Once again there is a silky and Burgundian quality to the 2014 offering from pioneering bio-dynamic Pauillac producer Château Pontet-Canet. Much work here goes into not doing much work, if you get my drift. It’s not that there isn’t a lot going on or that they are not busy, but the holistic approach pursued at Pontet-Canet has that objective in mind. Vineyard balance is attained with the long view, through the use preventative preparations, horsepower and manual effort, not cajoling the vineyard with exaggerated regimes and petrochemicals, so that the vines find that gentle sweet spot of expression and harmony themselves. You can feel the philosophy in the unhurried, peaceful manner of the place when you are there [even in primeurs week, though perhaps not in the visiting merchants and critics]. And there’s no doubt the wine feels all the better for it.
Posts Tagged ‘Biodynamics’
Despite all the fashionable talk of terroir, it’s funny how, a bit like dogs and their owners, wines come to resemble their masters and mistresses. Château Palmer, which has had a fabulous run of recent vintages, has shown a degree of ambition and sophistication that clearly mirrors that of Thomas Duroux, the winemaking wunderkind now in his tenth year running this top Margaux estate. Duroux’s achievements have come at a price – namely the much higher cost of the grand vin itself – but surely Palmer has never been more consistent [or better?]. So has the estate managed to keep its footing in the testy 2013 vintage?
Château Pontet-Canet continues its run of form with an extremely seductive and open Pauillac in 2012. There is something Burgundian about the wine and the set up here, with the emphasis on the vineyard and the impressive bio-dynamic regime established over a number of years. Little wonder this wine is the darling of the markets, delivering flavour and quality at a comparative fraction of Pauillac’s established [and in certain cases] neighbouring heavyweights. It’s also human thing too, for all the fashionable talk of terroir. Alfred Tesseron and his family come across as genuine, open, warm-hearted people and part of that spirit rubs off on what you find in the glass. It’s called soul, and their wines have it.
I’ll get to the dandelions in a minute but for now let’s just say that they are extremely important to Johan Reyneke, philosopher, erudite yet pragmatic bio-dynamic exponent, ‘vine hugger’ [that’s precisely what it says on his business card] and maker of some extremely harmonious and appetizing South African wines.