The 2018 Pontet-Canet is made up of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Picking began on September 24 and finished on October 5; aging is in 55% oak barriques and 45% amphorae. Very deep purple-black in color, it comes rolling sensuously out of the glass with all the opulence and seduction of Cleopatra on a carpet. It emerges with flamboyant scents of crème de cassis, preserved plums and blueberry compote, and after a few moments, it bursts with nuances of molten licorice, sandalwood, Chinese five spice, candied violets, dark chocolate and dried roses, followed by underlying earthy suggestions of fallen leaves, black truffles, underbrush and wild sage. Full-bodied, wonderfully dense, rich, impossibly layered and very, very decadent, the palate delivers all it promises on the nose, with a firm, wonderfully velvety frame and finishing with epic length, a scintillating wave of freshness and a beguiling perfume. This is one for true hedonists.
97-99 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Issue # Interim - Apr 2019)
The 2018 Pontet-Canet is a freak of nature. Dark, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness and concentration, much of it coming from tiny yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, or one third of a normal crop. The 2018 soars out of the glass with stunning aromatic intensity and depth. Black cherry, gravel, grilled herbs, leather, lavender and menthol stain the palate. Dense and hedonistically ripe, the 2018 is a stunningly beautiful wine. The grapes were crushed by hand. Because of the tiny yields, the entire production was vinified in Pontet-Canet's new smaller concrete vats. All winemaking was done manually, without the aid of external temperature control or electricity. The 2018 is aging in a combination of 55% new oak and 45% terra cotta amphora. Quite simply, I have never tasted anything like it.
96-99 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Apr 2019)
A bright and open young wine with polished and soft tannins that spread out and fold into the wine, becoming barely discernible, yet the feel and beauty of them frames the wine in a beautiful way. Love the fruit and purity.
97-98 points, James Suckling (Apr 2019)
Deeply colored, the 2018 Pontet-Canet checks in as a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot that was destemmed by hand, fermented all in concrete tanks (punch downs only) and is still aging 55% in new French oak and the balance in concrete amphoras. It's an incredibly rich, opulent, and plush Pontet-Canet that offers loads of black and blue fruits, licorice, crushed violets, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, powerful, beautifully textured and layered, it's reminiscent of the magical 2009 with its rare mix of both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure. Unfortunately, the estate was decimated by mildew in the spring and lost a full two-thirds of their total production.
96-98 points, Jeb Dunnuck (May 2019)
This wine is densely textured in rich tannins and beautiful fruit. Flavors of black currant and blackberry are there along with the solid structure that will allow the wine to age. This biodynamic wine has low yields in 2018 because of mildew, but what has been made is impressive and long lasting.
96-98 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Apr 2019)