The 2020 Pontet-Canet is captivating effort from the Tesseron family. The intensely perfumed, savory bouquet is immediately alluring. Deep and substantial, the 2020 is luxuriously rich from start to finish. Swaths of incisive tannin wrap around a core of dark red cherry fruit, gravel, dried herbs and rose petal, and a whole range of floral and savory accents lend aromatic presence. The Pontet-Canet is often a charmer en primeur, but the 2020 comes across as quite serious. I can’t wait to see how it develops. As always, one of the signatures of Pontet-Canet is a high proportion of Merlot vis-a-vis its peers among top Left Bank chateaux that lends tremendous midpalate weight. In 2020 production is within historical norms. Mildew pressure was high, but not as severe as in 2018, when two-thirds of the crop was lost in a single day. Harvest took place September 14-30, a bit more of a compact time frame than normal, and a good 7-10 days earlier than is typically the case. Aged in 50% new oak, 35% amphora and 15% once-used barrels.
Anticipated maturity: 2035-2060
Robert Parker 97
The 2020 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 50% new French oak barriques, 35% concrete amphorae and 15% in one-year-old barrels. Harvest began on the 14th September for the Merlot, and the final lot of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on 30th September. Opaque purple-black in color, it needs significant aeration and swirling to coax out evocative notes of black cherry preserves, raspberry pie, blackcurrant pastilles and damp soil, before launching into gorgeous floral and spice notions of red roses, cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom, with a waft of crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals a lot of depth and polish, delivering mouth-coating red and black fruits with loads of fragrant earth and floral sparks, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral tinged. This is a singular, fascinating expression of the vintage and highly recommended!
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2056