Market Insight: Vieux Chateau Certan still appears to be hugely undervalued. It may be slightly more available than some of its peers (which it is safe to count Lafleur et al amongst) but the price really just doesn't seem to have quite caught up with the quality. Buy.L&S (May 2021)
75cl bottles (wood case of 6)
* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.
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. Drinking range: 2035 - 2060 Rating: 96-98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 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. Drinking range: 2028 - 2060 Rating: 96-98 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (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. Rating: 97-99 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (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! Drinking range: 2029 - 2069 Rating: 98-100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (May 2021)
Extraordinary clarity and brilliance on the nose with ink and iodine, blackberry and blueberry. Really perfumed already. Full-bodied with fine tannins and superb depth and length. I love the complexity and the great texture. Energetic finish. Rating: 98-99 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2021)
Concentrated and complex flavours with a silky, velvety and supremely seductive texture, alongside a ton of energy, freshness and juice. It has dense muscular tannins, and is going to age beautifully. As it opens you get the aromatics coming out, and the Merlot fleshy fruits become generous and welcoming, opulent without being tiring. A little less Cabernet Franc in the blend than normal because one of the three plots has currently been pulled up before replanting. Harvest September 14 to 29. 3.77pH. A yield of 30hl/ha because of the dry weather through the summer followed by the flashes of heat in September, among lowest ever (similar to 2010). Drinking range: 2027 - 2042 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)
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.
Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.
Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.
Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.
Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.
All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.
Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.
Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.
- Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
- Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
- Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
- Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
- We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.
Practical notes - how it works
We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.
Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.
Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.
One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-
- +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
- +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
- +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
- +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.
Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.