2008: This is a beautiful wine, much more developed and evolved than the 2010, as one might expect, with perfumed notes of camphor, cedar, charcoal, herbs, and black and red fruits. A blend of 70% of Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine has very complex aromatics, medium to full body, outstanding ripeness, a spicy, perfumed character, and light to moderate tannin. It can benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring and should keep for two decades.
|Score: 93||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011|
The 2008 Vieux Chateau Certan was still going through * malolactics when I tasted it, so my score is probably on the low side. Yields were a strikingly low 34 hectoliters per hectare, and the harvest was slightly earlier than at most properties, starting on September 28 and ending on October 8. The final blend had not yet been determined, but what I tasted was 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. As one might expect, this wine was among the least evolved and judge-able wines I tasted in late March. Nevertheless, it reveals outstanding potential, and once malo is finished, I would expect the wine to put on more weight and flesh. It reveals a dense purple color, plenty of depth, beautiful sweet, pure blue and red fruits, and notes of camphor as well as incense. The wine's striking freshness, length, and overall potential are promising. Production is off by 25% as there will be 3,000 rather than the normal 4,000 cases of the 2008.Given the structure, acids, and overall concentration, this wine should evolve for 25-35 years.
|Score: 92/94||Robert Parker, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
The 2008 Vieux Château Certan has a timid bouquet at first and demands a lot of coaxing from the glass. I wonder if this is in the middle of a closed down phase? This VCC seems to leave all the action on the palate: filigree tannin, a silver bead of acidity, very pure and complex towards the finish with truffle and smoke infusing the red berry fruit. Wonderful persistence (as usual for VCC). Keep it for a few more years is what Alexandre Thienpont suggests and who am I to disagree. 2023 - 2040
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2018|
Tasted ex-château and single blind in Southwold. Two bottles opened: one a little showier than expected but the other I feel more representative. It has a lovely, very well defined bouquet with redcurrant jam, wild strawberry, minerals and a touch of spice. It is demonstrating great vivacity and poise. The palate is medium-bodied with lush, rounded tannins. It is very succulent and symmetrical in the mouth, caressing the palate, a lot of well integrated new oak with a multi-dimensional finish. Superb. Tasted January 2012.
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, January 2012|
Just blended ten days ago, so it is no surprise to find the nose lacking the usual harmony at this stage. But a few swirls and it starts to come together - bright cherry fruits, a touch of clayey earth with nice definition. The palate is medium-bodied, more fruit-driven than usual with red cherry, wild strawberry, a touch of mulberry. Good acidity, lovely rounded finish. Nice tension but lacking a bit of persistency and weight on the finish. Tasted April 2009
|Score: 90/92||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2009|
The texture is classic, with plum, fresh mushroom and berry aromas and flavors. Full and round, with lovely length. There is plenty of acidity, but it's balanced and pretty. Very long and fresh. 70 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Last time they used this amount of Cabernet was in 2000; that shows it was a late harvest.
|Score: 89/92||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2009|
Bright crimson. Fresh, meaty, savoury nose. Much less obviously sweet than Le Pin from the same family - though there is a certain freshness and bloodiness. Reminds me a little of Haut-Brion in its fresh frank expression. Very firm. Very precise - no flatterer. Quite cool. Good attack. 13.2%
|Score: 17.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2009|
The ripeness and richness of black plum is overlaid by fragrant forest violets. Damson and bilberry are in evidence on the palate their richness enhanced by sloe and a touch of dark chocolate. The rich, supple power is balanced by red fruits giving it a really charming elegance.
|Score: 91/95||Derek Smedley MW, April 2009|