Alexandre Thienpont always produces thoughtful, expressive, charming wines that are very true to their fabulous terroir. He describes 2009 as a `reference` vintage for Merlot. In fact we were staggered to discover that 84% of the blend is Merlot. Vieux Chateau Certan is an estate with wonderful Cabernet Franc plantings and we expected a much higher proportion in the final blend given the wonderful Indian summer in 2009, however, the Merlot is just so exceptional it has to take precedence. Beautiful perfumed aromas of damsons, high toned ripe raspberries, herbs and flowers. VCC is always more about the sensual texture and alluring fruit than flashy bouquets and power. This is no exception; the texture is utterly beguiling, detailed and seductive. The palate is velvety smooth with layers of intense, decadent plumy fruit. This possesses some of the most alluring tannins that we experienced during our week. If you are wooed by texture, look no further than this sumptuous and spellbinding VCC.
"The 2009's nearly 14% natural alcohol, exquisite ripeness, and incredible complex bouquet of Asian spices, fruitcake, licorice, smoke, blackberries and black currants are to die for. A blend of 84% Merlot and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it possesses a viscous texture as well as a freshness and vibrancy that are remarkable given the wine’s weight, richness and potential massiveness. This extraordinary effort is one of the finest Vieux Chateau Certans made over the last sixty years. It will undoubtedly shut down in bottle, requiring a decade or more of cellaring. It should keep for 50 years thereafter. Proprietor Thienpont thinks it is a modern day version of the 1948.
As I wrote in my barrel tasting notes, the 2009 ranks alongside four of the legendary vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan’s ancient past, 1945, 1947, 1948 and 1950. It is undoubtedly a cleaner wine than those older vintages, and the selection process under proprietor Alexandre Thienpont was far more severe in 2009 than it would have been sixty years ago." 99/100 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #199
Alexandre Thienpont’s magnificent Pomerol estate is capable of producing exquisite wines; and they regularly do. The elegant structure of the Chateau, covered in ancient wisteria is a fitting building for such an estate. It is understated, but beautiful, just like the wine. The 35 hectares under vine are planted with 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Franc. The parcels of old vine Cabernet Franc add complexity and structure to the velvety textured Merlots and helps this chateau to excel in challenging vintages.
Pomerol’s Merlot-dominated wines at their best are rich, seductive and silky. For hundreds of years Pomerol was considered as nothing but a satellite district of neighbouring St-Émilion to the east, and it was not really until not until the 1950s that Pomerol started its meteoric rise led by Château Petrus. By far the most dominant merchants in the region are Jean-Pierre Moueix who own or distribute the majority of the finest properties in Pomerol, the most renowned being Petrus.
Pomerol's finest wines originate from the highest parts of the plateau, which is predominantly gravel and clay, with an iron rich subsoil called crasse de fer.
Apparently as important in fashioning wines that are plump, voluptuous, and richly Merlot dominates plantings dramatically, though the notable exception is Vieux Château Certan, nearly half of their estate is devoted Cabernet Franc. Pomerol has no no official classification, but its small scale wines fetch some of the greatest prices for wine in the world. The regions greatest names are Pétrus, Lafleur, Certan de May, Hosanna, La Fleur de Gay, L'Église-Clinet, Le Pin, La Conseillante, Trotanoy, , L'Évangile, Latour-à-Pomerol, and Vieux-Ch-Certan