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.
The 2015 Vieux-Château-Certan is clearly very sophisticated on the nose, tight at first but opening with graphite and crushed stone infused black fruit. Brilliant delineation and focus here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and a wonderful bead of acidity. There is beguiling symmetry from start to finish that underpins this top Pomerol. One of the finest VCCs of the modern age. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.
The 2015 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 80% Merlot,, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, cropped between September 17 and October 2 at 42 hectoliters per hectare. The IPT is healthy 83 and the pH is 3.72, the alcohol 14.6%. Enough statistics. 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.
Very intense nose with strong mineral notes - lots of Cabernet Franc influence. Massive impact with really luscious ripe fruit but massive tannins too. Very satiny initially but underneath there is massive tannin. Lovely fragrant top note. Beautifully married. Very sophisticated and with many layers. All vineyard not winemaking. Very savoury - very unlike Merlot stereotype. Drink 2025-2045
A powerful and rich wine with super concentration and length. Deep and very rich. Glorious blackberry and black chocolate. Full and super velvety. A creamy texture of stone, chalk and lemon rind from the tannins and acidity. Wow. Loving it. The caressing character is so memorable. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc.
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.
This is a really complete wine with aromatic complexity, ripe fruit, beautifully suave texture and freshness and persistence on the finish. The tannins are abundant but fine, allowing the wine to build majestically on the palate. Harmonious as well. ‘It’s like 2010 with more Cabernet Franc (19%),’ says Alexandre Thienpont
(80 Merlot, 19 Cabernet Franc, 1 Cabernet Sauvignon) | 70% new oak. | 14.6% alc. | 42 hl/ha. | 83 IPT. 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.
“Like 2010, but with better Cabernet Franc” is how Alexandre Thienpoint describes his wine. It’s certainly an impressive Pomerol, but I preferred the former vintage. This is flirting with over-ripeness at 14.6% alcohol, but has the richness, fine tannins and fruit weight to cope. Sweet, dense and a little figgy with the Cabernet Franc providing an undertone of leafy freshness. Drink: 2022-35
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.