Château Pontet Canet Pauillac 2005
Château Pontet Canet
The 2005 vintage will be remembered above all for the great drought. During the vines' growth cycle total rainfall was barely over half of what we usually get! What's more, this lack of rain came after a number of already dry years. Spring was not excessively hot until mid-May. Because of this, the vines grew fairly slowly. Flowering, which occurred at the end of this month, suggested that harvesting would be around 25th September. The dry, sunny conditions in summer confirmed that harvesting be around that date. It wasn't the few showers in September which changed the start date and the harvesting schedule based on our tasting of the grapes. Our decision was mainly taken on the basis of changes to the quality of the tannins and aromas in the fruit. Harvesting started on 26th September for the Merlots with a single team of pickers who were able to gather the grapes once they reached peak ripeness in the different terroirs. The Cabernets were harvested from 3rd October with the help of160 outside pickers. Then, as we were sure that our last plots were in good health, we decided to finish off with a single team from 6th October. We ended harvesting on 10th October amid general optimism.
Black in color, with aromas of blackberry, black licorice, tar, mineral and fresh flowers. Full-bodied and powerful, with ultrafine tannins that last for minutes on the palate. A polished, though-provoking wine. Shows wonderful purity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Best after 2014. 20,830 cases made.Score: 96. —James Suckling, March 31, 2008.
It is difficult to know whether the 2005 Pontet-Canet will ultimately eclipse the hedonism and density of the flamboyant 2003, but it is unquestionably a stunning effort. Inky/black-colored with a classic Pauillac perfume of licorice, black currant liqueur, graphite, cedar, and spice box, it is full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, formidable tannins, and an Arnold Schwartzenegger-like structure (when he was 25 years younger). This backward, formidably endowed 2005 will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.Score: 96. —Robert Parker, April 2008.
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($120-$190) Good full ruby-red. Complex, enticing aromas of black raspberry, licorice, minerals, bitter chocolate, lead pencil and pungent cedar; just this side of exotic. Wonderfully silky, sweet and thick, with a powerful minerality framing the currant, graphite and spice flavors. This boasts superb inner-mouth energy and great length, with the full, ripe tannins totally enrobed by the wine's mid-palate richness. (My sample of the 2006 was old and tired, so I'll wait until next year to report on the finished wine; this was a star in the early going.)Score: 95. —Stephen Tanzer, May 2008.
92-94 Barrel sample. A beautiful, aromatic, minty wine that has dusty, warm tannins, still within the Bordeaux structure. It's very dry, but the fruit is already enjoyable. This is going to be a delicious wine.Score: 93. —Roger Voss, June 20, 2006.
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