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Winery: Château Pontet-canet
Variety: Bordeaux Blend
After a difficult viticulture season in 2007, we had hoped for a little more peace. Unfortunately, life choose otherwise. While the first grapes were emerging in the vineyard, Gérard Tesseron was taken from us brutally, leaving as he had lived: with discretion and humility. His passing put the year’s difficult climate into some perspective compared to life’s tragedies. By then, our success ... Read more
After a difficult viticulture season in 2007, we had hoped for a little more peace. Unfortunately, life choose otherwise. While the first grapes were emerging in the vineyard, Gérard Tesseron was taken from us brutally, leaving as he had lived: with discretion and humility. His passing put the year’s difficult climate into some perspective compared to life’s tragedies. By then, our success in containing the pressure of unparalleled illness had become quite trivial. The vinestock carries within it the memory of the successive generations that have shaped it at some point in its life. It is, however, facing the times ahead, by bearing future crops and forces us to serve it with the same state of mind. We have therefore pampered the young grapes with just as much devotion, but with a heavier heart than usual. Life has given us a few subtle ways of helping plants to withstand delicate periods more easily. That was especially useful this year, in which we had four months of rain and a shortage of sunlight over the course of the summer. We have made gains in terms of precision in our commitment to natural viticulture, in which the vinestock is gently and harmoniously supported throughout its development. Without the traumas of 2007, which improved our knowledge, we would certainly not have been able to navigate our way through the 2008 viticulture season quite as successfully. More anecdotally, and for the first time in over 40 years, we heard the sound of horses’ hooves in the courtyard once again. This is still just an experiment aimed at doing all vine work using horses, in order to avoid compacting the soil. A major change is taking shape. But nothing is simple in adapting the use of horses to modern demands without drifting back to outdated practices. A review will be conducted after two seasons. Nonetheless, the horses did not take us away from the vineyard which needed the attention of all concerned in order to deal with the changeable weather. Thankfully, September was much more lenient. The grape-pickers, who arrived in the last week of the month, were able to remove the leaves from all of the vines in the vineyard so that the grapes could enjoy the slightest ray from the gentle autumn sun. That allowed us to wait until the very beginning of October to start harvesting the Merlot grapes; the yield was particularly low after a blossoming that happened in cold, damp conditions. Then it was time once again to wait for the Cabernets, with another break for several days. Finally, on the 8th of October, we began the harvest for the Cabernet-Franc, then the Cabernet Sauvignon the following day. The Petit-Verdot harvest began on the 15th. The last bunches of grapes were cut down on the 16th under still-sunny skies. Despite the unpredictable weathers menaces, these were certainly the most peaceful harvests we had had for a long time. The sorting tables, worked by meticulous yet relaxed staff, again showed their priority in respecting the fruit itself before the grapes fall into the vats by gravity. The vinifications were both straightforward with relatively easy fermentations and highly complex as the extractions had to be continually adapted depending on the tastings conducted several times a day. It is still too soon to guess the qualitative level of the wines and attempt to find the slightest resemblance with any of their predecessors. It will be itself first and foremost, and that is the main thing. But it will also carry with it all the love that we feel for this magnificent domaine. Everything is telling us to calmly wait for next spring’s tastings. We will be happy to welcome you from the 1st of April to taste the Château Pontet-Canet 2008. Read less
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Food Pairings for Château Pontet-Canet Red Bordeaux Blend Pauillac
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