Good for Pontet-Canet. They're proving Cinderella stories can come true.
This has long been one of my favorite Bordeauxs. It's a fifth-growth Pauillac that can perform like a first-growth, often offering pure, rich Cabernet fruit that's deeply concentrated. It's one of those wines I look for when dining out and want to drink a great bottle of Bordeaux.
Due to the Bordeaux hierarchy, it has never commanded prices anywhere near those of the first-growths, even as critics increasingly recognize its depth of character. Looking at James Molesworth's barrel reviews of 2010, Château Pontet-Canet is right there with Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour, all with projected ratings of 96-99 points.
This week, Pontet-Canet's futures price for its 2010 came out; it's being offered to consumers at a little under $200 a bottle, the highest price it has ever asked, and it's still flying out the door. If one were to buy Bordeaux futures this year, this wine would be a strong consideration. It has performed steadily this past decade, hitting high. Odds are it will be much more expensive in two years when it's released.
But beyond pricing, the success of Pontet-Canet has to be a source of inspiration for underdogs everywhere. That its wines can be compared with Lafite and Latour speaks volumes about modern viticulture methods and precision winemaking. Forget about Bordeaux for a moment and consider the broader ramifications. In one sense it proves that any winery, given the right terroir, can step up its game and take its wine to a higher level. That Pontet-Canet can make 20,000 cases at this level of quality further illustrates how unique Bordeaux is and how far this property has come. In Napa Valley, not even Opus One, nor Phelps Insignia, two of the area's largest producers of first-growth-quality wine, can match those production numbers.
If Pontet-Canet hits its projected rating window, it gives hope and inspiration to winemakers everywhere.
Mark Lyon — Sonoma, CA; USA — June 11, 2011 10:11am ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — June 12, 2011 4:49pm ET
Jordan Harris — Niagara, Ontario — June 13, 2011 10:30am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — June 13, 2011 4:17pm ET
Loren Lingenfelter — Danville, CA — June 14, 2011 3:55pm ET
David Dickson — Sacramento, CA — June 16, 2011 11:53am ET
Dorns Wine Warehouse — Ft. Lauderdale, FL — June 17, 2011 8:27pm ET
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — June 18, 2011 2:43pm ET
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