2016 Vieux Chateau Certan 75CL
The 2016 Vieux Château Certan is blended of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with pristine, vivid notions of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry compote and mulberries with fragrant touches of raspberry leaves, crushed rocks, licorice, cumin seed and yeast extract plus a waft of red roses. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully elegant, the palate builds from a quiet intensity to an incredibly well-sustained aria of crunchy red and black cherries notes plus tons of floral undertones, framed by exquisitely soft yet firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with lingering mineral and floral sparks.
How does this 2016 compare to the also amazing 2015 vintage? Stylistically they are very different, as my notes on each should convey, but beyond this I am struck by the incredible harmony and seamlessness of the 2016 along with its amazing depth and energy this year. Bravo!
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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