|Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv
|Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol
85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alexandre told us that the young Cabernet Franc vines really suffered from the drought - when the rain came it was too late for them to start ripening the grapes again. The result is a VCC with 85% Merlot. Total silk, but rich, weighty, glossy and sappy. Amazing that so much Merlot can make a wine that is so controlled and restrained and cool and elegant. Freshness and bright acidity combine with full ripeness on the long finish. There's a floral grace and rose petal freshness as well as astonishing density. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 95-96 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Vieux Château Certan has a perfumed, floral bouquet of red fruit infused with violet and incense; hints of iodine and seaweed emerge with time. This is certainly very complex, bordering on profound. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and layers of red fruit laced with cedar and desiccated orange peel, leading to a persistent and utterly spellbinding finish. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2024 - 2060 Rating: 99 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)
Just as good, yet in a different style, the 2016 Vieux Château Certan shows cooler notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, underbrush, graphite, violets, and crushed rocks. Deep, incredibly full-bodied and powerful, yet like the 2015, weightless and sensationally textured, it glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Expansive, deep, beautifully concentrated, and flawlessly constructed, it builds incrementally on the palate and has a finish that lasts for over a minute. It’s another legendary wine from this estate to enjoy over the coming 30-40 years. Rating: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
I have been fortunate to follow the 2016 Vieux Château Certan almost from the beginning, starting with a tasting of several lots from barrel in early January 2017, in which Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont showed me the wines in a sequence arranged by the year of planting of various parcels. Even then, it was clear, the 2016 had the potential to be a majestic wine. Now, from bottle, it is every bit as captivating as early tastings suggested it would be. Sweet red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice infuse this exquisitely beautiful, layered Pomerol. Alexandre Thienpont adds that the harvest was saved by September rains that gave the parched vines just enough water to restore some of the balance that had been lost earlier in the season. Put simply, the 2016 VCC has it all. Drinking range: 2026 - 2066 Rating: 100 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jan 2019)
Vieux Château Certan
Founded in the 16th century, the Vieux Chateau Certan has kept its name since 1745. In 1924 it was acquired by Georges Thienpont. Situated in the heart of Pomerol, this Château is the oldest cru of the appellation. Since its early days it has gained a reputation of being one of the rarest and most prestigious crus in the world. It is hailed for the exquisite finesse of its wines, the elegance of the chartreuse chateau surrounded by age-old trees, the order and quality of the vineyard – Vieux Château Certan inspires and fascinates wine connoisseurs around the world.
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