The 2015 Vieux Chateau Certan was bottled in mid-May as usual. This was one of the wines of the vintage out of barrel, and now it has a compelling bouquet with blackberry, smoke and iris. There is wonderful delineation here, a cerebral bouquet that is quite mercurial in the glass, traces of black truffle emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and just a killer line of acidity, a Vieux Chateau Certan surfeit with energy and joie de vivre. It fans out in glorious, almost swaggering fashion with truffle and white pepper, a touch of truffle on the persistent finish. This is clearly destined to be one among the canon of legendary wines from the estate although it does deserve requisite cellaring. This is one of the wines of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2055.
|Score: 99||Neal Martin, -, March 2018|
The 2015 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 80% Merlot,, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, cropped between September 17 and October 2 at 42 hectoliters per hectare. The IPT is healthy 83 and the pH is 3.72, the alcohol 14.6%. Enough statistics. What you need to know is that it is a beguiling Pomerol that will set hearts aflutter. It is bridled with a heavenly bouquet with intense red and black fruit, black truffle and a touch of smoke, opening wonderfully in the glass; the Cabernet Franc is very expressive and imparting a licorice note after ten minutes. The palate is medium-bodied with intensity, with a killer line of acidity that imparts freshness from the very start. There is life-affirming tension interwoven throughout this extremely complex wine from Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont. There are layers, more like a mille-feuille of blackberry, boysenberry, mineral, truffle and a touch of spice towards the finish, just a touch of warmth from the alcohol that merely complements an extraordinary and profound Pomerol. Drink 2025-2060.
|Score: 98/100||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016|
The blackberries, blueberries, oyster shell and violets are so mesmerizing. Full-bodied, focused and deep. It takes you to another space and plane. Dried flowers and dark fruit. The tannins are perfectly crafted. Keeps going as you taste it. Drink in 2023 but why wait?
|Score: 100||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018|
A powerful and rich wine with super concentration and length. Deep and very rich. Glorious blackberry and black chocolate. Full and super velvety. A creamy texture of stone, chalk and lemon rind from the tannins and acidity. Wow. Loving it. The caressing character is so memorable. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016|
The 2015 Vieux Château Certan is every bit as magnificent from bottle as it was from barrel. Rich, sumptuous and explosive in the glass, the 2015 is pure class. The flavors are deep and boldly sketched in this sumptuous, spectacularly ripe Pomerol. Inky blue/purplish fruit, spice, lavender, licorice and menthol all develop in the glass, but it is the wine's textural richness and intensity that stand out most. As good as the 2015 is today, it is going to need at least 15-20 years to be at its very best. Is there anything more I can ask of the 2015? No, there is not. This is a tremendous showing. 2030 - 2065
|Score: 100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, February 2018|
One of the most exotic, flamboyant wines of the year, the 2015 Vieux Château Certan is rich, unctuous and seamless, with stunning depth and exceptional textural richness. In 2015, VCC is unusually deep and powerful. A host of rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and plum notes meld together, but it is the wine's overall intensity and spherical structure that stand out most. The 2015 is freakishly rich and likely to require at least 15 years to lose some of its baby fat. It was absolutely stellar on both occasions I tasted it.
|Score: 97/100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016|
Very intense nose with strong mineral notes - lots of Cabernet Franc influence. Massive impact with really luscious ripe fruit but massive tannins too. Very satiny initially but underneath there is massive tannin. Lovely fragrant top note. Beautifully married. Very sophisticated and with many layers. All vineyard not winemaking. Very savoury - very unlike Merlot stereotype.
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016|
Alexandre Thienpont has been making sensational VCCs for several years from the venerable old vines of this exceptionally well situated vineyard. The youngest Merlots were planted in 1959 and the youngest 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. The 2015 blend is, however, 80% Merlot with 19% Cabernet Franc and only 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. "Gentle Strength" is Alexandre's description of his 2015. Deep ruby in the glass with a powerful nose of pain grillé, cedar and plum giving an exotic yet lifted aroma profile. The palate is ripe but sophisticated with cool blueberry and plum fruit laced with succulent black cherry. There are hints of graphite that temper the fleshy fruit core. As the palate moves through the mid-palate to the finish there are fine and ripe tannins lining the structure of this wine and bringing perfect balance to the long finish.
|Score: 17.5||Farr Vintners, March 2016|
Sweet and ripe on the nose the start of the palate is rich with fleshy black plum. Lighter in the middle bramble and bilberry and although there is more depth at the back the finish has a light flowing elegance. 2027-40
|Score: 91/94||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016|
“Like 2010, but with better Cabernet Franc” is how Alexandre Thienpoint describes his wine.
It’s certainly an impressive Pomerol, but I preferred the former vintage. This is flirting with
over-ripeness at 14.6% alcohol, but has the richness, fine tannins and fruit weight to cope.
Sweet, dense and a little figgy with the Cabernet Franc providing an undertone of leafy
freshness. Drink: 2022-35
|Score: 94||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016|
Guillaume Thienpont describes this wine as ‘La Force Tranquille’. There is no doubt one millisecond after raising the glass
to my nose that this is an incredible wine. The depth of fruit on the nose is extraordinary. It is close to perfection when
both grapes ripen optimally and this doesn’t always happen at Vieux Château Certan. Clearly, they manage to make
fascinating wine year in year out at this property, but in the vintages when both grapes perform, the Thienponts make
a ‘true’ Vieux Château Certan and this is as clear and sonorous as any young vintage I have ever tasted. The palate is
complete and it expands as it travels across the taste buds into a larger, more intense beast. Bigger and more expansive
than the 2014 this is an indulgent wine and it never relents in its desire to inform you of its pedigree. Cabernet Franc kept
everything in check and this is what has brought the freshness to the Merlot. This is a very structured, powerful Vieux
Château Certan with magnificent control and a deep, dense register. 2010 was all about Merlot - this vintage is all about
Vieux Château Certan. Thrilling and magnificent, rich and luxurious this is a near perfect VCC.
|Score: 19.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016|