You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Wednesday 1 July 2015

Pontet-Canet adopts amphorae for 2012

15th February, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Pontet-Canet owner Alfred Tesseron is aiming to decrease the oak influence in his wines by becoming the first Bordeaux estate to embrace amphora maturation.

Pontet-Canet owner Alfred Tesseron with one of the estate's horses

Pontet-Canet owner Alfred Tesseron with one of the estate’s horses

“I’m tired of too much oak”, Tesseron told the drinks business during a dinner organised by Bancroft Wines, which aimed to show the stylistic evolution of the fifth growth Pauillac estate over the last two decades.

Technical director Jean-Michel Comme, the man who inspired Tesseron to embrace biodynamic viticulture a decade ago, has spent the last three years trialling different sizes and shapes of amphorae, which are manufactured by the estate.

As a result of these experiments, around 15% of Pontet-Canet’s 2012 vintage is following a small but growing number of respected producers around the world by being matured in amphorae. With 81 hectares of vineyard and an annual production of around 21,000 cases for its grand vin, the estate is among the largest classed growths in the Medoc.

Although the concrete vessels are intended to provide a more neutral flavour effect than oak, allowing better fruit expression, Tesseron explained that amphorae of Cabernet Sauvignon contained gravel from the vineyard, while the Merlot amphorae incorporated a small amount of limestone and clay.

“It’s right to have the same philosophy all the way through,” he remarked, adding that he had also trialled concrete eggs, but found them “less good”. Despite this major vinification innovation however, Tesseron insisted: “The real work is in the vineyard.”

Under Tesseron’s ownership, Pontet-Canet has seen glowing reviews and high scores, leading to an average trading price increase of £460 per case between 2009 and 2012. However, while the Liv-ex Power 100 ranks the estate at number 2 behind fellow biodynamic producer Domaine de la Romanée Conti, its analysis suggests the wine is still undervalued.

Commenting on the accompanying rise in his own release price, Tesseron remarked: “Yes, I did raise my price, but people are happy. Anyway, you don’t raise the price, the market raises the price.”

As for how he is investing the extra income, Tesseron commented: “At one point I thought of bringing in a big architect, but for me it’s more interesting to taste the wine and to see that every vintage tastes different.”

For this reason, he stressed a commitment to further investment in the vineyard and winemaking. Highlighting a particular priority as being his team of five horses who are now used across 40% of the vineyards, he revealed: “I’m going to spend a lot of money on stables.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Benevolent launches Ambassador drive

UK drinks trade charity The Benevolent is calling for volunteers from the trade more...

Final call for Liberty apprentice scheme

Liberty Wines is inviting final applications for its apprentice programme, more...

Depp puts French estate on sale for £16.5m

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has put his estate in the south of France, which more...

Austrian wine importer launches in Hong Kong

A wine importer specialising in Austrian wines has launched in Hong Kong to more...

Parker retrospective boosts 05 Palmer

Château Palmer’s 2005 is the latest wine from that vintage to see an more...

Winemaker Sting sings to his wines

Musician Sting has revealed that he often sings in his wine cellar and likes to more...

Hatch Mansfield – Brand Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive salary

Bordeaux 2005: Biggest movers

Expectation surrounding the 2005s is building and pushing up prices for top more...

Cockburn’s wins the boat race

Cockburn’s has won the 2015 Barcos Rabelos race, featuring the boats that more...

Online retailer to highlight 'hidden gems'

A new online boutique wine importer and retailer Perfect Cellar has opened for more...

UK Sales Manager

London, United Kingdom

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view it is best to buy the “vintages of the more...

BI offers 2014 imperial collection en primeur

Fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index is offering its clients a 10 imperial more...

Oregon producer takes international view

One of Oregon’s youngest wine estates has partnered with Jackson Family Wines more...

Social Media Editor

Competitive

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An "epic" Riesling, a "Grecian beauty" that "gobsmacks with opulent tropical more...

The Proust Q&A: Lorenzo Zonin

Italian winemaker Lorenzo Zonin opens up to db about cooking naked, more...

Chilean brand looks back to move forward

Chilean producer Santa Carolina has launched an “icon” wine with a more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Rise for Haut Bailly in Liv-ex 2015 classification

Liv-ex’s bi-annual “re-classification” of Bordeaux saw Haut Bailly leap more...

Delegat aims high with new Barossa brand

Oyster Bay owner Delegat has launched “a new global brand” from more...

Cockburn's to launch ‘lost’ 1977 vintage

Cockburn's is set to release its 1977 vintage for the first time as part of more...

London Sales Manager / Key Account Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive - depending on skills and experience

MMD bolsters Italian portfolio with Mazzei

Maisons Marques et Domaines has extended its Italian portfolio with the more...

Bordeaux 2005: 12 ‘perfect’ wines

Twelve wines have been given “perfect” 100-point ratings in Robert more...