Bordeaux 2017: The Dazzling Vieux Chateau Certan

Bordeaux 2017: The Dazzling Vieux Chateau Certan
There’s absolutely no doubt that Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont have made one of the wines of the vintage – this is a sensational VCC. We’ve always known that this terroir is capable of producing one of the most ravishing wines in Pomerol – now we come to expect it every year. If it isn’t in the same league as the absolute elite wines of this luxuriant commune, we’d be very surprised. The 2017 is another sumptuously textured, aromatically profound, vibrant yet effortless Pomerol; it’s a real seductress that won’t let you put the glass down… We were thrilled when we tasted it, as were the great and the good of the world’s wine press. The 2017 has been showered with accolades, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise… this is one magnificent Vieux Chateau Certan!

“The 2017 Vieux Château Certan was picked in three passages through the vineyard, 12 and 13 September, 18 and 19 September and finally 25 September to 2 October. The yields are 37hl/ha with 14.2° alcohol and a 3.75 pH. It is the first vintage to contain Cabernet Sauvignon for several years. It has a very pure, Merlot-driven bouquet with black cherries, redcurrant and wild strawberry scents, just a hint of iris and incense in the background. The 70% new oak is nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin, a deep well of black and red fruit interwoven with allspice, truffle, white pepper and a little sage. This Vieux Château Certan manifests more complexity and profundity as it aerates, delivering genuine, spine-tingling mineralité on the persistent finish. It gains even more precision when I return to the property to re-taste it again. Tasted twice, ten days apart at the property. Drink 2023-2050. 94-96/100” - Neal Martin, vinous.com

“The 2017 Vieux Château Certan is a rapturously beautiful wine. Dark, sumptuous and seamless in the glass, the 2017 is going to tempt readers early. This is the first vintage that includes a bit of young vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2012 to complement the old-vine Merlot and Franc that are the core of Vieux Certan. A wine of exceptional balance and purity, the 2017 dazzles from start to finish. There is an element of tension in the 2017 that is incredibly appealing. "We are back to Bordeaux," adds Alexandre Thienpont in reference to the personality of the year as compared to both 2016 and 2015. The blend is 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aging in 70% new oak. 95-98” - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com

“Composed of 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Vieux Château Certan gives up gorgeous black raspberries, crushed black currants and warm black berries on the nose with chocolate-covered cherries, violets and star anise suggestions plus black truffles and wood smoke. The palate is medium to full-bodied with wonderful concentration in the mid-palate and firm, very finely pixelated tannins, with seamless freshness and fantastic length. 96-98/100” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate