuxièmes Crus being the second-highest. There is also a separate classification for the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, with Chateau d’Yquem holding the highest rank.

Overall, Bordeaux is a region that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts around the world with its rich history, diverse terroirs, and exceptional wines.

Medoc

Home to over 650 vineyards and spanning over 4,900 hectares, Bordeaux’s Médoc wine region comprises four of the most distinguished wine villages in the area: Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux. The peninsula of Médoc is home to coastal lagoons, sand dunes, and pine forests. It is known to have formed into a peninsula over time as the Garonne and Dordogne rivers carried in large quantities of mineral rich silt and light reflective, well drained gravel, which turned out to be perfect for harvesting red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The main aromas of the beautifully refined red wines from this area are: spices, oak, red fruit and vanilla.

The region of Médoc is divided into three areas: the Landes du Médoc, the Bas-Médoc, and the Haut-Médoc. The Landes du Médoc is located in the entire western half of the peninsula. Although there are no vineyards here, the land is still important because its pine trees protect the grape vines from the harsh cold winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. The Bas-Médoc( lower-Médoc) runs downstream on the estuarine side of the peninsula. The wines produced here are usually more affordable than those produced in Haut-Médoc. Haut-Médoc (upper-Médoc) is the most well-known of the three sections. The wines produced here are some of the most expensive wines worldwide and were famously ranked in The Médoc Classification of 1855, which is to this day in use.

About the brand Chateau Pontet Canet

Chateau Pontet-Canet's roots date back to the early 18th century when Jean-Francois de Pontet, merged several vineyard plots into one. Years later, the estate was renamed when his descendants added vines from Canet to the holdings. Located in the Pauillac AOC of Bordeaux's left bank, Chateau Pontet-Canet is ranked as a Fifth Growth in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. Guy Tesseron acquired in the estate in 1975 and today, his son Alfred and granddaughter Melanie manage the operations. Of the 80 hectares under vine, the average age is 40-45 years and all are certified organic and biodynamic. The soils, based on gravel, are lean and well drained, the best fit for Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Of the hectares planted, approximately 60% is to Cabernet, Merlot plantings equal 33% and the remaining land is home to Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. As a biodynamic producer, the Tesserons take their vineyards very seriously, intervening as little as possible in nurturing the fruit. Chemicals are banned and all the vines are hand-pruned to allow for optimal ventilation and sun exposure. In the winery, the fruit is treated to a gentle gravity-fed winemaking system.

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