Learn everything about Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Vieux Chateau Certan History, Overview
Vieux Chateau Certan is one of the oldest Bordeaux estates in Pomerol. The estate’s history dates all the way back to the mid 1700’s when it was founded by Jean Demay de Certan.
The original chateau was constructed closer to 1770. The Demay’s were well known for their work in the Bordeaux wine trade. They were successful negociants and wine merchants. The wines of what we know today as Vieux Chateau Certan were originally sold under the name of Sertan.
The vineyards of Vieux Chateau Certan were much larger in their formative years. The land was split and divided after the French Revolution and again through sales transactions that gave birth to Certan de May and various other estates that continue using the name Certan in their title.
In its formative years, the wine of Vieux Chateau Certan was considered to be among the top, if not the best wine of the Pomerol appellation. The more things change, the more they stay the same as Vieux Chateau Certan is once again considered one of the best wines of Pomerol.
In 1924, everything changed for the right bank estate of Vieux Chateau Certan when it was sold to the popular Belgian Bordeaux wine merchant, Georges Thienpont. Many successful wine merchants and negociants have owned various chateaux at one time or another. In fact, Georges Thienpont was already a successful land owner in St. Emilion.
He was also the owner of Chateau Troplong Mondot. But Vieux Chateau Certan was a special case, as the relationship to Georges Thienpont was important for the wines success and image in the marketplace. Thienpont wanted to know which of his client’s were buying Vieux Chateau Certan. But he needed to be discreet about it.
That gave him the idea of placing the now famous pink capsule on the bottles of Vieux Chateau Certan. The capsule stood out in collectors cellars making it easy for Thienpont to see if his clients were purchasing his wine without having to ask them. Plus, pink was the color of the moment for Parisian designers, making the look of the bottle quite chic.
That was a very savvy marketing move. However, his decision to sell most of the wine from Vieux Chateau Certan through his own Belgian negociant company did not allow Vieux Chateau Certan the international exposure it required or deserved, as the wine was not available from most of the negociant trade.
That did not change for decades. It was not until until some point in the 1980’s that Vieux Chateau Certan was available as a future, selling en primeur on the Place de Bordeaux with the other top wines.
While the decade of the 1920’s produced some strong wines for Vieux Chateau Certan, the 1930’s were not so kind. Due to the blend of the depression coupled with poor weather, Vieux Chateau Certan did not even produce wine in 1931, 1932 and 1933. Those difficult years forced him to sell Chateau Troplong Mondot.
The following decade was much kinder as the wines produced by Vieux Chateau Certan in 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 were all legendary vintages! Following the death of Georges Thienpont in 1962, the estate was managed by other members of the family until the taciturn, thoughtful, Alexandre Thienpont took control of Vieux Chateau Certan in time for the 1986 vintage.
On an interesting footnote, labels of Vieux Chateau Certan until the 1975 vintage listed the chateau as a Grand Cru. Starting with the 1976 vintage, the labels changed, stating the wine was a Grand Vin.
Vieux Chateau Certan The Modern Era
Since Alexandre Thienpont began managing Vieux Chateau Certan, he renovated the wine making facilities in 1988 and again modernized the traditional Pomerol estate in 2003. It was his decision to create a second wine, La Gravette de Certan. He began green harvesting, picking riper fruit and reducing yields as a regular part of their vineyard management techniques.
All his efforts proved to be correct as the wines of Vieux Chateau Certan have never been better! The reputation of Vieux Chateau Certan today places it among the very, best wines in the Pomerol appellation.
Guillaume Thienpont is clearly following in the footsteps of his father and his helping to run the estate today. In time, it is expected that Guillaume Thienpont will eventually take over managing Vieux Chateau Certan on a daily basis.
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 Thienpont runs Vieux Chateau Certan and manages the vineyards of Le Pin for his cousin Jacques Thienpont.
However, like father, like son. Guillaume Thienpont, the son of Alexandre continues taking over increased levels of responsibility in all aspects of the property and will eventually take over managing the entire estate.
The Character and Style of Vieux Chateau Certan
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 of Vieux Chateau Certan 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 Vieux Chateau Certan vintages were better for Merlot, Cabernet Franc or both:
2016 is a Merlot vintage, with 85% Merlot. 2015 is a Cabernet Franc year, as it is 19% of the blend. 2014 is a Cabernet Franc vintage with 19% of the varietal in the blend. 2012 is a Merlot vintage. 2011 is a Cabernet Franc vintage with 29% included in the assemblage. 2010 is a Merlot vintage.
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, however it has the highest concentration of Cabernet Franc ever used in the blend), 2002 Merlot, 2001 Merlot, 2000 Merlot and Cabernet Franc, 1999 Merlot, 1998 Merlot, (No Cabernet Franc made the blend, 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon), 1997 Merlot, 1996 Cabernet Franc and 1995 favored Merlot.
The record for Cabernet Franc in Vieux Chateau Certan belongs to 2003, which has an astounding 80% Cabernet Franc. This is followed by 1993, which included 50% Cabernet Franc in the blend. Cabernet Franc gives the wine of Vieux Chateau Certan aromatic complexity and length. According to the owner Alexandre Thienpont, it helps build a more complex wine.
Previously, I thought the best vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan, 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.
Clearly this is one of the top wines of the entire 2009 Bordeaux vintage! In fact, 2009 Vieux Chateau Certan is one of the best wines I’ve ever tasted from the estate. As hard as it is to believe, 2010 could even be better. 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan could be even better and that’s a vintage dominated by Merlot.
Those two vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan will be fun to compare over the next several decades. My bet is, 2009 and 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan will be seen as legendary Pomerol wines by the time they hit maturity. While they are expensive, these wines are worth the money as they offer unparalleled, decadent, tasting experiences.
The best vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan are: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1990, 1982, 1950, 1948, 1947, 1945, 1929 and 1928.
Old vintages are difficult to find, and they’re often counterfeited, but if you can find a bottle and have the disposable income, it can be an extraordinary, wine tasting experience! From the wealth of extraordinary more recent vintages, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016 are mind blowing wines!
Vieux Chateau Certan Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 14 hectare vineyard of Vieux Chateau Certan is planted to 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This shows a slight increase in the Cabernet Franc and decrease in the Merlot, planted here. On average, their average 50 years of age.
However, there is one very old plot of Merlot that was planted all the way back in 1932, making it one of the oldest parcels in the Pomerol appellation. They also have a section of vines planted in 1948.
The Vieux Chateau Certan vineyard is one of the largest vineyards in the Right Bank that are planted in one single block of vines. Most of the vineyard surrounds the chateau, although, they also have vines placed close to Le Pin. Most of the the time, you find about 13.3 hectares in production. The vineyard is located in the center of Pomerol, on the plateau.
When you arrive at the junction where the estate rests, you are truly at the cross streets that could easily be renamed “The center of the heart and soul of Pomerol”.
Directly across the street is Chateau Certan de May and just down the road you’ll find Petrus. Chateau Lafleur is only a stones throw from there as well and lEvangile is quite close too. Vieux Chateau Certan has a terroir of clay and gravel soil. But as you will see, things are more complex than that.
The Vieux Chateau Certan vineyard is as we mentioned in 2 main blocks. At the peak of their elevation, they are at 37.5 meters. The peak is close to the center of the top of the Pomerol plateau, which is where the vines of Petrus abut those of Vieux Chateau Certan. Here is where you find a lot of blue clay.
70% of their vines are in the gravel and clay soils, while 30% of their vines are in the deeper clay terroir. Those 2 main blocks are into 23 separate parcels.
You can further divide the vineyard of Vieux Chateau Certan into 3 main soil types: deep clay, clay with gravel and gravel. Generally speaking, the Merlot is planted in the deep clay, Cabernet Franc grows in the clay and gravel soil and the Cabernet Sauvignon is placed in the gravel soils.
Underneath the top soil, you find clay with iron deposits. It is the blending of those 3 soil types and the grape varieties that produces the magic of Vieux Chateau Certan.
Alexandre Thienpont is responsible for changing the makeup of the vineyards as well. He removed all the Malbec that was previously planted and reduced the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyards, while adding more Merlot and Cabernet Franc after 1995.
Alexandre Thienpont practices 100% sustainable vineyard management farming techniques at Vieux Chateau Certan. While the estate is clearly a traditional winery, they embrace modern technology. For example, utilizing infrared cameras that are placed on tractors that allow for precise picking of single rows and even individual vines. That is a lot of work when you consider they have about 70,000 vines!
Vinification of Vieux Chateau Certan takes place in 21, traditional, temperature controlled, large, oak and stainless steel vats. The vats are sorted into 8 oak tanks and 13 stainless steel vats. The oak tanks are old, they were purchased in 1972. Each of the varieties are vinified separately in different fermentation vessels before blending. The Merlot is vinified on average at 32 degrees Celsius.
The vats range in size from 40 hectoliters, 50 hectoliters, 60 hectoliters, 77 hectoliters and all the way up to 125 hectoliters.
The range of vat sizes allow for vinification on a parcel by parcel basis, as well as for each grape variety to be vinified according to its needs. The grapes are also vinified according to their vine age. So at Vieux Chateau Certan, the older vines are vinified wood tanks, while the remainder the fruit is vinified in stainless steel tanks.
The Merlot undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrel. A different course is taken for the Cabernet Franc at Vieux Chateau Certan. The Cabernet Franc is vinified at 30 degrees Celsius. The Cabernet Franc undergo malolactic fermentation in vat. On average, the wine of Vieux Chateau Certan is aged in 50%, new, French oak barrels for about 20 months, depending on the character and quality of the vintage.
The yearly production ranges from 4,000 to 5,000 cases of Vieux Chateau Certan per vintage. There is a second wine, La Gravette de Certan, which made its debut in 1986. La Gravette de Certan takes its name from a parcel of vines purchased by the Thienpont family in 1946.
When to Drink Vieux Chateau Certan, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Vieux Chateau Certan is much better with at least 12-15 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-3 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. Vieux Chateau Certan offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15-35 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Vieux Chateau Certan with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Vieux Chateau Certan is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Vieux Chateau Certan is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Vieux Chateau Certan is also good when matched with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Vieux Château Certan Wine Tasting Notes
31 Vintages 415,930 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2017||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Deep in color, the wine pops with the perfume of cocoa, flowers, black plums, truffle and licorice. From there you\'ll find depth and concentration of flavor. The fruit is dark, polished, sensuous, velvety and long. There is vibrancy, florality, old vine intensity and chocolate coated cherries in the finish -- a denouement that goes on for 50 seconds or more. Blending 81% Merlot with 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.75. Picking took place September 12, September 17, September 18 and October 2. It is interesting to note the picking dates and blends are quite similar to 2016. Sixty-seven percent of the harvest was included in the Grand Vin, which is much higher than usual.
3,497 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Grab fresh flowers, buy truffles, pick a bushel of fresh plums from the market and you get the idea of the aromatics. Full bodied, silky, plush and sensuous, the wine shows freshness coupled with ripe, juicy, fresh, dark fruits and concentration. Even with the concentration and tannins, the wine is a dancer -- light on its feet, balanced and fresh-faced. Blending 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine reached 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.77. Picking took place October 3 to October 18, making this latest harvest in the history of Vieux Chateau Certan.
3,930 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
|2015||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Cherry blossoms, licorice, truffle, licorice, cherry liqueur and cocoa have no trouble getting noticed. But it is the voluptuous, decadent, opulent, unctuous mouth feel, with its velvet textures and 60 second finish that steals the show. A candidate for wine of the vintage, this is a future legend in the making.
4,714 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
Fresh flowers, ripe, cherry blossoms, truffle, licorice and cocoa start off the perfume. This wine has volume, concentration and freshness. On the palate, it displays a beautiful sense of symmetry, purity, sweetness and billowy tannins, leaving you with richness of flavor, freshness of fruit and lush, palatial textures. If you’re a thinking man with a penchant for blissful pleasure, this is your Pomerol. Blending 80% Merlot with 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 14.6% alcohol with a pH of 3.72. Picking took place September 17 and September 18, September 22, 23 and September 28, finishing October 2. 75% of the harvest was included in the Grand Vin, which is much higher than usual. 96-98 Pts
6,587 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2016
|2015||La Gravette de Certan (Pomerol)|
Medium-bodied with a touch of flowers and sweet, red fruits, soft textures and a confident, spicy, fresh approach for early drinking. The wine was made from 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc. 88 - 90 Pts
2,942 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2016
|2014||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
A complete charmer, the wine is medium/full bodied, elegant, fresh, soft, silky and polished. You can already discern notes of truffle in the nose, and the purity in the red plums and dark cherries on the palate is just great. Give this until 2024 and you'll be set!
4,090 Views Tasted Jul 18, 2018
A wine where the aromatics are forever going to be a key part of the experience, this vintage reflects violets, kirsch, earth and spicy aromas, creating a delicate, beguiling and complex perfume. Long, pure and vibrant, with ripe loads of fresh sweet cherries and black raspberries, if it puts on more weight in the aging process – and it just might – this wine could be even more impressive. I imagine the wine will hit the top end of my scoring range, but time will tell. Blending 80% Merlot with 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.62. 95-96 Pts
6,096 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2015
|2013||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
The wine is light in color, with a nose that is already showing its secondary truffle, forest floor, fresh herbs and red fruit character. Medium bodied, soft, polished and reserved, the wine ends with sweet, ripe, light, fresh, spicy cherries. This is not a wine to hold for long term aging. Instead, it is a nice Vieux Chateau Certan to enjoy in its youth.
2,762 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
With primary notes of black licorice, flowers and dark cherry liqueur, this medium-bodied wine shows good fruit, soft textures and bright red fruits in the finish, concluding with silky textures and an intriguing minty note. From low yields of only 22 hectoliters per hectare, the wine was produced from a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. The wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.65. The Grand Vin was produced from just 33% of the harvest and is aging in 60% new French oak. The wine could fill out during élevage and become an even better wine. 90-93 Pts.
6,623 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2014
|2012||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Truffle, chocolate, cherry blossom and plum aromatics open to a fresh, soft, sweet, silky plum and black cherry finish. Give this just a few years to develop more charm, complexity and softness.
4,699 Views Tasted May 16, 2015
Alexandre Thienpont described 2011 as a year for lean cats. That is not the case with the 2012. Harvested from October 11 through October 12, with yields of just 33 hectoliters per hectare, the wine reached 13% alcohol. Blending 87% Merlot with 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine pops with truffle, coconut, flowers, wild strawberry and cherry. Silky in texture, medium-bodied and fresh, 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan is a wine of finesse and refinement. According to Alexandre Thienpont, some vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan favor Cabernet Franc, while other years are better for Merlot. 2012 is a Merlot vintage. The wine is refined, fresh, pure and elegant in style. It’s a vintage that focuses on the aromatics and purity of the fruit. It does not display the power of 2009 or 2010, instead it focuses on the refined, perfumed qualities of Vieux Chateau Certan. 93-94 Pts
5,098 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
|2011||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Licorice, coffee bean, cocoa, earth, spearmint and black raspberries, with good concentration and a sweet, supple character for the vintage. The wine is long, fresh and sweet, with the structure to age and develop. This is a very nice, stylish wine, but I wish it showed the same level of concentration it displayed in barrel.
6,625 Views Tasted May 21, 2014
Blending 70% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc and a drop of Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.6% alcohol. At 37 hectoliters per hectare, the Grand Vin represents 70% of the harvest. With rich aromas of licorice, black plum jam, espresso, truffle, spice and incense, the wine is intense, fresh, chocolaty, sensuous, powerful, long, silky and packed with sweet, ripe, pure and concentrated layers of plum, black cherry and spice. 94-96 Pts
12,060 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2012
|2010||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
An expressive nose violets, truffle, boysenberry, chocolate and liqueur notes. Powerful, dense and perfectly balanced, the wine is intense, silky, velvety, pure, fresh, ripe and intense. The finish is long, seamless and coats your palate with flavor, texture and rich sensations that linger. The wine changes with each sip, giving you something new to think about with each sip, sniff and taste. This note was written about the wine based on tasting it with only a pop and pour. With time and air, this is going to a legendary vintage for Alexandre Thienpont and Vieux Chateau Certan that future generations of collectors will covet. If you have the funds, this is the wine to buy.
13,339 Views Tasted May 8, 2013
This dark, almost opaque colored wine is packed and stacked with multiple layers of black plum, truffle, earth, floral, black cherry, black raspberry, boysenberry and chocolate with an intensity of flavor that continues expanding and developing in the mouth. This is extremely powerful, opulent and concentrated with layers of perfectly ripe, velvet textured fruits. Yet everything is in perfect balance and harmony from start to finish. 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan is expensive. Most of the top Pomerol wines are. But when you consider this wine is at the same level as, or better than Petrus, Le Pin and Lafleur, it's worth buying. You can take this to the bank, this is a future legendary Pomerol.
14,396 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
The color of purple ink, truffles, black plums, chocolate fudge, fresh picked flowers, licorice and black raspberries filled your nose. Full bodied, mouth filling, expansive, deep and long. Finesse, power, silk, velvet and pure fruit. It’s important to look at the makeup of this wine which is 86%Merlot and equal parts 8% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is even more dominated by Merlot than the 2009, which came in at 84% Merlot. While the wine reached 14.5% alcohol, there is no sensation of heat in this stunning Bordeaux wine. 98-100 Pts
10,887 Views Tasted Jul 30, 2011
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. . 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
11,294 Views Tasted Apr 21, 2011
|2009||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
If you have been hearing about the level of wines from Vieux Chateau Certan and you want to know what all the fuss is about, this is the wine to open. This is so sultry, sexy, silky and opulent, it is clearly in a league of its own. The fruit is perfectly ripe. There is a decadence to the texture that grips you and does not let go. The wine is rich, dense and intense, yet light on its feet. There are no edges. The wine is perfectly seamless. Wines at this level do not come around often. This is a legend in the making.
4,191 Views Tasted Jul 18, 2018
Flowers, truffle, fresh picked raspberry, chocolate, forest and spicy aromas pop the moment the wine hits the glass. Talk about sexy, supple and sensuous, this is the real deal! Pure silk, velvet and cashmere coat your palate with the essence of fresh plums. In time, this could hit triple digits. The only reason this wine does not score 100 Pts today is that the 2010 is even better!
15,418 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
Last year, Alexandre Thienpont called 2009 the finest vintage of the modern era for Vieux Chateau Certan. Had 2010 not been produced, I agreed with him. Still, 2009 remains a stunning and decadent Pomerol wine. With licorice, flowers, chocolate, plums, spice and earthy aromas, this sensuous display of tastes and textures is almost off the charts. Silk and velvet, satin and lace, and then some! This complex wine finishes with an orgy coated with ripe, deep, black fruit and molten chocolate.
9,989 Views Tasted Jul 30, 2011
2009 Vieux Chateau Certan, a blend of 84% merlot, 8% cabernet sauvignon, and 8% cabernet franc, is deep, dark ruby. Its nose displays berries, flowers, chocolate, licorice, and plum liqueur. This concentrated, velvety textured wine is packed with elegant, powerful, sweet round fruit, and it has a long, pure, decadently textured finish of chocolate covered plums and black cherries. This is one of the top Pomerol wines from 2009 as well as one of the strongest wines of the vintage. 97-99 PtsDuring the tasting, Alexandre Thienpont stated without hesitation, “2009 is the best Vieux Chateau Certan of the modern era. The wine is similar in style to the famous 1950 and is the most concentrated vintage for the chateau since 1950.” He concluded by saying that the 2009 is a perfect vintage for him. Some vintages at the property favor cabernet franc, while others are better for merlot. That 2009 is a merlot year might not please all the traditionalists who prefer the large percentage of cabernet franc usually found in the wine. But I loved the 2009 and purchased a case after tasting it. Regardless of a note or score, the highest compliment any taster can pay to a chateau after tasting a wine is to buy it for his own cellar.
10,958 Views Tasted Aug 27, 2010
|2008||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Classic in style, the wine is more interesting on the nose with its mix of tobacco leaf, flowers, truffle, wet earth, cocoa and red fruits. Elegant, refined, fresh and pure, this is quite nice now, and promises to be even better with more cellaring. The wine was made from blending 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
1,407 Views Tasted Sep 17, 2018
In 2008, Château Vieux Chateau Certan used more Cabernet Franc than usual according to owner, Alexandre Thienpont. Thienpont prefers Cab Franc vintages for their longer hang time and resulting aromatic complexity. I've found that vintages allowing for equal quaily merlot and caberrnet franc are the years when Vieux Chateau Certan is the most seductive. Fresh cherries, black fruit, and plums are easy to find in the nose. The wine is rich on the palate and finishes with long sensations of plummy fruit. 92-95 Pts
10,353 Views Tasted Aug 30, 2009
|2007||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Slightly more interesting on the nose than on the palate, the wine opens with its blend of earth, truffle, herbs, flowers and red berries. Medium bodied, soft and without and hard edges, the finish shows sweet, red, earthy fruits that you want to linger. Fully mature, there is no reason to hod this for further development.
3,238 Views Tasted Jul 2, 2017
Medium bodied with a sweet and tart, black and red cherry profile, complicated by herbs, olive tapenade and earthy notes, this is not going to age well. While it's a nice wine for drinking now, I'd drink it sooner than later.
4,353 Views Tasted Jan 28, 2013
|2006||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Showing a beautiful ruby hue, the melange of truffle, red berries, plum and dark cherries pops up with little effort. The fruit displays a spicy quality, with a beautiful purity in its essence. But the palate is perhaps the best part of the experience with its silky, lush, voluptuous textures. 2006 is one of the few vintages when the blend mirrors the vineyard planting.70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
3,831 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
The wine has clearly opened, softened and become more interesting over the past few years. the nose displays an interesting floral complexity that adds to the cocoa, truffle plum and cherry core. The additional softness adds a lot to the charm and texture that brings more soft and silk to the medium/full bodied wine. A few more years should add more complexities and softness to the wine.
3,548 Views Tasted Jun 24, 2015
This is a sturdy style of Vieux Chateau Certan that is more interesting with its complex aromatics of truffle, chocolate, flowers, plums and spice, than it is in texture. Slightly masculine in style, the wine will improve with more time in the cellar. I continue to have a preference for 2004, 2005 and 2008, over the 2006.
5,755 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2012
This is a bigger, beefier style of VCC. Not as much finesse as the 05, but more tannin and concentration. I prefer the lush style of the 05
5,368 Views Tasted Jun 27, 2009
|2005||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Silky, lush, polished and fresh, the wine is starting to take on secondary qualities with its truffle, rose, dark chocolate, earth, cherry, smoke and licorice essences. The tannins are so ripe now, you can drink this today, else, wait another 5 years for even more development.
5,340 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2016
Straddling the fence between hedonistic and intellectual, the truffle, rose, violet, tobacco and dark plum nose gets you, holds you and makes you take another sniff before you sip. Full bodied, concentrated, silky, smooth and still young, there is still tannin to soften. But there is so much ripe fruit you can drink it today. But if you have patience, give it 5 to 10 more years and you’re going to be taste pure magic.
7,362 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2015
This keeps getting better and better. From start to finish, there is nothing out of place in this sensuous Pomerol. The truffle, black cherry, cocoa and floral nose, the layers of silky, sweet fruits and the opulent, polished, pure finish are a thing of beauty. I really like this wine and it's only starting to reveal its character.
8,669 Views Tasted Sep 16, 2013
Still young, the wine needed a few hours of air before its beautiful array of fresh plum, chocolate, licorice, floral, dark cherry, earth and vanilla scents bloomed. Full bodied, polished, supple, round and rich, the tannins are pure silk and velvet. Give this another 5-8 years and you’ll be rewarded with a superb Pomerol.
9,165 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
Truffle, earth, blackberry liqueur, forest floor and fresh picked flowers pop from the glass as soon it's poured. This rich, lush, polished, round wine is filled with black cherry, plum, spice and cocoa flavors. Elegance paired with chocolate sensuality is an apt descriptor for this beautiful Pomerol wine.
9,206 Views Tasted Aug 3, 2011
Ripe, round, rich, stylish and even sexy, this deep Pomerol is filled with spice, floral, chocolate and dark berry notes with hints of black raspberry. Full bodied, with velvety tannins, this is what Bordeaux offers in the best vintages.
9,157 Views Tasted Jun 23, 2007
|2004||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
One of the wines of the vintage, 45 minutes in the decanted allowed the wine to fill out, soften and show off its silky, plum, cherry, floral and earthy charms. This is close to its peak, so if you are waiting to pop your bottles, it will get a bit better, but it is so good now, why hold off any longer?
3,402 Views Tasted Jul 17, 2018
Truffle, dark chocolate shavings, violets, Asian spice and plum, soft, supple textures, sweet cherries, silky, red and black plums in the finish. From a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the same as the blend used in 2013, this has turned the corner and is drinking in the sweet spot today. There is room to improve from this point forward, but it’s really showing great today. Alexandre Thienpont took even more care than usual to make the best wine possible, due to the problems encountered with 2003, the previous vintage. In fact, it took three passes more than usual to complete the harvest.
5,785 Views Tasted Nov 30, 2014
If you're looking for the best deal for Vieux Chateau Certan in today's world, look no further! This plum, chocoalte, truffle, black raspberry, herb and flowery wine is round, soft and refined, with a lush, sweet, cocoa and black cherry filled finish. There is a slight rough or dryness in the end note, but with everything else that is going on, that's quite easy to overlook. Still young, at close to 10 years of age, this is already starting to show its charms. This sells for about 30% of the 2009 and 2010, and half the price of the 2005. Plus it's a very nice wine. What more can you ask for?
5,117 Views Tasted Dec 3, 2013
This vintage produced a classic style of VCC. More structured than flashy, this round, plummy, concentrated and complex wine is the one to buy. It's not far off the quality of the 2005 and it sells for half the price.
6,625 Views Tasted Jun 23, 2007
|2002||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Some lightening in color, coconut, plums and spicy earth makeup the aromatics. Masculine in style for the Chateau, the wine ends with a ripes plums and a hint of austerity.
4,779 Views Tasted Jun 27, 2009
|2001||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
45 minutes of air really brought out the floral, truffle and cherry elements. Medium/full bodied, soft, elegant and with loads of fresh, sweet, ripe, earthy fruits, this is still quite the charmer.
2,102 Views Tasted May 1, 2017
Close to mature, this is a refined, elegant, silky style of Pomerol. Quite flowery on the nose, with licorice, plums, cherries, earth and perhaps a sprig of mint. The tannins are soft, silky and refined, leaving with a sweet kirsch sensation that stays with you in the finish. The bottle was splash decanted and poured about 2 minutes before serving, which felt about right.
2,844 Views Tasted Jan 18, 2017
This is at full maturity. The truffle, black cherry, tobacco and plumy nose was in full bloom. But the wine, although soft and round, seems to be lighter and showing less fruit making me think that I want to drink my remaining bottles over the next few years.
3,449 Views Tasted Jan 11, 2015
Suave, elegant, supple, round and frankly, delicious. This classy Pomerol is stuffed with chocolate covered plum, truffle, black cherry and spice. Rich, opulent and sexy, this Bordeaux wine is starting drink very well and it seems to get better each time I taste it.
5,255 Views Tasted Feb 26, 2014
With only a splash decanting, cocoa dusted truffles, black cherry, earth and floral aromas made their presence known. On the palate, the wine is soft, elegant and silky, finishing with a fresh, clean, sweet, cocoa, earth and spicy boysenberry finish. This will probably improve over the next few years, but it's showing so well today, why wait?
4,180 Views Tasted Aug 23, 2013
Truffle, black cherry jam, earth, spice, violets, roses, licorice and coffee bean open to a medium/full bodied, elegant, refined style of Pomerol with a long, fresh, sweet, black cherry and chocolate cherry finish. Decanted for 2 hours before serving was a mistake. The wine faded a bit after that extended exposure to air. 20-30 minutes is ample.
3,970 Views Tasted Jul 2, 2012
Chocolate covered plums, licorice, mocha, flowers, truffle, black raspberry and smoke aromatics pop up with little effort. Silky, opulent textures mesh well with the fresh, dark plum and chocolate covered, black cherry, velvety finish. Every time I have this wine I am impressed. If you're seeking a solid example of Vieux Chateau Certan at a semi reasonable price, this is the wine to buy.
5,061 Views Tasted Dec 6, 2011
Explosive aromas of chocolate, juicy black plums, flowers, earth, black cherries, licorice, truffle and spice make up the attention grabbing perfume. On the palate, layers of plush, elegant, pure, boysenberries and cocoa linger. This opulent, sexy Pomerol keeps getting better every time I taste it. For a Vieux Chateau Certan of this quality, while expensive, it's worth buying.
5,182 Views Tasted Aug 13, 2011
Good complexity and a plush palate presence show this wines personality. Filled with ripe, elegant, polished plums and chocolate, round tannins and good density, this will improve. But if you have more than a few bottles, why wait?
5,415 Views Tasted Jun 27, 2010
Beautiful plum, black raspberry, chocolate. flowers and cassis notes were easy to find. This is a structured wine for the vintage and will be better after a few more years of age. The velvet textures and ripe fruit are elegantly styled.
4,471 Views Tasted Mar 17, 2009
|2000||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Truffle, smoke, earth, plum, cocoa powder, silky textures and medium/body with an opulent, black cherry liqueur sensation come alive in this classic vintage for Vieux Chateau Certan. This is starting to drink well now, and will only get better.
5,811 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
2000 Vieux Chateau Certan offers licorice, black plum, chocolate, truffle and dark cherry scents. On the palate the wine is rich, full bodied and concentrated with layers of ripe, black and red fruits. Still young, the wine continued gainging complexity in the glass for several hours. This Pomerol will improve for at least another 20 or more years.
7,608 Views Tasted May 16, 2011
This opens with earthy, berry, floral, chocolate and boysenberry scents. The wine is lush, balanced, pure and fresh in your mouth. The spice filled, dark berry and coco finish stays with you. This is starting to open, but patience will add a lot of complexity to this outstanding Pomerol.
8,504 Views Tasted Aug 1, 2010
Ripe, rich, round, big, bold, elegant and juicy, this polished, full bodied and concentrated, stylish Pomerol will get better and better over the next few decades.
8,259 Views Tasted Jun 27, 2009
|1999||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Light, bright and ready to drink, the wine is on the spicy, fresh, red plum and berry, medium bodied, side of the style range. Cherries, herbs and spice are found in the delicate finish. This is not a wine to cellar for ages. I'd drink it by the end of the decade, before it hits its 20th birthday.
3,495 Views Tasted Dec 29, 2012
|1998||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Really nice example of Pomerol here, with lots of fresh juicy plums, truffle, cocoa, flowers and dark cherry notes. Soft, but with an edge to the texture, this is drinking very well today. It will probably improve, but there is no reason to wait to pop a cork.
3,793 Views Tasted Nov 16, 2013
Chocolate, rose petals, plums, truffle, earth, 5 spice and cocoa scents create the aromatics. Round, supple and filled with lush, sweet black cherry, mocha and kirsch, this is starting to drink really well. Give it a few more years and it should be even better.
4,983 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
Produced from lower yields than normal (34 hectoliters per hectare), is a big, dense, concentrated wine. Still tight and tannic there is a lot going on under the surface. Rich, plummy, and filled with fabulous black raspberry aromatics, this wine will continue getting better for many years. It should be very long lived. I’m holding mine for another for 5-10 years.
6,974 Views Tasted Oct 13, 2011
1998 Vieux Chateau Certan - The perfume opened as soon as the cork was popped. Chocolate, rose petals, plums, truffle, earth, minerality, 5 spice and coca powder aromas were easy to find. The light ruby color was slightly more developed than it should have been for a 12 year old wine. On the palate, the wine was elegant, balanced, firm and sophisticated. The wine displayed some tannin that still needs resolution. The finish offered sensations of sweet black cherry and kirsch. When compared with '98 Trotanoy at the same tasting, the Trotanoy could have been the Latour of Pomerol while the Vieux Chateau Certan was was the Lafite Rothschild of the pair. 95 Pts1998 is an anomaly for the property. Vieux Chateau Certan is one the few Pomerol wines that often includes a large amount of Cabernet Franc as well as Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine. 1998 did not follow the usual pattern. In '98, no Cabernet Franc was included in the blend. The wine was produced from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
6,722 Views Tasted Dec 23, 2010
Dark berries, fresh flowers, chocolate, herbs, mushroom and mocha in the nose. Full bodied and filled with lush, soft, fresh dark plums, this elegantly textured, opulent wine ends with silky blackberry and chocolate flavors. As good as it is, it's only going to get better.
7,051 Views Tasted May 22, 2009
|1995||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
While there are truffle, earth, cocoa, plums, coffee and plum notes, there is a slight hard leaning to the wine that might not soften enough over time. This is probably a good example of old school Pomerol. It's a structured, masculine Pomerol with a tannic spine that seems to want more time in the cellar. Like many wines from the vintage, it's more interesting on the nose than the palate and it's still young. But is that a good thing for a wine approaching its 20th birthday?
3,534 Views Tasted Jan 10, 2013
|1990||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Looking a bit older than its true age, this is fully mature, or just past its peak of maturity. The wine is more interesting on the nose, with its floral, smoke, thyme and cherry pipe tobacco character than on on the palate. Medium bodied, with sweet, spicy plums and soft textures on the palate, this requires consumption sooner than later before the remaining fruits fade. Popped and poured, this is not a wine to decant, as air would further erode the wine.
2,713 Views Tasted May 14, 2016
Fully mature, and drinking splendidly, with truffle, tobacco, plum, cocoa, earth and fresh cherries, this medium bodied, silky, plush Pomerol feels great, offers complex aromas and the soft textures that come from a mature wine. What more can you ask for?
5,022 Views Tasted May 11, 2012
|1989||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Better on the nose, with its complex display of truffle, wet earth, floral, tobacco, cherry and plum notes, than on the soft, silky, medium bodied, dark, cherry profile. This is fully developed and will probably not move much past this point.
2,388 Views Tasted May 17, 2014
|1986||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Masculine, structured and firm, with a lean to the secondary side of the aromatic style range, making it smell more like a Medoc than a Pomerol, with its tobacco and earthy notes. The wine was a bit Jekyll and Hyde, depending on the sip, as it alternated between beefy, tannic and drying to hints of structured, polished and even plummy with cocoa. Successful for the vintage, it might please fans of classic Bordeaux more than it did me.
4,985 Views Tasted May 18, 2013
|1985||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Light in color, medium bodied, soft textured and focused more on the red fruit and truffle nose, than the easy drinking, cherry dominated palate. This is not a wine for further aging.
3,276 Views Tasted Jan 22, 2016
|1982||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Still young at 30 years of age, this voluptuous Pomerol offers a complicated perfume of truffle, cocoa powder, black cherry, earth, flowers, licorice and spice. Sensuous in texture, with a soft, sweet, long, silky finish, this beautiful expression of Vieux Chateau Certan has truly blossomed with age. I remember tasting this wine years ago and it was much lighter and less interesting. I wish I owned some...
4,007 Views Tasted Dec 10, 2012
|1971||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Charming, in all the right ways, and for all the right reasons. Silky, soft, and elegant, medium bodied, and with sweet, ripe, red fruits, earth, tobacco, herbs and flowers to round things off. Fully mature, it does not need any decanting, just pop and pour.
1,717 Views Tasted Apr 13, 2017
|1966||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Much better on the floral, earthy, tobacco driven, red berry palate, than on the medium bodied, austere, bright, red fruit palate. There is no reason to hold this bottle any longer.
1,778 Views Tasted Nov 12, 2017
|1961||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Elegant, soft and finesse-driven, the medium/fullbodied wine opens with tobacco, floral, cocoa and red plum notes. Fully mature, the wine is refined, soft, fresh sweet and exudes a cherry filled charm. There is no reason to hold this any longer.
1,455 Views Tasted May 31, 2018
|1955||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
From a magnum, I imagine this is much better than you'll find in a regular bottle. Rustic textured on the palate, but there is also a beauty in the truffle, earthy, cigar box, plum and cherry personality. Air helped add softness to the wine, but this is definitely an old school charmer.
1,586 Views Tasted Mar 17, 2017
|1952||Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol)|
Now, here's a wine I never thought I'd see again. After the explosion of truffles, earth, bitter chocolate, wet forest, cherry and hints of floral notes, the wine was pure silk on the palate. The spicy, red cherry finish was sublime.
2,645 Views Tasted May 18, 2013
Tasted double blind, this was a huge surprise on multiple levels. Truffles, earth, tobacco, dried pit fruit, all spice, coffee bean and forest floor scents started the aromatic fireworks. Silky textures with the velvet patina of age, coupled with an elegant, sweet, spice filled finish was a thrill a sip wine. This bottle tasted like a 20-30 year old wine.
3,040 Views Tasted Nov 20, 2008