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Vieux Château Certan 2015

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

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Tasting Notes

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?

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018

The 2015 Vieux-Château-Certan is clearly very sophisticated on the nose, tight at first but opening with graphite and crushed stone infused black fruit. Brilliant delineation and focus here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and a wonderful bead of acidity. There is beguiling symmetry from start to finish that underpins this top Pomerol. One of the finest VCCs of the modern age. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2019

The 2015 VCC is a blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and it has a deep garnet color. It prances out with scents of flamboyant black cherry pie, plum preserves and blueberry compote, giving way to suggestions of truffles, smoked meats, Indian spices, and fragrant soil, with a touch of sandalwood and rose oil. Full-bodied, the palate is bursting with expressive, exotic spices and floral notes, framed by ripe, grainy tannins and wonderful tension, finishing very long and fragrant. The pH is about 3.7 - very impressive for such a warm year.

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

Tasted blind. Not especially aromatic but there’s a lot underneath. Serious stuff with great richness but great structure too. Hint of mint.
Drink 2024-2042

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2019

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.

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

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

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.

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016
Read more tasting notes...

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.

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.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

Blended of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Vieux Chateau Certan opens with profound notes of blueberry compote, dried mulberries, black forest cake, licorice, violets and garrigue with wafts of black truffles, sandalwood and rose hips. Medium to full-bodied, very earthy/savory and beautifully layered with very plush yet present tannins, it offers lovely freshness and a very long minerally finish. So very Pomerol!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

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.
Drink 2025-2045

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016
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.