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Vieux Chateau Certan 2016

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  • WE98
  • D97
  • WS97
750ML / 0% ABV
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4.6 5 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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!
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
Just as good, yet in a different style, the 2016 Vieux Château Certan shows cooler notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, underbrush, graphite, violets, and crushed rocks. Deep, incredibly full-bodied and powerful, yet like the 2015, weightless and sensationally textured, it glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Expansive, deep, beautifully concentrated, and flawlessly constructed, it builds incrementally on the palate and has a finish that lasts for over a minute. It’s another legendary wine from this estate to enjoy over the coming 30-40 years.
JS 99
James Suckling
The ripeness in this wine is incredibly balanced and perfect with plum and orange-peel character, buttressed by the ripe seeds of the grapes that give a hazelnut and coffee undertone. Turns to violets. Full body with firm and very sexy tannins that are perfectly balanced and polished. Some chocolate and dried black tea-leaf character in the aftertaste. Wonderful finish. Needs five to six years to soften, but already a joy to experience. Try after 2025.
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
This big, rich wine has perfumed Cabernet Franc flavors to give shape to the dominant Merlot. It is a well-structured wine, elegant and with juicy acidity. It displays power and concentration along with restraint and style. Drink this wine from 2024.
D 97
Decanter
This is deep and incredibly silky, with concentrated notes of coffee grounds and cappuccino, liquorice and a welcome touch of bitterness. There's a whoosh of menthol freshness and dark chocolate through the finish. It's intellectual and reserved right now, with some austerity evident, but the complexity builds in the glass, as does the seductive silky texture. This was extremely good at en primeur, but has deepened even further since. Bottled in early June at the property, as they now bottle the wine themselves rather than using a mobile bottling line. 70% new oak.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
A horse of a different color among its peers in this vintage, featuring an extremely vivid core of pastis-soaked plum, cassis and blackberry fruit streaming forth. Muscular yet imbued with racy cut, the finish ripples along the edges, with sweet tobacco, warm gravel and ganache notes. A violet hint glistens here and there for added effect. Power and vivacity make a thrilling combo. Best from 2023 through 2040.
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Vieux Chateau Certan

Vieux Chateau Certan

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Vieux Chateau Certan, France
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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.
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Pomerol

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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.

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Bordeaux Blends

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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, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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