Vieux Chateau Certan The chateau produces wine in vintages that favor Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc or Merlot. 2010 as well as 2009 are vintages where the Merlot clearly excelled and became the preponderance of the blend. The assemblage in this vintage is 86%Merlot, 8% Cab Franc 6% Cab Sauvignon. This is even more dominated by Merlot than the 2009, which came in at 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc. Shaped by low yields and high alcohol, the wine clocked in at 14.5% alcohol. The IPT levels are equally high at 90. As a point of reference, this level of IPT recorded in 2010 is the same as the chateau recorded in their press wine a decade ago.
Alexandre Thienpont, the lanky, soft spoken, bespectacled and witty owner of the property compared the two most recent vintages with previous Bordeaux legends from the property. He said, “2010 is close to 1950, while 2009 resembles 1948.” When asked why neither vintage reminded him of 1947, he slyly replied, “The 47 was even more potent!” He added, “The 1948 was the silkier wine of the pair.” If God could grant me one wine wish, it might be to find out for myself I casually mentioned. Theinpont smiled. I questioned him if they had any old bottles left and he shook his head from left to right, indicating no. He concluded with, his family liked to drink far too much. We both laughed and began tasting his newest vintage.
He added, “The 1948 was the silkier wine of the pair.” If God could grant me one wine wish, it might be to find out for myself I casually mentioned. Theinpont smiled. I questioned him if they had any old bottles left and he shook his head from left to right, indicating no. He concluded with, his family liked to drink far too much. We both laughed and began tasting his newest vintage.
Having spent a good amount of time with Thienpont over the years, I know he prefers vintages favoring either Cabernet Franc, or Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends. Yet, he made me keenly aware 2009 and 2010 are reference years for the property. I questioned him about the dichotomy. He tackled the issue saying that while he realizes the wines of 2009 and 2010 are extraordinary, for a meal, he still prefers vintages like 2001. His answer was a complicated as his wine. I’m going to discuss this with him when we have the opportunity for lunch over a few bottles the next time I am in Bordeaux.
2010 Vieux Chateau Certan resembles dark, purple ink. Exotic liqueur aromas, plums, truffle, flowers, chocolate and spice aromas are found with little effort. The mouth filling wine paints your palate with sexy, ripe, liquid silk sensations. Spice, rich black licorice, pure plum and blackberry flavors coat your taste receptors. The long, seamless, intense, pure finish was too good to spit. When Alexandre was not looking, I put the wine where it belonged, twice! Sadly, this will not be cheap. However, if you’re seeking a historic Pomerol legend in the making, this is the wine to buy. 99-100 Pts