Chateau Vieux Château Certan 2018

SKU
VCCP201810 UCAU
  • James Suckling: 99/100 "A tower of a wine. Incredible depth and density. Thick and muscular."
  • Decanter: 98/100 "complex, precise and concentrated but tempered with stunning potential."
  • Jeb Dunnuck: 99/100 "A heavenly wine that wine lovers should all have in their cellar."
  • 1 or more bottles
    $799.00
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  • James Suckling
    99 points
  • Decanter
    98 points
  • Jeb Dunnuck
    99 points

Editors notes

The flagship 2018 Vieux Château Certan is based on 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc and was brought up in (I suspect) roughly 50% new French oak. It tips the scale at 14.5% natural alcohol, which is the same as the 2010 (slightly higher than the 2009) and has a pH of 3.78, which is also very close to the 2010. This rock star of a Pomerol offers a kaleidoscopic array of red, black, and blue fruits, white truffle, spring flowers, tobacco, and crushed rock-like minerality on the nose.

It has perfectly integrated oak, gorgeous concentration, building yet ultra-fine tannins, and not a hard edge to be found. I was able to follow this bottle for multiple days, and the large Cabernet Franc component became more and dominant, yet it never truly shut down and was always a joy to drink. Nevertheless, a good 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted, and it should evolve for 30-40 years in cold cellars. Again, the Thienpont family produces a heavenly wine that wine lovers should all have in their cellar. Along with Petrus, Conseillante, Lafleur, and a handful of others, it's one of the appellation's most singular wines.

- Jeb Dunnuck

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    99
    "This is a significant VCC with masses of fruit and juicy tannins. It’s fresh, but impresses you with the rich and powerful fruit. A tower of a wine. Incredible depth and density. Thick and muscular. It is 30 per cent cabernet franc, the rest merlot."
  • Decanter

    98
    "This is complex, precise and concentrated but tempered with stunning potential. There is so much flavour and juice here with crushed tobacco and liquorice root alongside richly textured raspberry and blueberry fruits - all extremely well balanced and yet reaching down into the depths promising great ageing. A VCC that is full of layers, with the beauty of this vintage making them all relatively discernible even at this early stage because the tannins are not balled together but allow the light in between. An excellent year for Cabernet Franc, which always favours this estate - owner Alexandre Thienpont said that they weren’t just useful but essential this year, giving freshness and focus to the hedonism of the Merlots, and dampening down the alcohols. No press wine in the blend as yet, and not sure if they will use it. A yield of 40hl/ha"
  • Jeb Dunnuck

    99
    "The flagship 2018 Vieux Château Certan is based on 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc and was brought up in (I suspect) roughly 50% new French oak. It tips the scale at 14.5% natural alcohol, which is the same as the 2010 (slightly higher than the 2009) and has a pH of 3.78, which is also very close to the 2010. This rock star of a Pomerol offers a kaleidoscopic array of red, black, and blue fruits, white truffle, spring flowers, tobacco, and crushed rock-like minerality on the nose. It has perfectly integrated oak, gorgeous concentration, building yet ultra-fine tannins, and not a hard edge to be found. I was able to follow this bottle for multiple days, and the large Cabernet Franc component became more and dominant, yet it never truly shut down and was always a joy to drink. Nevertheless, a good 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted, and it should evolve for 30-40 years in cold cellars. Again, the Thienpont family produces a heavenly wine that wine lovers should all have in their cellar. Along with Petrus, Conseillante, Lafleur, and a handful of others, it's one of the appellation's most singular wines."

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

Current auction

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to the Roman times. Today, it is known as one of the most significant wine regions in the world, with a reputation for producing complex, full-bodied red wines. The region is home to a diverse range of terroirs, each with its own unique microclimate, soil composition, and grape varieties.

The left bank of Bordeaux is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the region's gravelly soils. These wines tend to be bold, tannic, and complex, with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. On the right bank, Merlot is king, producing wines that are softer and fruitier, with notes of plum, cherry, and chocolate.

Aside from the red blends, Bordeaux is also renowned for its sweet wines, particularly from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These wines are made using a unique process that involves botrytis, or "noble rot," which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

Bordeaux's classification system has evolved over time, with some estates moving up or down the ranks depending on the quality of their wines. Today, the system includes five growths, with Premier Cru being the highest and Deuxièmes Crus being the second-highest. There is also a separate classification for the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, with Chateau d’Yquem holding the highest rank.

Overall, Bordeaux is a region that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts around the world with its rich history, diverse terroirs, and exceptional wines.

Pomerol

Pomerol is a highly respected red wine appellation in the Bordeaux region in the south-west of France. Unlike the majority of Bordeaux, (Medoc, Graves, Sauternes and Saint-Emilion), Pomerol does not utilize a formal wine classification system.

Merlot is the dominant grape in Pomerol and plays a large part in making the wines smooth and approachable in their youth. Cabernet Franc is also often present, adding structure and an element of savory spice. There is a very high demand for this style of wine on the international market and Pomerol wines are much sought after – particularly because they are also relatively long-lived.

About the brand Vieux Chateau Certan

Vieux Château Certan's wines are beautifully balanced and are widely regarded as some of the finest in Bordeaux. While the estate is unclassified (as with Pomerol on the whole) it has long been recognised among the great growths of the region, by some accounts comparable to neighbouring estate Château Pétrus. The wine is made by Alexandre Thienpont, the nephew of Jacques at Le Pin who took over in 1985 and has been on his best form since 1998.

The estate covers a relatively small 14 hectares (35 acres) in one single block, surrounded by some of the best in the appellation; Petrus, Conseillante, Le Pin and L'Evangile. It's planted out to 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and is divided into 23 different parcels, allowing the estate to achieve the best possible blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc depending on vintage conditions.

Vieux Château Certan is often ranked by international tasting panels and the world's press among the finest wines. The second wine produced is La Gravette de Certan.

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