Brilliantly situated in Pomerol between Vieux Château Certan and Château Petrus and opposite Le Pin, Certan de May's relatively small 4.95ha is planted to 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that have an average age of 45 years. A superstar of the appellation since the Barreau family took over production in the mid-1970s (having owned the property since 1925) both the varietal mix and combination of clay and gravel produces a wine that has superb depth and concentration.
93-96/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium deep colour. Fragrant cedar/ toasty aromas with some inky/ plum notes. Rich velvety wine with musky plum/ dark cherry flavours, plenty of fruit sweetness and dense chalky tannins. I think this will really develop into something.
89-91/100 Robert Parker Jr. Hints of bay leaf, creme de cassis, incense, damp earth and graphite are present in this ripe, medium to full-bodied, soft, evolved Pomerol. Deep plum/crimson, it should drink nicely for 12-15+ years.
16.5/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. 100% Merlot. Deep crimson. Chocolate and cherry but fresh too. Very very fine, dry tannins, fresh and minerally on the palate. Completely unshowy but long and just a touch of chocolate coming back on the finish. More depth in the mid palate.
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.