William Kelley has hit the ground running in his role as lead Bordeaux critic for the Wine Advocate. It is clear that he shares the values of the original Wine Advocate - Robert Parker - in calling things exactly as he sees them.
His call on the 2019 Bordeaux vintage is, in our opinion, spot on. He writes "Vibrant, concentrated and structurally seamless, the best 2019 red Bordeaux combine striking aromatic range with notable intensity and persistence of flavor". He rates 5 wines with the full 100 points: Cheval Blanc, Margaux, Lafite, Lafleur and the outstanding Vieux Château Certan, a wine that has seduced critics across the board.
VCC has been on a roll of late, producing sublime wines of inimitable character, and he writes of the 2019 that "this perfumed, sensual Vieux Château Certan is a remarkable achievement from Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont".
His fellow critics and predecessors at the Wine Advocate are equally effusive: Lisa Perrotti-Brown writes of "a fantastic line of freshness and mind-blowingly ripe, complex tannins", Neal Martin of "exquisitely delineated, vivacious scents of red fruit, touches of crushed stone and a suggestion of brine".
At £3,100 per dozen this is not inexpensive wine (though it does come in at half the price of 3 of its fellow 100-pointers, and a quarter of the price of Lafleur). What it is, however, is the very pinnacle of Pomerol and, indeed Bordeaux.
|Bordeaux||2019||Vieux Château Certan|
6 bottle minimum order
|BT||7 \ 0||84||3,100.00||12||84||344.444444||100.00||100.00||Vieux Chateau Certan||0.75||10|
|Bordeaux||2019||Vieux Château Certan||MG||1 \ 3||9||3,200.00||6||9||355.55554133333||100.00||100.00||Vieux Chateau Certan||1.5||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
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
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.
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