- Vieux Château Certan
- Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon
- Case size
- Available Later
Neal Martin, May 2021,
The 2020 Vieux Château Certain is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc (no Cabernet Sauvignon this year). Drought retarded vigor, particularly with respect to the older vines, and picking was carried out September 14–24 for the Merlot and September 28–29 for the Cabernet Franc. Examined over a couple of hours, it delivers intense and quite opulent black cherries, blueberry and shavings of black truffle and iodine, becoming increasingly floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive structure and bags of freshness. There is plenty of sappy black fruit, lip-smacking underlying salinity and a finish that is a doppelganger for Lafleur (despite containing less Cabernet Franc). A gorgeous VCC that exudes both density and refinement. Drink 2028 - 2060
Wine Advocate, May 2021,
The 2020 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked on the 14th to the 24th of September for the Merlot, then on the 28th and 29th of September for the Cabernet Franc. The pH is 3.77 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Deep purple-black colored, it needs considerable coaxing, swirling and a lot of patience before it finally lets rip an intoxicating perfume of ripe, juicy black plums, Morello cherries, candied violets, black truffles and crushed rocks, giving way to hints of black tea, molten licorice and Sichuan pepper, plus a waft of dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers achingly ripe, silt-like tannins and shimmering freshness that melds with the black fruits and earthy layers with jaw-dropping seamlessness, finishing with layer upon layer of mineral and savory suggestions and, finally, a gorgeous floral whisper. There are going to be two ways to approach this: 1) Just let the remarkably sensual, inexplicable beauty of it wash over you or 2) Try to unravel all those intricate layers and have it blow you mind. Either way, this is simply an incredible achievement—bravo Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont! Drink 2029-2069
Antonio Galloni, June 2021,
A powerful, vertical wine, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is endowed with tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Everything about the 2020 is dialed up. The fruit is huge, as are the tannins. Black cherry, licorice, new leather, spice and bittersweet chocolate saturate the palate in a wine that conveys opulence from start to finish. Yields were just 30 hectoliters per hectare, well below the norm of 40-42. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, in other words a high percentage of Franc. There is no Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend this year, the result of dehydration on the vine. The 2020 is fabulous. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. Drink 2035 - 2060
Wine Cellar Insider, May 2021,
Inky dark in color, it takes no time to discover the truffle, violets, black plum liqueur, Valrhona chocolate, spice, espresso bean, black raspberry and hints of blue fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, and incredibly concentrated, the wine feels like polished velvet as it caresses your palate. Dense, rich and powerful, yet weightless, balanced and fresh, the finish crosses the 60 second mark and keeps on going! The level of purity, concentration and depth of flavor here is matched by its sensuality. If Caligula were serving wine, this would be his choice. This is better than the 2009, 2016 and probably 2018. This will be one of the legendary vintages for Vieux Chateau Certan. It is a serious contender for wine of the vintage! The wine blends 85% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. The harvest took place September 14-September 24 for the Merlot. Cabernet Franc was picked September 28-September 30. Yields were low at only 30 hectoliters per hectare.
Jancis Robinson, April 2021,
Deep, intense colour. Lovely open expression of fruit on the nose with floral notes and plenty of lift and relief. Palate ripe but vinous and sappy, the tannins finely honed offering a velvety texture. Contained power and concentration behind. Slight glow but remains digeste. Another top year. (JL) 14.5% Drink 2030 – 2055
Jeb Dunnuck, May 2021,
Always one of my favorite wines in just about every vintage, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is another magical wine in the making, revealing a dense purple hue as well as stunning notes of cassis, bright cherries, chocolate, and flowers. It hits the palate with full-bodied richness, perfect tannins, a dense, layered mid-palate, and one blockbuster of a finish. This is unquestionably one of the biggest, richest, sexiest wines in the vintage, and my money is on it flirting with perfection and delivering 30-40 years of prime drinking. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested all in September, and hitting 14.5% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.77.
Vieux Château Certan
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.