PONTET-CANET IN PAUILLAC, BORDEAUX
History. The name of the estate comes from the name of its founder, Jean-François de Pontet, strong figure of the 18th century, who bought a land in a place called Canet, that he transformed into a wine estate. It rapidly gained recognition and got listed in the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification as a 5th Growth.
It then belonged to a wine merchant during the 19th century (Cruse family), and was acquired by the Tesseron family in 1975. Alfred Tesseron is now at the head of this 80-hectare vineyard estate. With the help of Jean-Michel Comme, estate manager, he significantly transformed the estate and its philosophy, making it one of the most renowned estate of the Médoc.
Pontet-Canet is mostly planted in cabernet sauvignon (+60%) on gravelly soils so that it can ripen fully in the moderate maritime climate of Pauillac. Cabernet sauvignon brings structure, tannins and acidity to the wines, and therefore a long-ageing potential. Merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot are also planted, bringing body, fruity and floral aromas.
The estate is committed to organic and biodynamic winegrowing, which is quite unique among the Médoc Classified Growth considering the disease pressure in the region. I really loved seeing horses working in the vineyard, avoiding compaction of the soils. Horses are trained to answer to the voice, which can be quite challenging and time-consuming. They are loved and considered as a key workforce in the vineyard.
People are happy to share their passion and the devotion they have for the vines and its ecosystem.
What struck me was the recently bought concrete dolia. They are made with a proportion of the soil extracted from Pontet-Canet vineyard, extending up to the maturation the reflection of the terroir. It also contributes to reducing the proportion of new oak to highlight the purity of the fruits.
There is a real feeling of harmony when visiting this place.