About Chateau Pontet-Canet 2011 Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac
Designated a Fifth Growth in the 1855 Classification, Pontet-Canet has exceeded that classification for many years now and is considered one of the top wines of Bordeaux. Of the 120 hectares (300 acres) with 200 acres under vine, the estate of Pontet-Canet is located in the northern end of the Pauillac commune, across the road from first growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The soil composition is mainly gravel over a subsoil of clay and limestone. The grape variety distribution is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Vines average 35 years of age.
Harvesting is done by hand, and after sorting the grapes are moved into the estate's gravity-feed cellars for crushing. Fermentation takes place in a mixture of concrete and stainless-steel vats. Wines are aged for 16-20 months in up to 60% new oak barrels before fining with egg whites and bottling.
Owner Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s estate manager since 1989, have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Chateau Pontet-Canet. Leaving behind conventional vinegrowing techniques in order to embrace organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins.
The Chateau received certification in 2010 and this 2011 is organic and biodynamic. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is ready to enjoy right now.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored this 96 points saying "So smooth, this is a rich, grandiose wine. Although it is full of black currant fruits and spice flavors, the texture is most impressive. Dusty tannins are integrated with juicy fruits seamlessly. The purest fruit flavors are allied to linear tannins in a precise yet generous way. The wine is evolving beautifully, but do not drink before 2020."
James Suckling scored this 95 points saying "A wine with lots of ripe berries, verging on dried fruits. Full and chewy with ripe, round, chewy tannins. It needs lots of bottle age. A wine of steel. From biodynamically grown grapes, as always. Better than from barrel. Try in 2018."
Wine Advocate scored this 93 points saying "Deep garnet in color, the 2011 Pontet-Canet comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of redcurrant jelly, warm cassis and blackberry pie plus touches of dried mint, mocha, smoked meats and yeast extract with a waft of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bags of energy with lively red and black fruits and compelling mineral accents, finishing long with a provocative lift."