2000 Chateau Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, Bottle (750ml) DR95/RP94+

Château Pontet-Canet – A Pauillac Masterpiece

100, 99 & 98 Point Wines Across Multiple Vintages

Nestled within the prestigious Pauillac appellation of Bordeaux, Château Pontet-Canet is a vineyard steeped in history, characterized by its unwavering commitment to quality and innovative sustainable practices. This renowned estate has undergone a remarkable journey from its origins as a vision of Jean-François de Pontet to its current status as a beacon of prime viticulture. Glimpsing into this Chateau’s history and winemaking philosophy will create an even deeper appreciation for these impeccable wines from Pauillac, Bordeaux.

A Family Legacy: The Tesseron Era

In 1975, the Tesseron family, with their background in both winemaking and Cognac, purchased Château Pontet-Canet. Chance played no part in this acquisition; it was the determination of Guy Tesseron that paved the way for the Tesseron family's involvement. The torch of stewardship passed to Alfred Tesseron in 1994, who had worked alongside his father for two decades. Alfred was unwavering in his pursuit of quality, embracing unconventional methods and pioneering biodynamic practices to create wines that expressed their terroir faithfully.

Alfred Tesseron's brother, Gérard Tesseron, was an invaluable supporter throughout this journey, contributing to the illustrious destiny of Pontet-Canet.

A Glimpse Into History - The Birth of Pontet Canet

In the early 18th century, the northern peninsula of Bordeaux was a hotspot for astute investors seeking vineyard investments. Among them was Jean-François de Pontet, a distinguished aristocrat and magistrate with a rich career at the court of Louis XV. He envisioned creating a vineyard and, in 1705, acquired a few acres of land north of Pauillac village. In 1757, he expanded his holdings by acquiring the property known as Canet.

In accordance with the customs of the time, Jean-François de Pontet linked his name to the estate, giving birth to Château Pontet-Canet in 1781. This marked the inception of an extraordinary legacy that would continue for centuries.

Château Pontet-Canet's Rise and Evolution

A century later, Château Pontet-Canet experienced a period of exceptional prosperity. In 1855, during the famous Bordeaux Wine Official Classification, ordered by Emperor Napoleon III, Château Pontet-Canet achieved the prestigious status of Grand Cru Classé of the Médoc. This meteoric rise caught the attention of Henri Herman Cruse, one of the most influential Bordeaux merchants of the time, who acquired the property in 1865.

Henri Herman Cruse was a visionary who modernized the estate's infrastructure. In 1895, he enlisted the renowned figure of Charles Skawinski to create a revolutionary winery. Thanks to Cruse's efforts, Château Pontet-Canet's wines gained a global reputation for their strength and integrity.

Vineyards Of Rich Terroir

Château Pontet-Canet's vineyards span over 81 hectares, primarily planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), followed by Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (5%), and Petit Verdot (2%). The estate's vineyards are situated in the heart of Pauillac, adjacent to other prestigious vineyards such as Château Mouton Rothschild. The terroir at Pontet-Canet is blessed with gravelly soils, which are ideal for grape cultivation, and vines that are, on average, 45 years old, producing grapes of exceptional quality.

Pioneers In Biodynamic Farming and Sustainability

Château Pontet-Canet emerged as a model of viticulture in harmony with nature, serving as an inspiration for many. It became the first renowned Bordeaux estate to embrace organic and biodynamic farming practices. In 2004, the first 14 hectares were converted to the use of biodynamic practices. The success of this endeavor led to the decision to transition the entire vineyard to biodynamics in 2005.

By 2010, Château Pontet-Canet achieved double certification for the entire vineyard within the Grands Crus Classés, setting new standards for environmentally friendly winemaking.

The estate's commitment to sustainability is apparent in every aspect of winemaking. To preserve the natural balance, the use of heavy tractors was replaced by draught horses in 2008, minimizing soil compaction and safeguarding the old vines. Nearly all the work is conducted in the vineyards, emphasizing manual interlacing of twigs over topping.

The property's herbal tearoom produces biodynamic preparations, herbal teas, decoctions, and more, fostering biodiversity and the vines. The estate relies on local solutions to support the vine during its vegetative cycle.

Innovative Winemaking

The winemaking process at Château Pontet-Canet is a perfect marriage of tradition and innovation. The estate's philosophy revolves around minimal intervention and allowing the grapes to express their terroir. The grapes are hand-harvested and carefully sorted. Fermentation takes place in oak vats, followed by aging in a combination of new oak barrels, "one-wine" barrels, and, since 2012, Dolia (concrete amphorae).

Château Pontet-Canet is known for its long maceration periods, which can extend up to four weeks, resulting in wines with intense color and complex flavors. The estate's wines often display an incredible balance of power and finesse, with a distinct purity of fruit and silky tannins.

An Experience You Should Not Miss

Château Pontet-Canet's journey from historical beginnings to its current status as a beacon of sustainable winemaking and exceptional Bordeaux wines is nothing short of remarkable. With a dedication to biodynamic farming, a respect for the land, and a commitment to crafting wines that reflect their terroir, this estate continues to shine brightly in the world of fine wine. Exploring the wines of Château Pontet-Canet is an experience that wine enthusiasts should not miss, as it offers a glimpse into the rich heritage and innovative spirit of Bordeaux winemaking.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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