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Vieux Château Certan 2019

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

Alexandre Thienpont has been making sensational VCCs for several years from the venerable old vines of this exceptionally well situated vineyard. The oldest Merlots were planted in 1932 and the oldest Cabernet Francs in 1948. This is one of the great properties of Pomerol and it normally has a high (for the appellation) percentage of Cabernet in the blend. 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in the vineyard.

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Tasting Notes

One of the wines of the vintage, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan unfurls in the glass with a striking bouquet of cassis and cherries mingled with notions of violets, loamy soil, sweet spices and incense. Full-bodied, ample and layered, it's seamless and enveloping, with a fleshy core of beautifully vibrant fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, this perfumed, sensual Vieux Château Certan is a remarkable achievement from Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont. Drink Date 2029 - 2059

William Kelley, RobertParker.com (April 2022), April 2022

Subtle and complex with blackberries, violets, lilacs, roses and hints of ink. So floral, yet subtle on the nose. Full-bodied with incredible polish and beauty, the silky tannins running the length of the wine and going on and on. It builds with sheer elegance and structure. A blend of 78% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 7% cabernet sauvignon. Drink after 2028, but already a joy to taste.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2022

The 2019 Vieux Chateau Certan, composed of 78% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, is deep garnet-purple in color. Quite closed to start, it slowly reveals hints of plum pudding, blackberry preserves, and boysenberries with suggestions of Indian spices, mocha, and black olives. The full-bodied palate is fantastically layered, rich, and hedonic, with velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and decadent.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2023

The 2019 Vieux-Château-Certan has a fabulous bouquet with stunning delineation, a complex array of red and black fruit, sous-bois, truffle and Seville orange marmalade. The palate is medium-bodied and very precise, with fine-grain tannins, a superb bead of acidity and a peacock's tail on the finish lingering long in the mouth. I knew this was an awesome Pomerol...but maybe not this awesome! Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting. Drink 2026-2060.

Neal Martin, vinous.com (Southwold), February 2023

The tannins are firm and strict, keeping the dark fruits carefully in line. Tons of liquorice and slate, with a beautifully fragrant edge of violets, peonies, smoke. It has the kind of austerity that makes you happy to be patient, hiding layers and layers of nuance, with the sleight of hand between density and lightness, so it rises and falls, breathing through your palate, stretching its limbs. A delicious and beautifully classical expression, intellectual also, finishing with oyster shell salinity. 70% new oak, 40hl/h yield, harvest September 23 to October 3.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2022

Tasted blind. Blackish garnet. Compact, dense, dramatic fruit though without excessive dryness or oak. There is drama here and lots of satisfaction. Good balance. Very neat and distinctive. Nerve. 14.5%
Drink 2027– 2047

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2023

The 2019 follows in the lofty footsteps of a 2018 that received three potential 100 point scores from barrel. Deep ruby in colour with pure red cherry and plum on the nose, accented by cedar and hints of pencil shavings. The palate follows, interplaying sweet cassis and cherries with savoury wild mushroom. The tannins are velveteen and persistent, adding weight and depth to the mouthfeel. There is great harmony and drive to the palate, with waves of dark fruits and fresh acidity building through to a long, fine finish. Tasted in Bordeaux.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, May 2020

A wine I wasn't able to taste from barrel, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan is an awesome expression of Merlot that's as singular as they come. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as a prodigious, deep, layered bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, tobacco leaf, cedar pencil, and sappy spring flowers, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, multi-dimensional texture, a great mid-palate, no hard edges, perfectly integrated acidity, and a blockbuster of a finish. It shows the more ethereal, nuanced, elegant style of the vintage, both in its aromatics as well as on the palate, but it has classic Vieux Château Certan opulence and power. This heavenly wine is clearly in the same ballpark as the 2015, 2016, and 2018 and will probably merit a triple-digit rating at maturity. A decade of cellaring is advised, and it should be a 40-, 50-, if not 60-year wine.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, April 2022

78% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. 70% new oak. Yield 40 hl/ha. Alexandre Thienpont explained the Cabernet Franc was less productive in 2019, hence the reduction on 2018 (30%) and addition of young-vine (2012) Cabernet Sauvignon. Barrel sample.
Dark crimson hue. Complex and intense on the nose with dark fruit, tea and floral notes. Oak just perceptible but well integrated. Touch of sweetness on the attack (oak again?) but the palate remains juicy, lively and fresh, the tannins rounded and refined. A classic VCC that’s sapid and digeste, the finish long, dry and clean. (JL) 14.5%
Drink 2030 – 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2020
Read more tasting notes...

The 2019 Vieux Chateau Certain is a blend of 78% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the glass with vibrant black and blue fruits - blackberry preserves, ripe plums, and juicy blueberries - with touches of kirsch, Sichuan pepper, violets, licorice, and cumin seed. Full bodied, rich, and decadent in the mouth, the palate has a fantastic line of freshness and mind-blowingly ripe, complex tannins (thanks to the 3 varieties this year) supporting the very tightly wound layers, finishing with incredible length and lots of floral and mineral fireworks.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, May 2022

The 2019 Vieux Château Certan was picked September 23–27 and October 2–3, and matured in two-thirds new oak. Alexandre Thienpont mentioned that the 2019 includes a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon, which displayed such distinctive aromatics that he had to include it in the final blend (unlike in 2020). He pointed to a scent of immortelle, a plant that grows on sand dunes. This was stunning as a barrel sample, and there is no change in bottle. It still delivers exquisitely delineated, vivacious scents of red fruit, touches of crushed stone and a suggestion of brine. The palate is medium-bodied and classic in style, the expressive Cabernet components complementing the Merlot. There’s fine backbone here, and this VCC fans out gloriously on the finish, with a surfeit of freshness and tension. Yet unlike some recent vintages, this is a Pomerol that says "Attendez!" Give it a decade in a cellar if you know what’s good for you. 2030 - 2060

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2022

The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is deep in colour. It has a fabulous, very intense nose that explodes from the glass with billowing scents of black cherries, freshly shaved black truffles, raspberry and light rose petal aromas. The palate is so sensual and seductive on the entry, its creamy texture irresistible and completely disguising the structure underneath. Interestingly this VCC really comes into its own after 12-hours of opening, revealing more quintessential Pomerol characteristics and more grip on the finish. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont fashioned a brilliant follow-up to the glorious 2018. 2025 - 2055

Neal Martin, vinous.com, June 2020

The nose is so beautiful, offering dried flowers, white pepper and other spices. Yet,there’s also bright, blue fruit. Tar, too. Love the depth of fruit here. The wine flows across the palate with so well integrated tannins. You just want to drink it. Glorious. The cabernet in this makes it almost Medoc-like. A blend of 78% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 7% cabernet sauvignon.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2020

Very deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan slowly opens out to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of red roses, kirsch, black raspberries, violets and star anise over a powerful core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and boysenberries plus hints of cardamom, sandalwood and Ceylon tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is achingly graceful, featuring tightly wound layers of crunchy blue and black fruits with tannins so ripe and finely grained, you really have to look for them. The acidity here is absolutely seamless, and the finish explodes into an array of mineral sparks. Be prepared to fall head over heals for this one.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (June 2020 ), June 2020
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.