Vieux Chateau Certan Alexandre Thienpont Pomerol Bordeaux Wine Profile


Vieux Château Certan is one of the oldest Bordeaux wine properties in Pomerol. The estate’s history dates all the way back almost 1770! At that time, it was owned by the popular Demay family. The Demay’s were well known for their work in the Bordeaux wine trade. They were successful negociants and wine merchants. The wines were orginally sold under the name of Sertan.

In 1924, the estate was sold to the Belgian wine merchant, Georges Thienpont. property. Many successful wine merchants and negociants have owned various chateaux at one time or another. But this was a special case as the relationship to Georges Thienpont was important.

Thienpont wanted to know which of his client’s were buying his wine. But he needed to be discreet about it. That gave him the idea of placing the now famous pink capsule on the bottle. The capsule stood out making it easy for Thienpont to see if his clients were purchasing his wine without having to ask them.

The estate is currently managed by Alexandre Thienpont.

Vieux Chateau Certan sits on the top of the Pomerol plateau. It’s located directly across the street from Certan de May and not far from Petrus, Lafleur or Le Pin. Le Pin is owned by a different member of the Thienpont family. Alexandre runs Vieux Chateau Certan and manages the vineyards for Jacques Theinpont.

Vieux Chateau Certan is an elegant Pomerol. It’s full bodied, rich and offers ripe blackberry, plum, floral, chocolate and spice aromas. The texture can be pure silk and velvet. The wine is effortless to drink, yet it’s complex and ages well. The style varies depending on the vintage. Some years are better for Cabernet Franc which provides a more structured style of wine. Other vintages allow the Merlot to develop more ripeness and opulence along with a lush quality.

For an idea on which vintages were better for Merlot, Cabernet Franc or both;

2009 is a Merlot year, 2008 Cabernet Franc, 2007 Merlot, 2006 Cabernet Franc, 2005 Merlot, 2004 Cabernet Franc, 2003 Cabernet Franc (The vintage is considered an off vintage by Thienpont), 2002 Merlot, 2001 Merlot, 2000 Merlot and Cabernet Franc, 99 Merlot, 98 Merlot, (No Cabernet Franc made the blend, 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon), 97 Merlot, 96 Cabernet Franc and 95 favored Merlot.

Previously, I thought the best vintages, which only happen on rare occasions produce equally strong Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I changed my mind after tasting the amazing 2009, which is a year that favored Merlot. In that year, the blend is 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2009, the chateau produced on the best Pomerol’s as well as one of the top wines from the vintage.

The 13.5 hectares are planted on clay and gravel soil. The vineyards are planted to 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that average 35 years of age. Average production is 50,000 to 60,000 bottles.


  1. Hi Jeff

    My link is

    I’d be nice if you put it in your chapter “Links We like” and I put yours on my website later today.

    This year I went early to Bx because Syndicat Viticole Pessac-Léognan/Graves invited journalists for experiencing harvest and tasting wines at low-keyed estates. It was great experience and I met some guys who usually attend primeurs.

    You can check my impressions from the trip through following link:

    I’ve already checked your coverage of 2010 harvest – great read!

    Reading recent comments from various winemakers, I believe 2010 will have the edge over 2009. Very exciting!

  2. Hi Izak

    It’s good to see you over here. Thank you for the nice words.

    Of course we’d be happy to exchange links with you. What is your link?

    There will be some people who prefer 2008 Pomerol over 2009. 2008 is an excellent, classically styled vintage. 2009 is much more opulent and sexy. That might not be for everyone. I love it! I thought 2009 Vieux Chateau Certan was so good, I bought a case.

    If you want to read our coverage of 2010 Bordeaux wine harvest, we have published over 30 articles on the harvest so far.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    I prefer 2008 to 2009 as 2008 reminds me of great vintage for Pomerol, 1988. Agree that 2004 is great value for the money. Haven’t tasted 2005 after bottling but from barrel it was immense.

    Maybe all these vintages above will be outshined by 2010, which Alexandre Thienpont compares to 1950. This I read in Andrew Black’s Press Release email about new vintage in Bordeaux and Spain, which I receive roughly 4 times a year.

    I was during harvest 2010 in Bx – you can read report on my website.

    Btw, you have an excellent website! Could we exchange links?

  4. Hamish… You have great taste. I’m with you on the 04, 08 and 09, as well as 98, 00, 01 & 05. For me, the 08 is at the bottom of that list and the 09 is at the top with 04 being the best value. What do you think?

  5. Interesting post Jeff. I find Alexandre Thienpoint one of the more interesting and under stated characters of Bordeaux. He is always calm and a fascinating person to listen to regarding his wines. I adore the 2004, 2008 and 2009 VCC. But the others are not too bad either.

Post your comments or questions now