Chateau Certan de May 1997
The origins of Chateau Certan de May date back to the very beginnings of Pomerol. The de May family, who settled in France from Scotland in the Middle Ages, were gifted the property by royal decree in the 16th century as a gesture of thanks for ser- vices rendered to the crown of France. The estate began producing wine in the 18th century and was managed by descendants of the de May de Certans until 1925, when it passed to the Barreau family.
Situated on Pomerol’s prized central plateau, surrounded by illustrious neighbors such as Vieux Chateau Certan and La Fleur-Pétrus, Chateau Certan de May has long been considered one of the finest estates of the appellation.
The wines owe their complexity to the vineyard’s soil composition, a combination of clay and gravel that bring together power and elegance, structure and freshness. The balance of the wines from Chateau Certan de May illustrates the unique complemen- tarity of these terroirs.
Owner Jean-Luc Barreau applies all of his care and attention to producing a wine in the great tradition of his forebears. Vinified under the guidance of renowned consultants Michel Rolland until 2012 and Jean-Claude Berrouet since the 2013 vintage, Chateau Certan de May benefits from the best winemaking know-how. The wine is rich, powerful, complex; while it can be enjoyed after a few years of cellaring, its structure and natural depth lend it great ageability.
A source of exceptionally sensual and glamorous red wines, Pomerol is actually a rather small appellation in an unassuming countryside. It sits on a plateau immediately northeast of the city of Libourne on the right bank of the Dordogne River. Pomerol and St-Émilion are the stars of what is referred to as Right Bank Bordeaux: Merlot-dominant red blends completed by various amounts of Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. While Pomerol has no official classification system, its best wines are some of the world’s most sought after.
Historically Pomerol attached itself to the larger and more picturesque neighboring region of St-Émilion until the late 1800s when discerning French consumers began to recognize the quality and distinction of Pomerol on its own. Its popularity spread to northern Europe in the early 1900s.
After some notable vintages of the 1940s, the Pomerol producer, Petrus, began to achieve great international attention and brought widespread recognition to the appellation. Its subsequent distribution by the successful Libourne merchant, Jean-Pierre Mouiex, magnified Pomerol's fame after the Second World War.
Perfect for Merlot, the soils of Pomerol—clay on top of well-drained subsoil—help to create wines capable of displaying an unprecedented concentration of color and flavor.
The best Pomerol wines will be intensely hued, with qualities of fresh wild berries, dried fig or concentrated black plum preserves. Aromas may be of forest floor, sifted cocoa powder, anise, exotic spice or toasted sugar and will have a silky, smooth but intense texture.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.