Château Pontet-Canet 2016 - A.O.C Pauillac
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137.50 In stock
97.1 sur 100 based on 6 Average rating of the Experts
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Experts Reviews

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The blend of the 2016 Pontet-Canet is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Around 55% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, 15% in two-year-old barrels and 35% in cement amphorae for 16 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with opulent scents of plum preserves, spice cake, hoisin and crème de cassis with fragrant wafts of potpourri, wood smoke and rose hip tea. Medium to full-bodied, rich and decadent, with loads of spicy layers, it has a firm, velvety texture with great freshness and incredible depth, finishing very long and on a compelling mineral note.
points on 100
This wine is so dense and concentrated, with magnificent fruit. The tannins are velvety, but, at the same time, the wine has a dry side that will allow it to age so well. Juicy blackberries and great tannins work in harmony. The estate is in its seventh vintage certified biodynamic.
points on 100
This is sappy and rich in feel, with waves of red and black currant preserves, raspberry and bitter plum coulis. The long finish drips with sweet tobacco and anise notes, while a brambly layer courses underneath. The vivacious finish kicks into second gear as the fruit and grip come together. Best from 2023 through 2038.
points on 100
Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!
points on 100
Director Jean-Michel Comme says maybe a bit earlier than some. I'm not sure. They've been biodynamic for 12 years but 2007 was so bad that they had to abandon status. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 34 hl/ha – reduced to that from spring pruning. Very dark crimson. More savoury and sumptuous than many of its neighbours. Blackberry compote and very round and rich and satiny. Very round. Almost too sweet but that is to complain needlessly. Already rich and enjoyable but masses of tannins too. Long and throbbing. Excellent with freshness and cleanliness and round. Pretty sweet though so it's a definite style. Apr 2017,, Drink: 2024-2050
points on 20
Si le 2015 est immense, le 2016 semble capable d'aller encore plus loin. Un supplément d'éclat, de brillance dans le fruit le propulse au sommet. Un vin énergique et interminable.
points on 100


Jean-François de Pontet had made a name for himself at the court in Versailles, where he had held the position of Grand Ecuyer (Master of the Horse) to Louis XV. Upon his return to Guyenne, he became Governor of the Médoc. In 1705, he purchased a few acres of land to the north of the village of Pauillac, which he turned into a vineyard. A few years later, he added several parcels in a place called Canet. As was the custom at the time, he added his own name to that of his land in order to give his estate a recognisable identity. A century later, Château Pontet-Canet was flourishing and became one of the select few to join the famous 1855 classification, which had been ordered by Napoleon III.

In 1865, the estate changed hands for the first time and became the property of a wine merchant, Herman Cruse. The Cruse family kept the estate for 110 years, until 1975, when it was acquired by Guy Tesseron, a cognac merchant. Over the course of three centuries, Château Pontet-Canet has known only three owners, three families... A rarity indeed in the Médoc.

From today to tomorow


Forget everything, start afresh and erase old habits in order to re-connect with nature, be born anew … Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s régisseur (estate manager) since 1989,  have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Château 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 vines seem liberated and the grapes have never been more beautiful. The wines of Pontet-Canet have progressed so much that they are now among the most prestigious in Bordeaux.


The family's avowed ambition is to pass on the history of Château Pontet-Canet and secure its future. Today, it is Guy Tesseron’s descendants who own the estate: Alfred and his nieces Mélanie and Philippine, daughters of his late brother Gérard. Together, they have the same outlook. Alfred shares his vision of the estate with Mélanie, passing on to her its traditions, his outlook on vinegrowing and his passion for wine. The future looks bright...

A shared state of mind and a particular sensitivity are the key factors which have propelled Château Pontet-Canet to the summit of Bordeaux wines in recent years. They are the expression of the Tesseron family’s quiet determination to ensure continuity over the long term.

An exceptional terroir

The culture of the vineyard

Slowly but surely, since 1990 the vines at Pontet-Canet have experienced a cultural revolution.

Exploring new paths in order to get as close to nature as possible. Remembering that the vine is an unruly creeper, but at the same time that its behaviour is in no way due to chance. With time, one fact became clear: progress in viticulture can come only from observation and experiment. You have to know how to watch the vine in order to feel it.

This development is of course part of the process of discovering another world, a different way of seeing. Acquiring a new sensibility involves constant risk-taking, trying things out and then finding that they are self-evident. It is never a one-size-fits-all strategy, but rather a matter of following the vines according to the identity of each parcel, taking a long-term view. Choices are the fruit not of intuition, but of a fine analysis of the elements of nature. It is painstaking work. Each decision becomes a stepping-stone in the never-ending quest for the ideal Pauillac wine.

From Organic to Biodynamic agriculture

In 2004, the year of the first biodynamic trial which took place on 14 hectares, the wines were radiant, tighter and brighter. Alfred urged Jean-Michel to go further. The estate was fully converted to biodynamic agriculture. This decision became a commitment and a challenge, but also a first for a Médoc Classified Growth.

Since then, with each vintage comes new knowledge, furthering the understanding of the terroir in a profound way. The vine’s resistance to disease is better known today, the understanding of how different parcels behave has improved, always in keeping with biodynamic principles. It requires sincerity, pragmatism and transparency: in a nutshell, absolute dedication.

The wines of Château Pontet-Canet obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2010 and from Demeter in 2014.

The horses

In 2008, three Breton draft horses arrived at Pontet-Canet in order to work in the vineyard, avoiding compaction of the soils and encouraging the roots to do their work. Their arrival started a revolution which has required constant effort, teaching us for example how to live side by side with these docile yet powerful animals.

Since then, the number of horses has steadily increased so that more and more parcels of vines can be tended without having to use tractors. Neither a step back in time nor a quest for folklore, it is a real vision of the future which involves adapting the work of the horses to modern times.

It is of course a challenge which brings us closer to nature and allows us to further our policy of respecting the vines and our terroir. The sound of hooves in the courtyard has only just begun.

A quest for maturity

Going into the vineyards and tasting the grapes has become the key to evaluating maturity. Terroir is embodied in the skin of a perfectly ripe berry. Seeking precision, caring for details and defining optimum maturity are all part of a balancing act to find the perfect medium between overripe and not ripe enough. You can taste when a berry is ripe. As Jean-Michel Comme likes to say, “taste is our stock-in-trade.”

On the strategic side, parcel harvesting has long been outgrown and replaced by "homogenous terroir" harvesting, a technique which involves dividing the parcels into two or three sub-parts. Each year brings its own truth, there is no immutable harvest: everything depends on how the grapes ripen.

Harvesters collect the bunches in small crates, which ensure that the grapes stay whole.

They are then hand-sorted a first time, destemmed and hand-sorted a second time on a vibrating table for a final check, ensuring that only perfect grapes are kept.

Exceptional cellars

Wooden and concrete VATS

In 1895, Théophile Skawinski, estate manager at the time, created a revolutionary vat-house with oak vats fed by gravity with the help of a wooden platform on the first floor which could move around on rails.

Pontet-Canet has taken up the idea again more recently, renovating the vat-house and adapting it to modern times. The Nicole vat-house was inaugurated in 2005, following the same principles and featuring small conical concrete vats.

Using oak and concrete is part of the quest for quality, as they ensure excellent thermal inertia during the making of red wines with ageing potential.

Vinification kept to the essentials

Understanding the grapes, revealing the terroir from which they originate...

In response to a vinegrowing method which refuses to force the grapes, the vinification process also respects them. Letting things happen as naturally as possible has become the rule, with natural yeast and minimal intervention. Maceration lasts four weeks on average before the wine is run off.

Each vat is the embodiment of an intimate encounter between man and terroir. Technology is neither necessary nor desirable, as only taste can guide choices and reveal the emotional subtleties of a great terroir treated with respect

The good use of the wood

At Pontet-Canet, the ultimate goal of the maturation process is transparency, trying never to hide what the vines have produced. The proportion of new oak has consistently diminished in order to limit the impact of oak on the wines.

To this end, trials were conducted over the course of a few years and have led to the arrival of a hundred concrete dolia (amphorae), used to mature about a third of the wine. They were designed by Pontet-Canet for the estate’s wines. As the ultimate link between the wine and its terroir, the wall of each dolium contains a small amount of soil from the vineyard. They ensure respect for the purity of the fruit and the truth of the place where it originates.

Taste alone decides how long the wines are matured.

Technical sheet

  • The producer
    Château Pontet-Canet
  • Type of wine
    Fifth Classified Growth
  • Appellation
  • Superficy
    81 hectares
  • Age of the vines
    45 years
  • Harvests
    100% hand harvested
  • Barrels
    60% of new barrels
  • When should you drink it?
    Drink between 2026 and 2048
  • Wine apogee
  • How is it now?
    Encore jeune on doit le garder en cave
  • Service temperature

The vineyard

This Red wine (Classified Growth) from Pauillac is made with a vineyard that has an area of 81 hectares by Château Pontet-Canet. The average age of the vines is 45 years. The harvest for this wine are 100% hand harvested.

Into the cellars

This wine has remained 16 months in Oak barrels. For this wine, the estate has made the choice to incorporate 60% of new barrels.


The Pauillac appellation is located on the left bank of the Gironde and brings together exceptional climatic and geological conditions, which allows it to produce very great wines. Capital of the Médoc viticole, the port city of Pauillac gave its name to the appellation. The AOC can boast of having three wines in the first five classified growths of 1855: Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. On its 1,200 ha of vines, Pauillac produces 54,000 hl of red wines each year. Note that Mouton-Rothschild also produces a white wine.
Pauillac is a jewel of the Médoc, it indeed has 18 classified growths which represent 85% of its production. Perched on a beautiful rump of gravels, its terroir is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon assembled with Merlot and to a lesser extent with Petit Verdot and Malbec.