Friday, 20 April 2012

Chateaux Pontet Canet and Lynch Bages 2011

Two Chateaux that have produced stunning wines over the last few years have been the 5th Growth properties Chateau Pontet Canet and Chateau Lynch Bages in the Pauillac appelation.
Both properties regularly perform above their official 5th Growth classification from 1855.
Chateau Lynch Bages is affectionately known as 'Lunch Bags' in the UK trade. It has links from the Irishman Thomas Lynch who settled in the Bordeaux region in the 18th century. The property is now owned by the Cazes family, who have maintained and developed the vineyards and the winery. Jean Charles Cazes is the young man now at the helm of this 115 hectare estate.
The main wine produced at the Chateau is red Chateau Lynch Bages, whilst the second label is Echo de Lynch Bages and there is a small amount of white produced.

Chateau Pontet Canet is one of the stars of the Bordeaux region. It has only been owned by three families in the last 300 years....originally Jean Francois de Pontet in the 18th Century, then the Cruse family for 110 years during the 19th and 20th centuries and now (since 1975) by the Tesseron family.
This estate of 81 hectares (under vine) is situated next door to Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The estate has spent the best part of the last 10 years converting to organic and biodynamic viticultural practices. The recent wines 2008, 2009 and 2010 have been quite exceptional. There is always a purity of sweet ripe fruit at the core balanced with dense dark Autumn fruits.

I adore both Chateaux and they consistently make great wines. However this year maybe difficult.
Since 2008 the price for the wines has doubled. Interestingly the Chateaux have copied each others pricing over the last few years:

Prices ex negociant:     Approx. Current UK retail price per bottle:
  • 2008    €48      Pontet Canet £75              Lynch Bages £80
  • 2009    €72      Pontet Canet £160            Lynch Bages £120
  • 2010    €100    Pontet Canet £120            Lynch Bages £115

Both Chateaux have produced excellent wines in 2011, however the global market has become more and more tricky. The investors, collectors and wine enthusiasts throughout the world got very excited by the 2009 and 2010 vintages. Is there any money left to buy the 2011s?
What price will these two wine estates release their wines?
My estimate is that they will be €60-€70 per bottle................

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