Bordeaux, Bottle Notes

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet – Bottle Notes

The 2003 Pontet-Canet was the winning bottle in the September Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. This bottle was decanted for one hour and served with steaks.

Chateau Pontet-Canet is situated next to Mouton Rothschild in the Pauillac region of Bordeaux. Pontet Canet was granted Fifth Growth status in the 1855 classification. Herman Cruse purchased the estate in 1865. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another negociant , Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975. Since Alfred Tesseron took over in 1994, this property has continued to improve year after year. The wines are consistently on par with most, if not all, of the Second Growth wines.

Violet in color. 13% ABV. Absolutely fantastic nose of red fruits, leather and cigar box. Medium body with perfect acidity. Lush and silky on the palate. The wine is incredibly powerful and concentrated. Flavors of currants, cassis, lead and black licorice. The finish is exceptionally long with silky tannins.  This wine has none of the flabby, roasted characteristics many associate with the ’03 vintage. On top of that this is unmistakably Bordeaux and any comparisons to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon miss the mark. It should drink well for another decade.

My rating: 94 points.

The very best wines from 2003 seem to be aging beautifully. Will they age as long as their counterparts from classic vintages like ’00 and ’05? Perhaps not, but I’ll continue to enjoy them for what they are over the next 10 years or so.

Pontet-Canet from the best vintages has become quite pricing with the ’09 and ’10 retailing for over $200. My advice would be to search out Pontet-Canet from less heralded vintages like ’04, ’06 and ’08. Anything in the $100 range can be considered a really good deal.

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