Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol
The Vieux Château Certan estate has existed since the mid-1700s, though the date of establishment is unknown. Like all of the wines in the Pomerol Appellation, Vieux Château Certan is not classified but is widely regarded as one of the great growths of the region and one of the world’s great wines.
Alexandre Thienpont thinks 2010 is even more powerful and tannic than 2009. This is certainly a big wine, dominated by its Merlot component (86%, with the rest mostly Cabernet Franc). The natural alcohol level is 14.5%, slightly above 2009, but the pH is a healthy 3.7, and the wine, like so many 2010s, is a paradox. The alcohols are often the highest ever yet the acidities are fresh and lively, and the wine crisp and refined. This is a deep purple-colored wine, with loads of opulence and fat, a voluptuous texture and tremendous purity. The style is a modern-day version of what they probably achieved in 1947, 1949 and 1950. Thienpont attributes the wine’s freshness to the lack of any real heat wave, the drought, and the very cool nights in September. This wine should drink well for 20-40 years.
96-98 points, Wine Advocate, 2012
Pomerol, on the Right Bank of Bordeaux’s Gironde River, produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, including those from such storied properties as Chateau Petrus. Yet Pomerol, the smallest of the fine-wine-producing districts of Bordeaux, offers no Grand Cru or Premier Cru wines: It’s the most significant Bordeaux appellation not included in any quality ranking. At the time of the historic 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Right Bank chateaux were considered remote and difficult to travel to, and so were ignored by the merchants who created the classification. (St. Émilion, a notable neighbour on the Right Bank, created its own classification system in 1954.)
Pomerol has managed to do quite well without this form of validation. Pomerol’s predominantly clay soil is ideally suited for Merlot, the primary grape used in the appellation. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also included in Pomerol’s blended red wines. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. Although Pomerol’s very best wines are capable of aging for decades, most are made for immediate consumption. These Merlot-based wines are known for their lush texture, elegance and grace, as well as the softer tannins they offer in comparison to the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made elsewhere in Bordeaux.