VCC: brilliant but limited


This morning saw the release of the undeniably brilliant and sadly short in supply, Vieux Chateau Certan 2014.


“Alexandre and his son, Guillaume Thienpont may have overseen the best wine of the vintage”. Neal Martin

This is undoubtedly a sensational Vieux Château Certan from the Thienponts. A delicious blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, highlights Alexandre’s point that 2014 should not just be considered a Cabernet vintage. In VCC’s very specific terroir, their Merlot was a huge success and this stunning wine has an almost Burgundian touch of purity and class.

A wonderfully pure wine which is not only one of the wines of the appellation, but also one of the wines of the vintage. This has extraordinary class and potential.

2014 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol
£495.00 per 6 In Bond

Supremely stylish and one of the most exciting wines of the vintage; this is an absolute beauty, highlighting this famous property’s sublime location and ability to produce one of the world’s finest Merlot/Cabernet Franc blends. A wine of extraordinary balance, concentrating on elegance and finesse. Some critics may underestimate its sheer class as it isn’t a blockbuster, but it is extraordinarily layered with immense complexity and charm. Drink: 2021-2034
Score: 96-98 David Roberts MW

The Vieux Château Certan 2014 is a blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Franc, picked in three stages: 19-20 September, 29 September to 2 October and 7 and 8 October. The yields came in at 38.7 hectoliters per hectare with 13.4% alcohol. Noticeably deep and clear in color, the nose takes time to “rev up” but stick with it because it eventually reveals exquisite pure blackberry and briary scents. It is not a powerful set of aromatics but they are so finely tuned and pretty. The palate is one of the best you will find this vintage: very precise and focused, here the intensity delivered by that Cabernet Franc, complex and cerebral like the best VCC’s. Truffle, blackberry, woodland aromas waft temptingly from the glass and there is the perfect balance of sweetness and reserve to beg another sip. Alexandre and his son, Guillaume Thienpont may have overseen the best wine of the vintage. Drink: 2018 – 2035
Score: 95-97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (218)

There’s a purity of fruit in this wine that shows the soil and uniqueness with wet earth, tobacco, mushroom and red fruits. Full and silky with fine tannins and a fresh finish. The 20% cabernet franc makes this wine great. It’s like a wonderfully cut ruby.
Score: 95-96 James Suckling

One of the highlights of the vintage, the Vieux Château Certan is a wine of total finesse. Sweet floral notes meld into a core of blue and purplish-hued stone fruits. The tannins are present, but they are noble and barely perceptible. With time in the glass, the floral/savory notes become even more expressive, but it is the wine’s textural elegance that truly elevates it. The 2014 finished with bracing freshness and palpable sense of energy. Readers who can find the 2014 should not hesitate, as it is truly superb.
Score: 93-96+ Antonio Galloni,

Classic blend of 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet. Real personality. Elegant, perfumed nose with blueberry, violet and chocolate notes. Refined tannins provide a velvety texture as well as persistence and length. Lovely fruit, fine structure. Vibrant, fresh finish. Drink: 2022-2040
Score: 95 Decanter Magazine

They managed to nail it, of course, and the result is a precise, driven and very direct wine with a graphite shaft of purity running its length and gorgeous violet-scented fruit. Guillaume described the Cabernet Franc component as ‘dentelle’ (lacy) and with punchy acidity, which was slightly higher than usual giving a fresh crunch on the finish, this wine is packed with drama. The momentum on the palate doesn’t divert from its mission to thrill and enliven the taste buds. This is a precision-made, ultra-fine wine with great length and perfectly controlled oak. It is one of a handful of elite wines on the Right Bank in 2014.
Score: 18.5+ Matthew Jukes

Multi-dimensional. Intense and super-healthy nose. Intense and wonderfully round and fresh. Lifted and frisky. Wonderful undertow. His just-deceased oenologue (since 1962/63) would be delighted with this wine of haute cuisine, racy but round and properly full of complex fruit. Complete. 13.4% Drink 2023-2036
Score: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW (her highest scoring red in this vintage)