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VIEUX CHÂTEAU CERTAN

2017 Pomerol

Grapes Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Right Bank
Sub-district Pomerol & Lalande de Pomerol
Village Pomerol
ABV 14.2%

81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The frost was not an issue here. Lovely pronounced fruit on the nose. Some cooked meat too. Fruits of the forest on the palate - silky smooth at first, then mouth coating tannins. The structure is there - plenty of tension too, Mineral stone character adds to the complexity of the finish. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2018)

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It is the first vintage to contain Cabernet Sauvignon for several years. It has a very pure, Merlot-driven bouquet with black cherries, redcurrant and wild strawberry scents, just a hint of iris and incense in the background. The 70% new oak is nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin, a deep well of black and red fruit interwoven with allspice, truffle, white pepper and a little sage. This Vieux Château Certan manifests more complexity and profundity as it aerates, delivering genuine, spine-tingling mineralité on the persistent finish. It gains even more precision when I return to the property to re-taste it again. Drinking range: 2023 - 2050 Rating: 94-96 Neal Martin, vinous.com(May 2018)

Composed of 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Vieux Château Certan gives up gorgeous black raspberries, crushed black currants and warm black berries on the nose with chocolate-covered cherries, violets and star anise suggestions plus black truffles and wood smoke. The palate is medium to full-bodied with wonderful concentration in the mid-palate and firm, very finely pixelated tannins, with seamless freshness and fantastic length. Rating: 96-98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com(Apr 2018)

Extremely bright, dark fruit aromas are joined by hints of gooseberry and redcurrant in the mouth, but a deeper, richer cassis comes through on the mid-palate. The high level of acidity emphasises a floral note, yet this has an austerity that is more pronounced than in recent vintages, which should settle in over time. This is a fairly concentrated vintage at VCC, more than at many properties, and was their fifth earliest harvest in the past 20 years, similar to 2011 in terms of dates, although this time it was in three stages, from 12 September to 2 October. This is different in profile to the 2016, with more Cabernet Sauvignon (planted in 2012). It's an elegant style with pure fruit; an extremely focussed and linear wine that's far from exuberant. No frost here, so a final yield of 37hl/ha. 3.75pH. IPT 73. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)

Good yields here for old vines (mostly 1932–82 and a small parcel of younger Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2012, Cabernet Franc planted 1959). 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% (young-vines) Cabernet Sauvignon, which they included for aromatic lift. According to Alexandre Thienpont, it is 'un Bordeaux de référence’ (benchmark bordeaux). Deepest crimson with black core. Not much aroma at first because the sample is cool. Rich, firm, dark and more savoury than usual, darker-fruited. Great freshness. Has impressive depth without weight. Very fine shape, great refinement even now. Feels like it is coiled tightly for the future. Dark beauty with just a very slight char on the finish and a long graphite aftertaste. Cool nights kept the freshness. Drinking range: 2027 - 2047 Rating: 18.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2018)

This is a dense and compact center palate with a solid and pointed intensity. Full body, firm and silky tannins and an energetic finish. Complete. Harmonious. Rating: 97-98 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2018)

This was picked in three stages, September 12th and 13th, 18th and 19th, and 25th until October 2nd. The yield is 37 hl/ha, the blend 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is more Cabernet Sauvignon than in some recent years, the Thienponts having replanted recently on gravel soils. In 2015 and 2016, both warmer years, they did not do so well, but in 2017 the quality is good enough for the grand vin. The alcohol is 14.2%, the IPT 73 and the acidity 3.4 g/l. There was no frost here at all here, and the rest of the growing season went smoothly. It has a fresh, ripe, dusty lift on the nose, showing some fine Cabernet character but in a riper and more harmonious style than some right bank wines, with some very pure and restrained damson fruit, tense rather than plush, but with a floral perfume, very complete in style. This character comes through on the palate, fresh and pure, very tense, with dried and desiccated fruits, pressed flowers, fresh and very complete. It is so fragrant and floral, with a wrapping of perfumed oak, and it comes framed by some very ripe, dense, tightly knit and dense tannins. A very composed wine this year, with a wonderfully broad structure. Impressive. Rating: 96-98 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2018)

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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