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A fine offering, the 1998 has closed down, but there is no doubting its fabulous potential. The color is a dense purple. The wine reveals high tannin, huge body, and classy black fruits intermixed with minerals, spice box, cedar, and tobacco. A long, persistent, tannic finish gives this majestic effort a closed but formidable personality. Patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030.
Vieux Château Certan was born in 1745, making it one of the oldest wineries in Pomerol. On the famous map drawn up by the 18th-century geographer Pierre de Belleyme, the estate already appears with the appellation “Sertan”, giving the locality the name Certan we know today.
Handed down from father to son, Vieux Château Certan has belonged to the Thienpont family, of Flemish origins, for almost a century. Wine dealer Georges Thienpont first bought the estate in 1924; it then passed to the next generation with Léon, who was succeeded by Alexandre in 1985, followed by the arrival of Guillaume in 2011. “My approach is the same as my father’s – exploiting all the potential of blending in our search for complexity.”
By good fortune the grapes historically planted at Vieux Château Certan include the three great Bordeaux varieties, all at home on this excellent clay and gravel terroir of 14 unbroken hectares in the center of the plateau. “In the wine the Merlot (70% of the vineyard) is all attack, whereas the Cabernet Franc (25%) is expressed from the middle of the mouth to the finish. Meanwhile the Cabernet Sauvignon (5%) gives the wine both backbone and a little twist of fresh lemon that galvanizes the whole.”