Chateau Certan de May Pomerol Bordeaux, Complete Guide


Learn everything about Chateau Certan de May Pomerol with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Certan de May History, Overview

Chateau Certan de May takes its name from the long-standing tradition of honoring the founding owner, the Demay family. The Demay’s were the first owners of the Pomerol property. In the late 1700s, the vineyards of what is thought of as Vieux Chateau Certan and Certan de May were part of one large Pomerol property.

The estate was divided after the French Revolution into smaller plots. The Demay family obtained 5 hectares of land that was called Petit-Certan. The Demay’s gave a new name to their Right Bank vineyard combining their family name and that of the vineyard.

They renamed the vineyard, Chateau Certan de May. While it’s almost impossible to find vintages of any Pomerol from the late 1800s or even the first few decades of the 20th century, it’s even harder to spot a bottle or even a label of pre-war wines from Certan de May.

This could be due to the fact that for some unknown reason, the wines for a period of time in the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th century were actually produced at a different location, Chateau La Croix de Gay. Chateau Certan de May remained with the Demay family until 1925 when they decided to sell the property to the Barrau-Badard family.

Still owned by the Barrau-Badard family, today, Jean-Luc Barreau is the director of the estate and the marketing of Certan de May is managed by Ets Moueix. From 1967 to 1974, the vineyard was farmed and the wines were made by the owner of Petit Village, Bruno Prats, who also owned Chateau Cos dEstournel in St. Estephe at the time. Michel Rolland is also part of the wine-making team today.

Chateau Certan de May Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 5.5-hectare vineyard of Certan de May is planted to 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is one single block of vines, which is unusual for Pomerol. Located just across the street from Vieux Chateau Certan, on the southeast portion of the Pomerol plateau, the terroir of Certan de May consists of clay and gravel soils.

The terroir can be divided into approximately 70% deep clay and 30% gravel. The vines are on average, close to 40 years of age. But they have old vines that with some vines being much older, having survived the frost of 1956.

Most of their vineyard is just behind the small chateau and due west of the chateau, which is only a long, stone’s throw from Petrus and not too far from Lafleur. The vineyard is one of the few that has remained basically unchanged since its inception.

The grapes are vinified in temperature-regulated, stainless steel vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. On average, the wines are aged in between 60% new, French oak barrels to as much as 80%, new, French oak barrels.

The wine of Chateau Certan de May is aged in between 60% and 80% new, French oak barrels for 12 to 14 months before bottling. The amount of new oak used depends on the character and quality of the vintage. On average, the estate produces 2000 cases of Chateau Certan de May per year.

The decade of the 1980s was strong for the wines of Certan de May. 1982, 1985, and 1988 are all strong wines. But the quality of the estate slipped from that point forward until 2005, which marked a new era of resurgent quality for Certan de May. From that point forward, the wines have shown definite improvement. Fortunately for consumers, prices for a Pomerol of this quality remain more than fair.

The best vintages of Chateau Certan de May are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2000, 1998, 1990, 1988, 1985, 1982, 1971, 1964, 1961, 1959, 1955, 1950, 1947 and 1945. Though it should be noted that starting with 2015, the wines have shown more depth, complexity, and richness, which is a return to what made the estate so great in the 40s and 50s.

Chateau Certan de May Character and Style

Certan de May is a hit-or-miss property. In the best vintages, it is a richly textured, elegant, and even slightly flamboyant wine with ample ripe berry, truffle, mocha, spice, plum, and tobacco notes. The plummy, silky, textured finish is a hedonistic treat. The wines have the ability to age and evolve as well.

However, in some vintages, Certan de May lacks concentration and can be on the light side. After a lackluster period, from about 1985 to 2008, the 2009 Certan de May marked a renewed commitment to quality.

When to Drink Chateau Certan de May, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Certan de May is much better with at least 8-10 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours or more. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.

Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Certan de May offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-25 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Certan de May with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Certan de May is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Certan de May is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.

Chateau Certan de May is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms, and pasta.

Château Certan de May Wine Tasting Notes

30 Vintages 219,522 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 95

The first thing you notice is the pronounced note of cinnamon followed by toast, plums, wet earth, violets and dark cocoa. Deeply colored, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, silky, fresh, lifted and polished. The spicy finish, with its refined cherries and plums is long, vibrant and sensuous. This will age and evolve for at least 2 decades or more with little effort. 94-96 Pts

1,234 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 95

The only way you can find more floral aromatics is by walking into a flower shop! This is one of the most sensuous wines produced by Certan de May. Lush, silky, long and sexy, this is bottled decadence that is made better by its length, complexity and purity. 94-96 Pts

2,704 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 95

Medium-bodied, elegant, silky, fresh and refined, the purity in the sweet, lifted red fruits, length and sensuous textures along with all the ripe red berries, chocolate, espresso, licorice and earthy notes in the finish hits the spot. 95 Points

822 Views   Tasted

Sensuous, silky, plush and graceful, this wine hits the spot -- that is if you like velvet texture, dark red berries, chocolate, fresh espresso and truffle in your wine. 94-96 Pts

2,949 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 92

Floral with licorice, truffle, plum and earthy aromatics, the medium bodied, elegant wine is lambskin polished and seemingly right off the vine. The dark fruits offer sweetness coupled with refined textures in the finish. 92 Points

2,867 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 94

If you're looking for truffle and cherry notes, you came to right place. Add in soft, silky textures, polished tannins and a blast of ripe, sweet cherries with licorice and lift in the finish and you get the picture. This is substantially better in bottle than from barrel. 94 Points

2,776 Views   Tasted

This wine is floral, sensuous, medium bodied, elegant and refined. Instead of weight and density, you'll find more purity, stylishness and clarity. The tannins are silky and there is lift in the finish. 92 Points

3,554 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 93

Sensuous fresh, sweet, round and supple, this wine feels like silk on your palate. The ripe, plum and cherry notes attention seeking notes in the end stick with you. The wine was made from a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 92 - 94 Pts

3,678 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 90

Silky, fresh, sweet, medium bodied and already showing a soft, sensuous quality with plumy fruits at its core, this wine will drink well early. 89-91 Pts

4,127 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 89

With kirsch, cherry griotte and earth on the nose, this soft, forward wine has ruby color and medium body, ending with clean, spicy plum character. 88-90 Pts

3,375 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 92

Flowers, chocolate, sweet plum and black raspberry notes, lead to a silky, smooth, refined, elegant wine that will improve with age. 92 Points

3,463 Views   Tasted

Flowers, earth, licorice, oak and cherry liqueur create the complex aromatics. On the palate the wine is plush, polished and round with spicy red berries in the finish. 90-92 Pts

4,502 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 90

Medium bodied, soft, silky, earthy and fresh, the bright, red toned fruit shines through in this medium bodied, soft, ready to drink wine. 90 Points

3,576 Views   Tasted

Deep ruby in color with earth, truffle, cherry blossom and cocoa scents, supple texture with polished, fresh plum and cherry sensations in the finish. 92-93 Pts

3,881 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 92

Medium bodied, soft, elegant, fresh and loaded with red and black plums, light truffle and cocoa overtones, this refined wine is ready to go with just a splash decant. 92 Points

4,322 Views   Tasted

Elegant, soft, smooth and refined, with a fresh plum, black cherry and earthy character. Give this a few more years to develop additional complexities. The wine was made from blending 85% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc. 91 Points

5,994 Views   Tasted

Sensuous, round and plummy, the wine is packed with ripe cherries, plum, chocolate, floral and coffee bean notes. Soft and silky, drink it young if you must, or age it for a real treat. 92 Points

6,354 Views   Tasted

Certan de May Tuffles, flowers, blackberry and plum aromas meld with supple textures and round tannins that end in a soft, chocolate, black cherry finish 91-93 Pts

4,014 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 94

The distinct floral edge shines brightly here. Silky, soft, refined and sensuous, the medium bodied show-stopper is dripping with truffle infused plums, cherry and bitter chocolate. This is quite nice to drink today, and it is only going to get better over the next decade or longer. 94 Points

3,552 Views   Tasted

Walk into your flower store with a bag of truffles and box of cherries you get an idea about how good this smells. Add the sweet, pure, fresh black raspberries, kirsch and licorice and you're caught up with the taste. Finish everything with sexy, opulent, finesse styled textures and you're good to go. For a Pomerol at this level of quality, from a legendary vintage, it's worth buying. 94 Points

7,839 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 91

Truffle, cocoa powder, violets and cherries grab your focus. The soft, silky textures and sweet, fresh, red berries leave a good impression on your palate. This seems like it's going to get even better with age. 91 Points

4,587 Views   Tasted

Flowers, earth, black cherry and leafy aromas are easy to find. Medium bodied and showing a touch of green from slightly under ripe berries, the wine needs more time to flesh out and develop. 90 Points

4,694 Views   Tasted

08 Château Certan de May lacks concentration, but still shows a lot of rich, velvety black fruit, flowers, and spice on the nose. An elegantly styled wine that finishes with a big dose of plummy chocolate. 88-91 Pts

3,226 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 92

This could turn out better than the 2005, with its structured style, fresh, juicy ripe, blackberry and plum, chocolate and truffle personality. Rich, concentrated and broad shouldered, structured, with tannins to age, I’d wait until 2020 before starting to open my bottles. 92 Points

5,000 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 92

Plum, truffle, chocolate and earthy scents open to a concentrated, rich, a plush textured wine filled with fresh plum and black cherries. Structured to age, give this until at least 2015 before you start popping a cork on this delicious Pomerol. 92 Points

12,949 Views   Tasted

This was my first taste of the 2005 Certan de May and I was excited the moment I caught a whiff of all the floral notes, cocoa, black cherry, smoke, earth and chocolate covered plum scents. Rich, supple, round and built to age, this is an exciting, sensuous, silky Pomerol. Give it another 5-8 years and enjoy the fireworks. This has not moved in price since it was offered a future. For a Pomerol of this quality, it's well worth the current tariff. 92 Points

10,472 Views   Tasted
2004 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 90

Medium bodied, earthy and filled with plums, mocha and earth, this soft, round wine is ready for prime time drinking. 90 Points

3,090 Views   Tasted
2001 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 89

Elegant, medium bodied, bordering on the light side of the style range, this Pomerol wine is already mature and lacks the stuffing for further development. Dominated by bright, red cherries and earth, I'd drink this over the next 5 years to preserve the rest of the fruit. 89 Points

3,481 Views   Tasted
2000 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 87

Showing not quite as well as it did the last time I tasted it, the light fruit is starting to fade. Drink this crisp, bright red berry centered wine sooner than later. 87 Points

3,233 Views   Tasted

Already developing secondary characteristics with its truffle, chocolate and plum aromatics. The wine was medium bodied and lightly textured. The tannins did not feel fully ripe. 89 Points

4,432 Views   Tasted
1998 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 87

This light Pomerol is dominated by bright red fruits, herbs and earth, finishing with a tart, earthy, spicy, red berry finish. This requires consumption as it's probably going to drop more fruit sooner than later. From such a good vintage, it was a disappointment. 87 Points

5,679 Views   Tasted
1995 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 89

This Bordeaux wine offers an earthy, black fruit, tobacco and spice nose. Medium/full bodied and with a hint of austerity, the already mature wine ends with soft dark and red fruits along with a hint of green flavors. This is not my favorite style of Pomerol due to its hard edges. This should probably be drunk up sooner than later. 89 Points

4,601 Views   Tasted

With some fruit and aromatics, this medium bodied wine is not without merit. But if you're looking for a true Pomerol experience, this vintage of Certan de May is not going to deliver it. 85 Points

4,983 Views   Tasted
1990 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 88

Nice, but clearly slowing fading. Better on the complex, earthy nose than on the medium bodied palate. This requires consumption over the next few years. 88 Points

5,037 Views   Tasted

Already fully mature and surprisingly light for the vintage, the herbal, spicy, blackberry nose is the best part of the wine. The light entry and short finish are nothing to get excited about. Drink up. 88 Points

3,262 Views   Tasted
1989 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 88

Not much, but a bit past full-maturity, and already on the gentle slope of decline, the wine is soft, medium-bodied, elegantly textured, but the red plums and cherry fruits are fading, with much more truffle, tobacco leaf, forest floor, olive, and herbal notes. Drink up if you have any. 88 Points

1,426 Views   Tasted
1988 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 93

Truffle city, with black cherries, earth and cocoa to add to the fun. Medium/full bodied, with soft, smooth textures and a mix of truffle and cherry in the finish. Fully mature, if you're sitting on some of this, drink up. It's not getting any better from here. 93 Points

2,672 Views   Tasted

Working my way through a case of this wine purchased all those years ago. This was the best bottle I recall having in a while. Light red in color, this medium bodied, soft wine offers a nose of floral, cherry and truffle notes. Smooth and easy on the palate, the spicy, black raspberry and earthy notes carry through. Though this was fresher than previous bottles tasted, there is no reason to age this further. 92 Points

3,966 Views   Tasted

Starting to fade from its peak, with little effort, mature aromas of truffle, forest floor, cherries, earth and spice are easy to find. Soft, with a slight rustic edge to the texture, the wine finishes with sweet, red, spice cherries and hints of dark chocolate. I'm planning on drinking my remaining bottles over the next 3 - 5 years. 91 Points

2,992 Views   Tasted

Trumpets and violins may have been calling Jimi's name in the distance, but truffles and violets were looking for me in this delicious, mature Pomerol. Further complicating matters, chocolate, earth, plums, coco, coffee, blackberry and leather that reminded me of an old baseball mitt. Soft, lush, round, opulent chocolate covered black plums felt smooth on your palate. This elegant wine finished with more chocolate, plum, cherry and strawberry jam sensations. This is fully mature, but well stored examples should deliver this much pleasure for at least 3-5 more years. This is bottle number 6 from an original case. The previous bottle was not at this level. But this bottle of Pomerol was beautiful. 94 Points

3,438 Views   Tasted
1986 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 87

I remember how this wine showed years ago. The last decade has not been nice to this previously charming wine. The tough, tannic side of the vintage shows through giving the wine a rustic mouth feel. There is fruit to be found, but the austere character will probably become more pronounced with additional bottle age. 87 Points

5,030 Views   Tasted
1985 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 93

The best bottle of this I've had in ages showed off its truffle, cherry, wet earth and forest aromatics with little effort. Medium bodied, fresh, silky and charming, the finish was focused on its sweet, fresh, earthy plum and cherry fruit. No further aging and a simple, splash decant is all that's needed here. 93 Points

2,112 Views   Tasted

Fully mature, with an attention seeking nose of truffle, tobacco, plums and cherries, this medium/full bodied, elegant wine should be consumed as it's not going to improve. 94 Points

3,807 Views   Tasted

Earth, truffle, plums, spice and wet leaves fill your nose. Rich, concentrated and filled with chocolate covered plums and blackberries in the mouth. Silk and velvet texture. A long finish leaves you wanting more. 94 Points

3,202 Views   Tasted

This ruby colored wine delivers aromatics with a blend of tea, cassis, plums, spices and forest scents. In the mouth, layers of sexy, ripe black fruits awaken your senses. Velvety and plush with a long, spicy, fruit filled finish 94 Points

2,993 Views   Tasted
1982 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 94

Refined, elegant, sweet, fresh red cherries, truffle and a hint of dark chocolate in its character, that pairs well with its silky, texture. There is no need to age this any longer. 94 Points

4,510 Views   Tasted

Nice, old school Pomerol with soft, but slightly rustic textures, sweet, earthy red fruits and round finish. Not as concentrated as other bottles I've tasted, this still showed a lot of charm. 93 Points

3,243 Views   Tasted

Rustic, old school style of Pomerol. There is a lot of fruit, and compelling, earth, truffle and plum aromatics, but this is not a soft, sexy, polished Pomerol. It's on the traditional side of the style range. Still young, I am sure this will have a long life. You should just know what you're getting in the style of the wine. 92 Points

4,744 Views   Tasted

This delicious Pomerol opens with truffle, licorice, spice box, plum, forest floor, cocoa and tobacco scents. Plush, round and supple in texture, with ample concentration of flavor, this is only now beginning to reveal it's charms at close to 30 years of age! The wine ends with chocolate covered black plums, spice black cherry. 95 Points

4,078 Views   Tasted

Licorice, coffee, spices and toasty oak married well with the fruit. Tannic. High acid? 95 Pt nose, 85 Pt palate splits the difference at 90 Pts. 90 Points

4,505 Views   Tasted
1979 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 90

The palate displays Black fruit, Plums and Strawberries with a silky finish. This is also at its peak and will not improve 90 Points

2,442 Views   Tasted
1975 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 89

Spicy plums and earthy notes are easy to find in the aromatics. Austere in style, this traditionally styled, brawny, masculine Pomerol is big in style, but the length of the finish does not carry through. 89 Points

4,033 Views   Tasted
1970 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 80

This hit prime time years ago. By the time Duran Duran was topping the charts, I imagine this wine was already slipping into senility. For lovers of tart, tannic, fruitless, charmless, light bodied wine with complex aromatics and no fruit, this wine is for you. 80 Points

4,008 Views   Tasted
1937 Château Certan de May  (Pomerol) 83

Brick in color, with orange accents, the wine offers cocoa, red cherries, smoke, tobacco and spice in the nose. The perfume is definitely more interesting than than fading, tart, cranberry and pomegranate palate. 83 Points

2,012 Views   Tasted