2009 Vieux Chateau Certan 75CL
The 2009's nearly 14% natural alcohol, exquisite ripeness, and incredible complex bouquet of Asian spices, fruitcake, licorice, smoke, blackberries and black currants are to die for. A blend of 84% Merlot and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it possesses a viscous texture as well as a freshness and vibrancy that are remarkable given the wine’s weight, richness and potential massiveness.
This extraordinary effort is one of the finest Vieux Château Certan made over the last sixty years. It will undoubtedly shut down in bottle, requiring a decade or more of cellaring. It should keep for 50 years thereafter. Proprietor Thienpont thinks it is a modern-day version of the 1948.
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.”
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