Vieux Château Certan 2020

Special Price $384.85 Average US Price $450.00
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Other Vintages We Offer:

• Domaine: Vieux Château Certan
• Appellation: Pomerol
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

Some of the most complex, elegant, and richly perfumed wine from Pomerol is made at Château Vieux Château Certan.   This property is, without a doubt, one of the crown jewels here and as a result it fetches a high price in today’s marketplace.  Château Vieux Château Certain hosts some of the best terroir as it sits on the Pomerol plateau.  It has its fair share of famous neighbors, such as Château Pétrus, and though critics such as Robert Parker Jr compare the two producers as equal in quality, they could not be more different in style.  Because of the higher percentages of Cabernet Franc, the wine of Château Vieux Château Certan is lengthy, profound, and some of the finest wine the region has to offer. 

Château Vieux Château Certan hosts one of the oldest histories in the entire region.  It dates to the 1700s where it was founded by Jean Demay de Certain who was well known for his work in the Bordeaux wine trade.  The original château was constructed closer to 1770 and after the French Revolution, the land was divided many times.  In early years, Château Vieux Château Certain was considered the best wine in Pomerol, yet shortly after World War II the estate diminished in popularity due to the meteoric rise of Château Pétrus.  As time passed, the estate was acquired by Georges Thienpont in 1924 and thus it began its spectacular rebound. 

You may have heard of the Thienpont name in association with another Pomerol giant – the iconic cult producer Le Pin, which is run by Georges Theinpont’s grandson, Jacques Theinpont.  The Theinponts have a rich legacy within the wine trade and more specifically with some of the top estates in the Right Bank, such as Troplong Mondot in Saint-Émilion they once owned.  There is a common philosophy within the Thienpont family, which is that great winemaking is about as little intervention as possible.  They are a true family of vignerons who believe most of the work is done in the vineyard.  Guillaume Theinpont currently runs Château Vieux Château Certan and the property is without a doubt the pride and joy of the Thienpont family. 

Château Vieux Château Certan has some of the oldest vines in Pomerol, more specifically Merlot vines that date back to 1932.  Here, varietals like Merlot and Cabernet Franc are all planted in a single block and the soil mostly consists of rich clay with gravel deposits.  The Merlot thrives in this deep clay that helps the vines absorb the water and nutrients they need.  The wine is vinified using minimal intervention in oak vats, resulting in full bodied wines that are effortless to drink at the same time.  It is incredibly age worthy and offers chocolate aromas with rich blackberry and plum.  Though Château Vieux Château Certan produces consistent wine that is a true knockout in terms of quality, the ratio of Cabernet Franc switches depending on the vintages. Because of this, Château Vieux Château Certan is a fun producer to follow throughout the years – as no two vintages are truly alike in personality.

Tasting Notes

"The 2020 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked on the 14th to the 24th of September for the Merlot, then on the 28th and 29th of September for the Cabernet Franc. The pH is 3.77 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Deep purple-black colored, it needs considerable coaxing, swirling and a lot of patience before it finally lets rip an intoxicating perfume of ripe, juicy black plums, Morello cherries, candied violets, black truffles and crushed rocks, giving way to hints of black tea, molten licorice and Sichuan pepper, plus a waft of dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers achingly ripe, silt-like tannins and shimmering freshness that melds with the black fruits and earthy layers with jaw-dropping seamlessness, finishing with layer upon layer of mineral and savory suggestions and, finally, a gorgeous floral whisper. There are going to be two ways to approach this: 1) Just let the remarkably sensual, inexplicable beauty of it wash over you or 2) Try to unravel all those intricate layers and have it blow you mind. Either way, this is simply an incredible achievement—bravo Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont!" Lisa Perotti-Brown, May 2021 Week 3: The Wine Advocate (05/20/2021) Rating: 98-100 Drink: 2029-2069

"Concentrated and complex flavours with a silky, velvety and supremely seductive texture, alongside a ton of energy, freshness and juice. It has dense muscular tannins, and is going to age beautifully. As it opens you get the aromatics coming out, and the Merlot fleshy fruits become generous and welcoming, opulent without being tiring. A little less Cabernet Franc in the blend than normal because one of the three plots has currently been pulled up before replanting. Harvest September 14 to 29. 3.77pH. A yield of 30hl/ha because of the dry weather through the summer followed by the flashes of heat in September, among lowest ever (similar to 2010)." Jane Anson, Best 2020 Pomerol Wines Tasted En Primeur(04/30/2021) Rating: 95 

"Always one of my favorite wines in just about every vintage, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is another magical wine in the making, revealing a dense purple hue as well as stunning notes of cassis, bright cherries, chocolate, and flowers. It hits the palate with full-bodied richness, perfect tannins, a dense, layered mid-palate, and one blockbuster of a finish. This is unquestionably one of the biggest, richest, sexiest wines in the vintage, and my money is on it flirting with perfection and delivering 30-40 years of prime drinking. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested all in September, and hitting 14.5% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.77." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur - Part 1 (05/23/2021) Rating: 97-99

"A powerful, vertical wine, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is endowed with tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Everything about the 2020 is dialed up. The fruit is huge, as are the tannins. Black cherry, licorice, new leather, spice and bittersweet chocolate saturate the palate in a wine that conveys opulence from start to finish. Yields were just 30 hectoliters per hectare, well below the norm of 40-42. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, in other words a high percentage of Franc. There is no Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend this year, the result of dehydration on the vine. The 2020 is fabulous. I can't wait to taste it from bottle." Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Rating: 96-98

More Information
Stock Status In Stock
Appellation Pomerol
Vintage 2020
Brand Vieux Chateau Certan
Shipping Weight 3.000000

Pomerol is one of the most prestigious wine appellations in the Bordeaux region of France. Located on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River, in its earlier history, the area was primarily engaged in mixed agriculture. It was home to many apple (“pommes,” in French) orchards that gave the name to the appellation. Its origins date back to the Knights Hospitallers, symbolized by the Pomerol Cross, and it flourished even amidst challenges like the Hundred Years' War. Proximity to the river port at Libourne facilitated exports, and post-World War II investments from French and Belgian investors contributed to its global acclaim. 

What sets Pomerol apart is its unique terroir, which includes both clay and gravel, distinguishing it from the traditional clay and limestone composition of Bordeaux's right bank. Merlot dominates, constituting 80% of the plantings, and thrives in the iron-rich clay subsoil called "crasse de fer" and its core of sticky blue clay, imparting distinct character and aging potential to Pomerol wines. 

Some of Pomerol's most prominent châteaux include Pétrus, Château La Fleur-Pétrus, Le Pin, Château Trotanoy, Château La Conseillante, Château Clinet, Château L'Eglise Clinet, Château Gazin, Château L'Evangile, Clos du Clocher, and Vieux Château Certan. Pomerol lacks an official classification system; instead, the reputation and quality of châteaux are based on historical performance. Unlike neighboring Saint-Emilion, the appellation exclusively produces red wine, while its white wines remain unclassified. 

Pomerol wines are known for their elegance, full body, and lush character, with dark fruit flavors, smooth tannins, and aging potential. While some can be enjoyed in youth, top wines can age gracefully for several decades, developing complexity and character over time.

Footnotes on Futures, Pre-Arrivals, and potential US Tariffs: 

1. As of June 15, 2021, the US and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs resulting from the Boeing-Airbus aircraft trade disputes. Accordingly, such import taxes are now suspended for the next five years.

2. Futures are expected to be available for delivery two years after the sales (e.g., the 2022 vintage, sold in 2023, will be delivered in 2025 mostly, or 2026 if the producer ages the wine longer).

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