June 17th 2016
The extraordinary pedigree of this brilliant 2015 was immediately evident from the moment it was poured.
Famed for its position as one of the finest terroirs on the right bank, we as wine lovers should be hugely grateful that this beautiful estate rests in the hands of father and son team, Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont, and not a multi-billion euro corporation.
Their simple desire is to make the finest wine that their terroir can provide. Intervention is minimal, and only to aid rather than influence. Alexandre explains one of the unique characteristics of the 2015 is that both the Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Franc reached optimum maturity at exactly the same time, only seen a few times before, such as 2006, 1996 and 1988. The result, he says, is a wine with “controlled power and amazing balance”.
“Thrilling and magnificent, rich and luxurious, a near perfect VCC” Matthew Jukes
“an extraordinary and profound Pomerol” Neal Martin
“absolutely stellar on both occasions I tasted it” Antonio Galloni
Sadly with only 14ha of vines, production is small and therefore this brilliant wine will be under allocation. If you are one of the lucky few, it is most certainly a buy with its consistently high scores and effusive praise across all the major critics.
Vieux Château Certan Pomerol 2015
£875 per 6 bottles IB
Brilliant shining purple colour, this is a very floral and perfumed style, focusing on red fruits. It is elegant and refined with a superb level of balance. Always expressing the opulence of the Pomerol fruit flavours, and in 2015, whilst benefitting from its clay based soils, it has a great bite of freshness and purity. Almost a half way house between Cheval Blanc and La Conseillante in style, very classy. Drink 2023-2035. Goedhuis, Score: 97-98
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. Neal Martin, Score: 98-100
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. Antonio Galloni, Score: 97-100
Guillaume Thienpont describes this wine as ‘La Force Tranquille’. There is no doubt one millisecond after raising the glass to my nose that this is an incredible wine. The depth of fruit on the nose is extraordinary. It is close to perfection when both grapes ripen optimally and this doesn’t always happen at Vieux Château Certan. Clearly, they manage to make fascinating wine year in year out at this property, but in the vintages when both grapes perform, the Thienponts make a ‘true’ Vieux Château Certan and this is as clear and sonorous as any young vintage I have ever tasted. The palate is complete and it expands as it travels across the taste buds into a larger, more intense beast. Bigger and more expansive than the 2014 this is an indulgent wine and it never relents in its desire to inform you of its pedigree. Cabernet Franc kept everything in check and this is what has brought the freshness to the Merlot. This is a very structured, powerful Vieux Château Certan with magnificent control and a deep, dense register. 2010 was all about Merlot – this vintage is all about Vieux Château Certan. Thrilling and magnificent, rich and luxurious this is a near perfect VCC. Matthew Jukes, Score: 19.5+