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.
Medium deep colour. Dark cherry, liquorice, praline aromas. Sweet fruited wine with generous musky plum, blackcurrant flavours, inky complexity, fine bitter sweet tannins and savoury oak complexity. Finishes firm yet plush and long. Very well concentrated and fleshy with lovely complexity and mineral length.
95 points Andrew Caillard, MW
The 2015 Certan de May is a powerful, imposing wine with notable tannic clout and plenty of energy. White pepper, blood orange and mint give the 2015 an attractive upper register of aromatic nuance, but it is the wine's sinewy, tense personality that is its most distinctive attribute. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2015 is going to need time to fully express. The blend is 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
(92-95) points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2015 Certan de May is deep, powerful and imposing. Dark blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice and mint are some of the many notes that fill out the wine's frame. Vertical in feel, with potent tannins, the 2015 needs time to fully come together. Even so, it does not appear to be an especially refined wine. The blend is 80% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wow. What a wine with incredible depth of fruit and generosity here. Walnut, chocolate, black olive and dark fruits. Full and rich. It goes on for minutes. Velvety texture. Best in decades. A majority of merlot with some cabernet franc and a touch of cabernet sauvignon.
(97-98) points, James Suckling (April 2016)
This has a darker sheen of fruits in the blackberry and blood-plum spectrum with sweetly spicy and earthy aromas and some violets to boot. The palate has quite a forthright tannin firmness. A very long, linear wine with a full body and a smooth, fresh, blueberry/plum finish. An impressive wine that rolls endlessly through the finish. This has plenty of ageing potential. Try from 2023.
97 points, James Suckling (February 2018)
The 2015 Certan de May is composed of 80% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc, displaying a medium garnet-purple color and nose of warm red cherries, mulberries, crushed red and black plums and raspberry leaves with nuances of wild thyme, dried roses, cloves and eucalypt. Medium to full-bodied and boasting great harmony in the mouth, the palate delivers loads of red and black fruit layers interspersed with floral and herb accents and framed by a firm, ripe, fine-grained backbone, finishing with wonderful length and freshness. 2021-2040
95+ Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (Wine Advocate)
Mid crimson. Intense and meaty on the nose. Round and silky on the palate. Not a drama queen but really quite regal in floating above the hoi polloi. Chapeau! Notably persistent.
17.5 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.