Château Pontet-Canet 2017 - A.O.C Pauillac
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96.00 On request
94.7 sur 100 based on 9 Average rating of the Experts
Organic Wine

Experts Reviews

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Wine Spectator
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Le Figaro Vin
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James Suckling
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Jeb Dunnuck

Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Pontet-Canet opens with vibrant wild blueberries, black raspberries and crushed plums with notions of cinnamon stick, violets, unsmoked cigars and pencil lead plus wafts of roses, lavender and tilled black soil. Medium-bodied with very fine, incredibly plush tannins, it is deliciously savory in the mouth, with wonderful freshness and spectacular energy delivering many layers, resulting in a very long, mineral-laced finish.
points on 100
Very tight, with notes of wet stone, plum pit and chalky minerality leading the way, backed by an ample core of steeped currant, blackberry and black cherry fruit waiting to unfurl. The finish smolders with cast iron details. Should round into form with cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040.
points on 100
This is incredibly transparent and refined with blackcurrant, blueberry and mineral character. Full-bodied, layered and ethereal. Tannins have a crushed-stone character. Long and persistent.
points on 100
This is a very charming Pauillac with texture, rippling energy and undoubted finesse. It's deceptive, because the dark, luscious blackberry, bilberry, and damson notes are fairly fresh, with a luscious lipsmacking quality, but the tannins build over the palate. It almost tastes like a St-Julien rather than a Pauillac as they're so fine and elegant, but the Pauillac character becomes more apparent by the close of play - there's no hiding those swirling cassis, smoke and menthol notes. This has a really gorgeous tension and freshness without sacrificing concentration. They used brand-new concrete vats this year, designed by technical director Jean-Michel Comme's, for one-third of the crop. The concrete was made from sands and gravels extracted from the exact spot that the building containing them now stands, utilising geothermal heating and cooling, with as few metallic parts as possible and insulated with hemp. The wine will be aged in 50% new oak, 35% concrete vats and 15% in one-year-old barrels. They have made nearly no second wine again. Just 1% frost loss in 2017. The Merlot was harvested from 18 September, block by block over 10 days, then deleafed. The Cabernets were picked from 28 September through until 4 October.
points on 100
Sweet and spicy on the nose and sweet and quite thick on the palate. Rounded and soft but not a huge amount of fruit flavour. Very nice spice, giving a slightly exotic character. Firm, compact, fresh. Spice is the thing here and a very natural chewy texture. With air more fragrant, a floral fragrance. Chewy, 'spicy' texture, well-balanced fruit and deeply textured. Distinctive.
points on 20
2017 est un vin d'une intensité vraiment remarquable. Le fruit est vibrant et offre une grande largeur de bouche. Pontet-Canet se distingue aussi par son grain, sa texture légèrement poudrée et une allonge remarquable.
points on 20
Vin fruité, très mur, profond, zan, vibrant, tannins ronds et enrobés, beaucoup de vigueur, de peps, finale longue et dynamique. Peut être clivant.
points on 20
The 2017 Pontet-Canet showed progressively better on each of the three occasions I tasted it. Deep, pliant and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2017 exudes class. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, licorice and rose petal infuse this super-expressive and highly nuanced wine from proprietor Alfred Tesseron and technical director Jean-Michel Comme. Harvest ran from September 18 through October 4. The blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is aging in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% one year old oak. Tasted three times.
points on 100
Described as a mix of his 2015 and 2016 by owner Alfred Tesseron, the 2017 Pontet-Canet is another tour de force from this estate that readers will be thrilled to have in the cellar. A blend of roughly 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, harvested between September 18 and October 4 (which is later than most), it will spend roughly 16 months in 50% new barrels, 35% in amphora and the rest in once-used oak. Gorgeous blueberries, crème de cassis, incense, and spring flower characteristics all soar from the glass of this inky-colored, medium to full-bodied, deep, beautifully...
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
    50% of new barrels
  • When should you drink it?
    Drink between 2025 and 2044
  • 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 50% 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.