Chateau Pontet-Canet: Bravado, Innovation & Excellence Rewarded
©Pontet Canet at Night

Chateau Pontet-Canet: Bravado, Innovation & Excellence Rewarded

With 81 hectares, about 200 acres, of vines, Chateau Pontet-Canet, 5th Classified Growth, is one of the largest estates in the Bordeaux appellation of Pauillac. Like most Bordeaux estates it has a complex, multi-family history. The estate was first founded in the early 18th Century by Jean-François de Pontet, the Royal Governor of the Medoc. His heirs added to the estate, incorporating a nearby property, Canet, and establishing the property as it is known today. Shortly after the 1855 Classification the estate was sold to Bordeaux exporter Herman Cruse. The Cruse family maintained the estate and further developed its international reputation for over 100 years, until once again the estate changed hands. It was purchased in 1975 by Cognac exporter Guy Tesseron. Today the estate is run by Guy’s heir Alfred and Alfred’s niece Melanie.

A New Direction

Horse in the Vineyard

©Horse in the Vineyard

Perched upon a prime lot neighboring the celebrated estate of Mouton Rothschild, Pontet Canet is uniquely poised to produce high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. However for Alfred Tesseron merely maintaining the status quo was not a possibility. Braving both failure and ridicule Alfred mad the choice to pursue both organic and biodynamic viticulture, an unusual choice in Bordeaux, with a plot by plot vineyard management system. The vine are tended with minimal intervention and then only via natural treatments. Modern vineyard machines are shunned wherever possible, with 32 hectares, or approximately 79 acres, tended solely by horses. Grapes are picked by hand in small lots and sorted with extreme care. However this diligent sorting does prove an exception to the use of modern machinery as two vibrating sorting tables are employed simultaneously.  Despite the risks of this unique path, these efforts have improved the quality of the wine. Year after year Pontet-Canet has been celebrated for its full-bodied, well-structured and long-lived wines.

Quality Recognized

Pontet Canet 2010

© Pontet Canet 2010

The gradual changes and careful attention in the vineyard have been prudently mirrored in the estate’s two vat rooms and the cellar. A secondary vat room, mimicking the style and concept of the first, was constructed in 2005, allowing for the vinification of smaller plots. Natural yeasts and a gravity driven system demands a longer vinification period. Careful aging and blending result in marked finesse and elegance in both the estates first and second, Les Hauts de Pontet Canet, wines. And the determination has been recognized by critics and amateurs alike.  In particular, Robert Parker, the world’s most famous critic, recognized the estate with the coveted and nearly unattainable 100 Point rating two years in a row: 2009 and 2010.

The Wines of Château Pontet-Canet

  • Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet 2005
  • Ch. Pontet Canet 2006
  • Ch. Pontet Canet 2009 
  • Ch. Pontet Canet 2010
  • Additional Wines
86 Points, Wine Spectator. Velvety and refined this second wine delivers notes of dark berries highlighted with rich aspects of chocolate and tobacco. Extremely deep in color the attack on the palate is bold, yet the wine manages to remain fresh and elegant. Medium bodied with a delicate finish this wine is ready to be enjoyed.


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95+ Points, Robert Parker. “An opaque bluish/purple-colored 2006 with an extraordinarily pure nose of graphite, charcoal, sweet creme de cassis, and a hint of scorched earth. Incredible concentration, stunning richness, and a 60-second finish result in a wine that transcends the vintage as well as this estate’s 1855 classification. This enormously endowed, modern day classic is a legend in the making.”

Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+

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100 Points, Robert Parker. “An amazing wine in every sense, this classic, full-bodied Pauillac is the quintessential Pontet Canet from proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who continues to reduce yields and farms his vineyards biodynamically – a rarity in Bordeaux. Black as a moonless night, the 2009 Pontet Canet offers up notes of incense, graphite, smoke, licorice, creme de cassis and blackberries. A wine of irrefutable purity, laser-like precision, colossal weight and richness, and sensational freshness, this is a tour de force in winemaking that is capable of lasting 50 or more years. The tannins are elevated, but they are sweet and beautifully integrated as are the acidity, wood and alcohol. This vineyard, which is situated on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, appears to have done everything perfectly in 2009. This cuvee should shut down in the cellar and re-open in a decade or more.”

Anticipated maturity: 2025-2075

Case of 6 Bottles (750 mL)

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100 Points, Robert Parker. “An absolutely amazing wine, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot has close to 15% natural alcohol. It comes from one of the few biodynamic vineyards in Bordeaux, but you are likely to see many more, given the success that Tesseron seems to be having at all levels, both in his vineyards and in his fermentation/winemaking. An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience.”

Case of 6 Bottles (750 mL)

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In addition to vintages available in stock, Millesima offers both Chateau Pontet Canet and Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet wines, in a wide range of vintages and formats, as pre-arrivals and futures.

All the Wines of Chateau Pontet-Canet


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