Pontet Canet is the best performing left bank wine over the last four years, scoring 100 points in 2009 and 2010. Their 100% biodynamic wine-making techniques and fastidious focus has lead Pontet Canet to be First Growth quality, in fact it is located high on the illustrious, elevated real-estate sandwiched between Lafite and Mouton Rothschild. 2012 is no exception and another triumph for Pontet Canet, scoring 91-94 points and showcasing their recurrent dense black fruits and cassis with ripe velvety tannin, juicy blueberries, tobacco and pencil shavings. The 2012 is cool and fresh and will be drinking much sooner than the epic 2010. At £690 a case this has plenty of investment potential and is one to get into the cellar. Pontet Canet have been very reasonable on price when one considers they are the hottest property on the left bank and in huge demand.

A softer, less powerful and less prodigiously endowed Pontet Canet, the 2012 exhibits notes of creme de cassis and new barrique vanillin followed by a medium-bodied, elegant wine with sweeter tannin (and less of it) than is found in the great vintages that immediately precede it. The 2012 is certainly outstanding and, in fact, many readers may prefer it to the blockbuster, out-of-this-world, over-sized 2010, 2009 and 2008. Medium-bodied, pure and expressive, this classic Pauillac should only require 5-6 years of cellaring. It should drink well for two decades thereafter.

No one will confuse the 2012 Pontet Canet with the 2008, 2009 or 2010, but proprietor Alfred Tesseron has turned in another high level performance in this more challenging vintage (especially true in the Medoc). 91-94 Robert Parker