"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."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
"A powerful, wonderfully toned red. Like a great javelin-thrower. Lovely mineral, berry and violet aromas with hints of new oak. Full-bodied, with big yet silky tannins and a long, long finish. Best after 2010." Wine Spectator
Vieux Chateau Certan Winery
Vieux Chateau Certan is the oldest growth in the parish of Pomerol. Its origins date back to the beginning of the 16th century when the Demay family, originally from Scotland, came to liveo n the property. The local vicinity takes its name from this old chateau. In 1858, the property was purchased by Charles Bousquet who built the buildings that stand to this day. In 1924, Georges Thienpont, a wine shipper from Etikhove in Belgium, bought the chateau that, since 1957, has been run by a company formed by the Thienpont heirs.
View all Vieux Chateau Certan Wines
It's a tiny region, and it has no classification system. But the wines produced from Pomerol can be sensuous and life-changing. Here lies Chateau Pétrus, one of the most expensive and sought-after wines of the world – many vintages commanding prices higher than the first-growth chateaux of the Médoc. The area is all vines, with no real town center, just roads connecting the lands and small, farmhouse style chateaux.
Soils in the area are primarily gravel based, intermittent with a clay subsoil, which is a factor in the rich flavors of the wines. Like its right bank neighbors, Pomerol sticks mainly to Merlot, with at least 2/3 of the land under vine growing the variety. Cabernet Franc makes up most of the remainder, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and a spot or two of Malbec. Vines are old and yields are extremely low – add those factors to the soil, and it's a recipe for an elegant, distinctive wine, with typical descriptors of intense aromas, ripe fruits and supple tannins. Quality can be vintage-dependent - in a good vintage, expect melt-in-your-mouth wine.
About France - Other regions
When it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.