If you want to understand the boom and bust story in Bordeaux since 2000, Chateau Pontet Canet goes to the heart of the matter. Widely considered to be the most improved winery in Bordeaux in the last twenty years It’s a huge estate producing up to 20,000 cases of its main wine annually.
Their 2005 vintage priced at £480 on release was one of the great buys that year, but with back to back perfect scores from Robert Parker in 2009 and 2010 Pontet Canet entered the quality and price super-league which it has been determined to sustain since. Reaction towards their pricing policy has been severe, particularly with the release of the weak 2013 which was priced at £ 675 and sank without trace.
Today the Pontet Canet brand like most of top end Bordeaux is unfashionable, with even their 100 point wines failing to find buyers. But the sell-off, particularly the 2010 which is the cheapest “perfect” Parker wine in Bordeaux, is overdone. Why ?
Much of the answer lies in the increasing disparity between Parker’s tastings and the rest of the wine trade. While no one disputed that Pontet Canet’s 2009 was a great wine like so many from that year, neither the owner Alfred Tesseron – nor any other wine critic was prepared to agree with Parker that this vintage of Pontet Canet merited a perfect score.
In 2009 it was as if hedonism got in the way of analysis: 100 point wines poured out of Parker’s tasting notes, skewing the market and convincing Bordeaux owners that their vines were sacred and no price was too high for the honour of owning their majestic output.
The result, for the 2010 vintage, was even higher prices for a year that Parker rated below ’09 – less hedonistic, less approachable, but with the potential to eclipse all other vintages in the modern era. It was here that Pontet Canet reached its zenith, awarded perfect scores by James Suckling, La Revue du vin de France and Vinum Wine Magazine as well as Parker.
But the 2010 en primeur campaign pushed prices too far and after an initial spike when its 100 point rating was confirmed, Pontet Canet’s greatest wine – potentially the best Pauillac outside the First Growths of the 21st century to date – has drifted in price with the rest of the market ever since, from a peak of £1600 to its current £1300, a buy at this price.
Disclaimer: Medoc Wines owns stock of this wine.