A stunning effort from Alexander Thienpont, the 2005 Vieux Chateau Certan (a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc) reveals an inky/blue/purple color along with a rich, sumptuous perfume of black olives, lavender, roasted herbs, licorice, pain grille, and oodles of truffles as well as creme de cassis. In the mouth, hints of chocolate and charcoal also make an appearance along with good acidity, fabulous purity, and a full-bodied, powerful mouthfeel. In keeping with the style of this terroir, the wine is reserved and restrained, but deep. It should develop magnificently, and age for 30-40 years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035.
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008|
|Score: 92/94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007|
Sweet scents of mulberries, black currants, and cherries intertwined with notes of herbs, licorice, and pain grille emerge from this lovely Pomerol. The wine comes across as reserved, but there is impressive extract, tannin, and glycerin in the long finish. Made from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2005 is a structured, elegant, potentially complex and noble Vieux Chateau Certan. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030+.
|Score: 92/94+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
Tasted single blind at Farr's 2005 dinner in Hong Kong. I thought that Alexandre Thienpont had fashioned an exceptional wine out of barrel, though subsequent bottles have not quite lived up to that promise…until now. It is still quite backward and primal on the broody, almost introspective nose, yet it opens up with hints of black truffle and crushed stone. There is something almost feral and animally here (but not brett!) The palate is medium-bodied with a rigid, steely structure, the Cabernet Franc lending this real backbone and tension. Long in the mouth, it has fantastic length and precision. Tasted November 2011.
|Score: 96||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012|
|Score: 97||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008|
Intense blackberry, chocolate and floral aromas. Full-bodied, with amazing texture of soft tannins and ripe fruit. All in balance. So long. Goes on and on. Loving and tender. What a red. This reminds me of 1950, although I wasn't around to taste it from the barrel! I am amazed.
|Score: 95/100||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006|
Tasted blind. Mid crimson. Fragrant, almost soapy nose. Lively, more transparent than most. A delicate touch. Great balance, with the fruit in tune with the tannin. Appetising. Classic style.
|Score: 17.5+||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017|
Complex on the nose, fresh and lively with some still quite dry tannins on the finish. A virtual palate scrub. This is much subtler than most
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2009|
Quite exceptionally energetic wine. Bright crimson - not one of the deepest colours - and wonderfully fresh, lively, racy wine that is beautifully balanced. Rich, broad yet not at all heavy - really rather like a racehorse at the peak of its form. Undoubtedly very ripe Merlot but Merlot with the greatest aspects of finesse. Already explosive. Lovely texture. Great lightness and life - complete. Alexandre Thienpont, who also did brilliantly in 2004, found his Cabernet Franc a bit austere in 2005 and has favoured Merlot in the blend for this magnificent grand vin. Drink 2010-28
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2006|
Bright ruby-red. Very closed nose hints at licorice and nutty oak. Sweet and broad in the mouth, with a chocolatey ripeness but less energy and grip than the 2006. This is more mouthfilling, and more sexy today in the middle palate, but may ultimately be less complex. Or is it just more reserved today? Finishes with substantial tannins that call for at least several years of aging.
|Score: 92+||Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar|
More Pomerol than VCC this year with 80% Merlot in the blend. Concentrated, silky, sweet, round and fragrant but just misses that extra touch of complexity. Drink 2014-2030.
|Score: 18||James Lawther MW, Decanter Magazine, April 2006|