Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol
The Vieux Château Certan estate has existed since the mid-1700s, though the date of establishment is unknown. Like all of the wines in the Pomerol Appellation, Vieux Château Certan is not classified but is widely regarded as one of the great growths of the region and one of the world’s great wines.
Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity. Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance.
100 points, Langton's
"The blackberries, blueberries, oyster shell and violets are so mesmerizing. Full-bodied, focused and deep. It takes you to another space and plane. Dried flowers and dark fruit. The tannins are perfectly crafted. Keeps going as you taste it. Drink in 2023 but why wait?"
100 points, James Suckling.
"The 2015 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 80% Merlot,, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, cropped between September 17 and October 2 at 42 hectoliters per hectare. The IPT is healthy 83 and the pH is 3.72, the alcohol 14.6%. Enough statistics. What you need to know is that it is a beguiling Pomerol that will set hearts aflutter. It is bridled with a heavenly bouquet with intense red and black fruit, black truffle and a touch of smoke, opening wonderfully in the glass; the Cabernet Franc is very expressive and imparting a licorice note after ten minutes. The palate is medium-bodied with intensity, with a killer line of acidity that imparts freshness from the very start. There is life-affirming tension interwoven throughout this extremely complex wine from Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont. There are layers, more like a mille-feuille of blackberry, boysenberry, mineral, truffle and a touch of spice towards the finish, just a touch of warmth from the alcohol that merely complements an extraordinary and profound Pomerol."
(98-100) points, Neal Martin (April 2016)
"Blended of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Vieux Chateau Certan opens with profound notes of blueberry compote, dried mulberries, black forest cake, licorice, violets and garrigue with wafts of black truffles, sandalwood and rose hips. Medium to full-bodied, very earthy/savory and beautifully layered with very plush yet present tannins, it offers lovely freshness and a very long minerally finish. So very Pomerol!" 98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (April 2018)
"An attractive Pomerol with plush, velvety tannins and lovely sweet black fruit and spices. The fruit is fresh, lively and the finish is very long. The alcohol is 14.6% which is the highest alcohol ever made. The blend is 80% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc with 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are on average around 50 years old." 97 points, Jeannie Cho Lee (May 2016)
"The 2015 Vieux Château Certan is every bit as magnificent from bottle as it was from barrel. Rich, sumptuous and explosive in the glass, the 2015 is pure class. The flavors are deep and boldly sketched in this sumptuous, spectacularly ripe Pomerol. Inky blue/purplish fruit, spice, lavender, licorice and menthol all develop in the glass, but it is the wine's textural richness and intensity that stand out most. As good as the 2015 is today, it is going to need at least 15-20 years to be at its very best. Is there anything more I can ask of the 2015? No, there is not. This is a tremendous showing." 100 points, Antonio Galloni (February 2018)
"One of the most exotic, flamboyant wines of the year, the 2015 Vieux Château Certan is rich, unctuous and seamless, with stunning depth and exceptional textural richness. In 2015, VCC is unusually deep and powerful. A host of rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and plum notes meld together, but it is the wine's overall intensity and spherical structure that stand out most. The 2015 is freakishly rich and likely to require at least 15 years to lose some of its baby fat. It was absolutely stellar on both occasions I tasted it." (97-100) points, Antonio Galloni (April 2016)
"97–99. Barrel Sample. This is a beautifully fragrant wine that has power along with an elegant acidity. It has wonderful juiciness that cuts through any of the tannins to give great freshness, a silky texture and fruitiness at the end. Perfumed and stylish, this is a very fine wine." 98 points, Wine Enthusiast (April 2016)
"Expressive and alluring aromas of warm plum reduction and boysenberry puree lead off here, followed by fleshy, seamlessly layered notes of blackberry, black currant, melted black licorice and smoldering tobacco. Shows a lovely tug of dark earth through the finish without sacrificing a sense of polish or giving ground to the waves of fruit. Displays terrific latent energy through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2040." 97 points, Wine Spectator (March 2018)
"Very intense nose with strong mineral notes - lots of Cabernet Franc influence. Massive impact with really luscious ripe fruit but massive tannins too. Very satiny initially but underneath there is massive tannin. Lovely fragrant top note. Beautifully married. Very sophisticated and with many layers. All vineyard not winemaking. Very savoury - very unlike Merlot stereotype." 18.5 points, Jancis Robinson (April 2016)
Pomerol, on the Right Bank of Bordeaux’s Gironde River, produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, including those from such storied properties as Chateau Petrus. Yet Pomerol, the smallest of the fine-wine-producing districts of Bordeaux, offers no Grand Cru or Premier Cru wines: It’s the most significant Bordeaux appellation not included in any quality ranking. At the time of the historic 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Right Bank chateaux were considered remote and difficult to travel to, and so were ignored by the merchants who created the classification. (St. Émilion, a notable neighbour on the Right Bank, created its own classification system in 1954.)
Pomerol has managed to do quite well without this form of validation. Pomerol’s predominantly clay soil is ideally suited for Merlot, the primary grape used in the appellation. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also included in Pomerol’s blended red wines. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Although Pomerol’s very best wines are capable of aging for decades, most are made for immediate consumption. These Merlot-based wines are known for their lush texture, elegance and grace, as well as the softer tannins they offer in comparison to the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made elsewhere in Bordeaux.