Pauillac in 2013 reminds me of a lesser version 2011. Sound like faint praise? Given the extremely challenging vintage conditions this is a success. There are some very good wines here; some are good values too. Others are a little compact and there is a degree of austerity to a few. Partly this is because of the increased percentages [even for Pauillac] of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends, partly perhaps also because of less than fully ripe tannin, partly too the combined affect of very fresh acids this year, more so than 2011, 2008 and 2007, the vintages to which 2013 has been already been compared.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Pontet Canet’
Respect for the vineyard and terroir perhaps reaches its apex at Château Pontet-Canet, the large Pauillac estate that lies just across from Mouton-Rothschild. The first Bordeaux great growth to become fully biodynamic – the holistic philosophy that seeks long-term balance in the vineyard and the cellar – the approach has undoubtedly allowed Pontet-Canet to take on an increasingly pure, beautiful expression, reminiscent of the very finest grand cru Burgundy. These are the qualities that spring to mind when tasting their 2013.
Five years ago Bordeaux’s top chateaux were rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of releasing their precocious, and delicious, 2009s to an expectant trade and press. The wines were an assault on the senses, and, as it turned out, the pocket. Released in dribs and drabs to stoke demand, many big guns didn’t name their prices until months later, seemingly waiting for each other to make the next move to see who could double their prices. The accompanying en primeur campaign was a feeding frenzy. Next week Bordeaux offers us the 2013 vintage for the first time. Things couldn’t be more different. I expect you’ll be able to hear the sound of a pin drop.
There is little doubt that this appellation has succeeded more than any other in 2009. It’s here that Cabernet Sauvignon arguably reaches its apogee and in a vintage in which the ripeness of this variety was possibly unparalleled you’d expect great things. And great things there are here. In a pretty comprehensive line-up of wines from the appellation by the MW Institute last November [only really sans Château Latour] Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Pontet-Canet were extraordinary. Château Lynch-Bages and Château Pichon-Longueville are a whisker off perfection. Château Duhart-Milon, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Clerc Milon have made wonderful wines wines. The likes of Château Batailley, Château Haut-Batailley and Château Grand-Puy Ducasse have perhaps made their very best wine yet. There is simply so much to choose from here.