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Vieux Château Certan 2006

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > Pomerol
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

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Tasting Notes

One of the top wines of the vintage is the exquisite 2006 Vieux Chateau Certan. A blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc, it is a stunningly rich effort boasting an inky/blue/purple color as well as a gorgeous nose of forest floor, coffee, toast, and extravagant levels of black currants and blackberries. Hints of charcoal and flowers add to the wine's exquisite character. What's remarkable in this full-bodied wine is that nearly 100% new oak is used, yet the oak is largely drowned out by the wine's concentration and complex personality. This full-bodied Vieux Chateau Certan should be reasonably approachable in 3-4 years but last for at least three decades. This great success merits kudos to proprietor Alexandre Thienpont.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (181), February 2009

Tasted blind at Farr Vintners' horizontal, the 2006 Vieux Château Certan remains an outstanding proposition. It has an airy red cherry and raspberry bouquet, a hint of bergamot tea in the background, succinctly defined, even if the fruit needs some encouragement from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. The acidity is well judged, harmonious in the mouth, quite smooth with hints of truffle oil and white pepper towards the composed, quite sensual finish. Give this a couple of more years in bottle and then it should drink well for at least a couple of decades.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2016

This has a beautiful core of berry, coffee and chocolate fruit. Full yet very balanced, with a velvety mouthfeel and a long, long finish. Extremely well made, with everything in proportion. Makes you want to drink it now. I haven't found many wines like this. 75 percent Merlot and 25 percent Cabernet Franc.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2007
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, July 2007

Good full red-ruby. Very sexy aromas and flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, roasted coffee, violet and licorice. Lush, silky and highly concentrated, with an utterly seamless texture to the middle palate. Wonderfully, ripe, broad, merlot-based wine; solid as a rock but utterly pliant. Finishes with captivating lingering sweetness, the broad tannins completely buffered by the wine's ripe fruit. I sucked up my bottle of this elixir with great pleasure, but it has the stuffing for long aging.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2009

The nose has richness and depth of sweet fruit. Plum and bramble come through on the palate, rich and ripe giving suppleness. There is mid freshness that adds brightness and elegance to the finish.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2007
Read more tasting notes...

A brilliant effort from Alexandre Thienpont, the 2006 Vieux Chateau Certan is atypically high in Merlot (85%), with the rest Cabernet Franc. A huge bouquet of cedar, coffee, black currants, cherries, and pain grille soars from the glass of this full-bodied, opulent, fleshy, lavishly endowed Pomerol. Yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare resulted in a production of only 3,000 cases. A bulked-up, improved version of the brilliant 1990, the 2006 should be at its peak between 2010-2030, and should eclipse their 2005. Bravo!

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

Alexandre Thienpont is on a roll here: this is one of the finest Pomerol’s of the Appellation and could offer more quality per penny spent than any other. A gorgeous, opulent nose explodes from the glass and to be honest, you are in love straight away. Sweet black fruits laced with fig and dates, all with brilliant definition. The palate is very intense with rich, black fruits, slightly grainy tannins and wonderful poise. Blackberry, black tea, minerals and a touch of Xmas cake. Very intellectual, an utterly compelling Pomerol to treasure. Tasted April 2007.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2007

75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. They had 100mm of rain in just one weekend and 15 years ago they would have been tempted to harvest too early to avoid the rains. Yields down from 4000 cases to 3,200 this year. 34 barrels had to be left out of the assemblage as they lacked sufficient character for true VCC. Alexandre Thienpont acknowledged the great care taken over winery hygiene by an American student working during the harvest (he dismantled and cleaned just about everything that moved) and during sorting by Fiona Morrison MW (Mrs Le Pin). It was necessary to sort not just the bunches but even within the bunches. The key to this vintage was precision. Simple vinification, no overextraction, 8-10% saignée.
One of the richest, spiciest noses yet in Pomerol. Very sweet and sumptuous but with lots of freshness. Silky and generous and pure!!! Great red fruit freshness. Tension and density. Close-grained and glossy. A real treat. The wine of the vintage?

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2007

Good dark red. Sappy aromas of maraschino cherry, chocolate and spicy oak. Sappy and chocolatey-rich but with excellent verve and grip; showing as much red fruits as black today. A distinctly chewy wine, finishing with big, sweet, dusty tannins and lingering notes of chocolate and spice. Alexandre Thienpont did not treat against rot in 2006 and ultimately brought in a very small crop. "I lost the equivalent of 2,000 cases of wine," he told me.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (132), June 2007
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.