Unusually for the vintage and the estate this is made up of 86% Merlot and surprisingly little Cabernet Franc (8%) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is almost identical in composition to the property's' famous 1998 wine. This is undoubtedly a contender for wine of the vintage, with itsextreme balance, beauty, and intensity. The flavours are so refined with layer upon layer of complexity. This is a truly outstanding wine, balancing delicacy, and perfume of fruit with amazing length. Quite simply glorious... DR
The 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan, a blend of 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol. Production was lower than in 2009 and the alcohol slightly higher, but the pH is 3.7, which is surprisingly reasonable given the lofty power and alcoholic clout this full-bodied wine possesses. Dense purple-colored , the 2010 displays a vivid yet astonishing array of spice box, red, blue and black fruits, crushed rock and spring flowers. The oak is well-concealed behind the lavish concentration and richness. Exceptionally pure, this unbelievable wine flirts with perfection. Unfortunately, there is 20% less of it than in 2009, and the tannins warrant a good 8-10 years of cellaring, as I suspect it could actually close down. This is another 40- to 50-year effort in 2010 that should elicit considerable interest from wine consumers. Thienpont thinks he has produced three wines - 2008, 2009 and 2010 - that are the greatest trilogy in the history of Vieux Chateau Certan, rivaling what this estate did in 1947, 1948 and 1949.
Alexandre Thienpont thinks 2010 is even more powerful and tannic than 2009. This is certainly a big wine, dominated by its Merlot component (86%, with the rest mostly Cabernet Franc). The natural alcohol level is 14.5%, slightly above 2009, but the pH is a healthy 3.7, and the wine, like so many 2010s, is a paradox. The alcohols are often the highest ever yet the acidities are fresh and lively, and the wine crisp and refined. This is a deep purple-colored wine, with loads of opulence and fat, a voluptuous texture and tremendous purity. The style is a modern-day version of what they probably achieved in 1947, 1949 and 1950. Thienpont attributes the wine's freshness to the lack ofany real heat wave, the drought, and the very cool nights in September. This wine should drink well for 20-40 years. Drink: 2011 - 2051
The 2010 was, as Alexandre mentioned, a "merlot" year and there is 25% less Cabernet Franc in the blend. If I am being truly honest (and that has got me into a lot of trouble this year) I am missing that component on the nose. For sure, it has wonderful purity and focus, subtle raspberry and cranberry notes that are incredibly well defined, but I just miss that edginess that the Cabernet Franc imparts. Still, I cannot deny there is superb minerality here. The palate is quite broody on the entry: good density, a little softer than I expected, but with lovely spicy notes intertwined in the black, slightly tarry fruit. It is a little "gawky" after bottling so it will gain more harmony and composure. The finish is masculine, typical of the vintage, with a long tertiary aftertaste. Very fine...of course.
A blend of 86% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon cropped between 27th September and 5th October, the Vieux Chateau Certan delivers 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. It is presently being raised in 75% new oak. The nose is very refined with touches of blackberry, raspberry, black truffle and dark cherries with wonderful delineation considering the alcohol level. The palate is very well balanced with beautiful poise, perhaps more focused than the 2009 at this stage. Wonderful mineralité, there is superb precision and energy is this nascent VCC. Just superb.
Very small crop - 35 hl/ha (compared to 42 hl/ha in 2009). A Merlot vintage; only 8% Cabernet Franc. Average IPT is 90, with lots of acid. Very dark crimson. Pretty floral and scented and pretty. Very concentrated and intense. Lots of minerals on the finish. Lovely rich satisfying undertow. Hint of ripe pears oddly enough. Lovely completeness. Great balance and build. Very, very long. The strongest right-bank wine so far. Excellent layers. Very serious – a marvellously intellectual Merlot! Drink 2022-2038
Super broad and muscular, with lots of dark fig, currant and chocolate notes. A smoky tobacco edge on the back end is starting to emerge, and this begins to gush linzer torte and cassis with air. A very big wine. One of the stars of the appellation in 2010. 86 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc and 6 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, almost the same as 2009. Tasted non-blind. -J.M.
This is off the charts. I am blown away. This is so concentrated yet perfect. With chocolate, blackberry, coffee. Full and amazing in density and balanced. The grapes were tiny and the production was tiny. I am speechless. This may match the legendary 1947 or 1945.
More or less the same parcels and blend as '09 (86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet) but a different style. Less opulent and more classically defined. Lovely 'natural' fruit, huge concentration, more alcohol (14.5%), long, powerful tannins and the freshness that marks the vintage. A harmonious whole. Huge potential. Drink 2020-2060.
What is there not to like about this château and its amiable owner, Alexandre Thienpont? Sensitive,reflective and wonderfully humble, he is of the school who believes that wine makes itself. He is just the assistant who helps it along the way. And the wine certainly seems to be spectacular year after year.
The small sub-region of Pomerol is situated north-east of the industrious city of Libourne. Pomerol's soils are predominately iron-rich clay with a smattering of gravel that produce wines with extraordinary power and depth. As a result of this clay-dominance, it has the highest percentage of Merlot planted in all of Bordeaux. Certain châteaux are produced exclusively from this grape, but most incorporate smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as well. Despite its hefty (if not exclusive) proportion of Merlot, many people think of wines from this region as separate entities. As one wine aficionado stated recently, "It's not Merlot. It's Pomerol." Despite the region's small size, Pomerol contains some of the world's most sought after (and expensive) wines including Pétrus, Le Pin, Lafleur, l'Evangile and Vieux Château Certan. Unlike other Bordelais subregions, there is no system of classification. The châteaux are traded on reputation alone.