Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Vieux Château Certan


Address: 33500 Pomerol

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 51 17 23



Very classy stuff here, historically Vieux Château Certan used to lead the appellation until the rise of Chateau Pétrus in the post-war period. Recent vintages are in a similar league if different style. I have something of an attachment to the estate in that it was the first truly fine wine I bought by the case in the late 1980s [the 1982]. 2012 and 2013 tasted recently are real successes and amongst the leading wines of the appellation and all of Bordeaux.

Vineyard/Terrior: 13.5 hectares on gravel and sandy clay planted with 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking/Elévage: 2 to 3 week cuvaison in wooden tanks followed by 18-22 months ageing in new oak, 50% new each year.

Tasting notes:

  • 2014 Vibrant and healthy colour; beautiful aromas – plum and creamy blackcurrant and black cherry notes; ripe and clean; spices; creamy note to the palate – very harmonious with good fresh acidity; very attractive prospect; proportional and balanced. Probably will fill out more too. Feels very complete and finely crafted. [80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 1% cabernet Sauvignon, pH3.62 TA3.68, IPT 63 13.4% alc 39 hl/ha Tasted 3rd April ’15. Drink 2022-2030. 94-96+
  • 2013 Mid depth; glossy looking, purple at edge; plums and blackcurrant fruit; spices; great purity; a real stand out aromatically; delicious palate; very nicely balanced with real delicacy; some material here but extraction held in check; very good finish and length. Like the finest Grand Cru Burgundy this. It would be my pick of the 2013 Pomerols tasted. Great clarity. Tiny quantities. [92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 22hl/ha, TA 3.4, pH 3.65 IPT 61, 13% alc]. Drink 2018-2030. Tasted April 4, 2014 at VCC. 92-94
  • 2012 Deep colour; pure at edge, fresh and healthy looking; lots of red and blue fruits; great Merlot; lots of black cherry, sweet plums and perfume; very pretty; palate very balanced with real delicacy and verve. Structure and density there too. Fresh and ripe. 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon 94-96+ Tasted at the Chateau Friday 12 April 2013
  • 1997 Red; warm nose of mature merlot and oak – some toasty elements; palate mature, soft and ready to drink. Not especially memorable but nevertheless ok restaurant wine [which was where it was drunk!]. Tricky year. 84/100 Oct’ 06
  • 1988 Warm nose; some leather and substance; tobacco and tapenade notes; chocolates on the palate; tannins a bit chunky; quite chewy. Very good. 91/100 Mar ‘08
  • 1982 Mahoghany; aroma of tea, red fruits, lacks some richness; palate has a briary bricky notes, bold and mature; possibly starting to fade; doesn’t have the seductive nose it once had [I bought a case in 1987, now just a couple of bottles left] – old claret feel starting to creep in. Not one of the best ’82 Pomerols. 86/100 Dec ‘05      

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