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.
The nose is so beautiful, offering dried flowers, white pepper and other spices. Yet, there's also bright, blue fruit. Tar, too. Love the depth of fruit here. The wine flows across the palate with so well-integrated tannins. You just want to drink it. Glorious. The cabernet in this makes it almost Medoc-like. A blend of 78% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 7% cabernet sauvignon.
98-99 points, James Suckling, June 2020
A wonderful wine, great depth of black fruit but extremely balanced, lace and satin. The aromatics open up almost immediately to show raspberry and redcurrant fruits. It's extremely complete; but mainly it just makes you want to enjoy it - no aggression to these tannins. 66% new oak, all the estate's Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes are here (with the 2nd wine 100% Merlot), and it surely helps give this sapidity and flavoursome savoury character. 3.75pH. A yield of 42hl/ha, so a good quantity, around the same as in 2018.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
97 points, Jane Anson, Decanter, June 2020.
Very deep purple-black in colour, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan slowly opens out to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of red roses, kirsch, black raspberries, violets and star anise over a powerful core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and boysenberries plus hints of cardamom, sandalwood and Ceylon tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is achingly graceful, featuring tightly wound layers of crunchy blue and black fruits with tannins so ripe and finely grained, you really have to look for them. The acidity here is absolutely seamless, and the finish explodes into an array of mineral sparks. Be prepared to fall head over heels for this one.
97-100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, June 2020.
The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is deep in colour. It has a fabulous, very intense nose that explodes from the glass with billowing scents of black cherries, freshly shaved black truffles, raspberry and light rose petal aromas. The palate is so sensual and seductive on the entry, its creamy texture irresistible and completely disguising the structure underneath. Interestingly this VCC really comes into its own after 12-hours of opening, revealing more quintessential Pomerol characteristics and more grip on the finish. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont fashioned a brilliant follow-up to the glorious 2018.
96-98 points, Neal Martin, Vinous, June 2020.
Flowers, black raspberry, plum liqueur, truffle, wet earth, forest floor and cherry blossoms are in the nose. Rich, intense, full-bodied, deep and velvety, the wine is loaded with dark chocolate, black cherries and the essence of dark plums. The decadent finish sticks with you for close to 60 seconds, which is a good thing, because the wine is so texturally sensual, you do not want it to end. Blending 78% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. Picking took place September 23 -September 27 for the old vine Merlot and October 2-October 3 for the Cabernet. The wine is ageing in about 67% new, French oak barrels.
98-100 points, Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider, June 2020.
The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is a heady, rich wine that captures all of the exoticism of the year. Crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, lavender and spice are some of the many aromas and flavours that run through the 2019. This is an especially ripe, unctuous style for VCC. It will be interesting to see what ageing brings, as there is plenty of grip and structure underneath a core of dense fruit that remains remarkably primary.
95-97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, June 2010.
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.