Christmas wines: Château Pontet-Canet 2008 and Château Pontet-Canet 2006

Château Pontet-Canet is a fifth growth from Pauillac on the left bank of Bordeaux, whose vines adjoin those of first growth, Mouton Rothschild.  The estate has undergone a transformation since the 1990s and is now regarded as a second growth in all but name.  In 1999, Michel Rolland was hired, and since 2010 the estate has been certified as biodynamic and organic, a difficult choice in maritime Bordeaux.  Despite these credentials, it was in fact an earlier outstanding wine from the not so well regarded 1997 vintage that piqued my interest in this estate (reviewed here).  To follow are reviews of the 2006 and 2008 tasted together at Christmas.

Château Pontet-Canet 2008
A blend of 30% merlot, 65% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.  A slightly surprising nose.  Anise, cassis, cigar box, raisin and quite porty.  New world like.  The palate has long length and saturated flavours of blackcurrant.  Great balance, long length, but more very good than outstanding.

Rating: Very Good
Abv: 13%
Price: $150+

Château Pontet- Canet 2006
A blend of 33% merlot, 62% cabernet sauvignon, 3% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.  So almost the same blend as the 2008 vintage, with a smidgen more merlot.  This presented as classic Pauillac.  Violet, florals, blackcurrant and cigar box aromatics.  The palate is supremely balanced, with saturated flavours of blackcurrant, earth and reminders of iron.  The tannins seem ripe and textural, and while not quite melting, suggest that they might with age.  A delicious wine.

Rating: Very Good to Outstanding
Abv: 13%
Price: $150+

Both wines are available fairly widely in Australia.  For Pontet-Canet’s website, see  Tasted 2015.

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