Pontet-Canet: Big Biodynamic Bordeaux
Château Pontet-Canet is a rare star in the Bordeaux firmament. Despite their standing as a fifth growth Château in the 1855 classification, Pontet-Canet has routinely outperformed that ranking, showing themselves worthy of consistent drinking and collecting over the years.
The Château is named for Jean-François Pontet, a merchant in the court of Louis XV, who later became governor-mayor of the Médoc. Later, the Château was acquired by a wine merchant, Herman Cruse in 1865. Then, cognac merchant Guy Tesseron bought it in 1975. Three owners in a more than three hundred-year history is quite a rarity for a Bordeaux Château.
Pontet-Canet began to rise to greater prominence in the 1990's, after a string of successful vintages. Most crucial the newfound success of Pontet-Canet was the addition of Alfred Tesseron, who began to introduce sustainable, healthy farming techniques. They even got the Château an official biodynamic certification in 2010, the first major Bordeaux property to enjoy the distinction.
The key with Pontet-Canet's approach is their stewardship. By treating their vineyards with the utmost care, and eschewing chemical inputs, they are taking better care of both their land and their vineyard workers. Biodynamics, to put it very simply, is a way of coordinating the entire ecosystem of the vineyard and giving it a high level of care. The wines end up better for it in the end.
Pontet-Canet is known for its powerful, luscious wines. But they aren't simply bruisers--they are elegant creatures with the ability to age gracefully and offer rewards for patient cellaring. The 2009 Pontet-Canet in particular is a great choice from this Château. For a ripe year like 2009, Pontet-Canet's inherent balance and restraint makes this wine worth the investment.
Do yourself a favor and check out the wines form Pontet-Canet, a great old Château that is every bit as forward thinking and cutting edge as any producer in Bordeaux.