We love to unearth wines that are under the radar and root out new discoveries but sometimes one has to acknowledge the critical acclaim is for a good reason. Point in case the absolutely incredible wines of Alfred Tesseron at Pontet Canet (pictured here).
Wow! the 2012 is superb: primal fruit, green pepper, toast, cool and balanced, the 2011 lighter than the 12 but very good, the 2010 tight nose & compact palate confidently promises glory but demands patience and the 2009 shamelessly shows off its wares: sweet attack of fruit, lovely rounded palate, big but still elegant, so lovely! The perfect scores seem quite reasonable!
And the good news is that the second wine Hauts de Pontet Canet is also stunning, scented nose, sweet fruit balanced with savoury notes, delicious.
The other wines Chateau where everything: 12, 10, 09, Blanc and Les Hauts de Smith is consistently brilliant is Smith Haut Lafitte (we’ve sung SHL’s praises and reviewed most of these vintages on these pages in the past).
The wines of these Chateaus are expensive and the excellence of the 2010 vintage has pushed them into investment territory dragging the price of most vintages up to around £100 a bottle, which is what first growths used to cost before they rose to demand up to £1000 a bottle at the 2011 market peak (prices have since tumbled). Arguably the quality is the same so if you can afford to drink the best look no further.
Other wines that stood out were Chateau Rauzan-Segla’s wines all showing really well, (Segla 09 elegant and lovely) and of course the wines of Count Stephan von Neipperg, La Mondotte as always big but beautiful.