2011 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

2011 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Vieux Chateau Certan | Code: 11911 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Pomerol | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£600.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£668.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

18.5/20

DECANTER

19/20

PARKER

94-96/100

WS

93-96/100

DECANTER - The 'grand retour' of Cabernet Franc with 29% in the blend. Less opulence than 2009 and 2010 but this is a wine that really sings. It has a vital, floral, dark fruit nose, a silky texture and tannins. Succulent, fresh and long. A classic VCC. The Right Bank wine of the vintage.
Decanter – Bordeaux 2011 coverage – April 2012

PARKER - Made in a big, bold style with 13.6% natural alcohol, it reveals a stunning perfume of graphite, mulberries, black currants, kirsch, licorice and forest floor. This full-bodied, dense Pomerol transcends the overall vintage character. Thienpont compared the style of the 2011 with their 2000, but with more density to its core because of the extremely low yields. Only 60% of the crop made it into this cuvee. It will need 5-8 years of cellaring, and should still be intact and drinking beautifully at age 30.

A candidate for the top wine of Pomerol, Alexandre Thienpont calls the 2011 a return to the more classic style of Vieux Chateau Certan after the exotic, over-the-top 2009 and 2010. A blend of 70% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc (the highest in a number of years) and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2011 was harvested between September 7-20.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012

WS - This has a dark ganache and loamy profile that belies the vintage's lighter, fresher profile, and the wine cuts a broad swath but stays well-defined, with dense tobacco and fig on the finish. An impressive effort and an early challenger for one of the wines of the vintage.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 5, 2012

The Story

Vieux Chateau Certan

Producer

Vieux Chateau Certan

The Vieux Château Certan estate, which in 1745 already figured on Bellayme's famous map under the name of  "Sertan", is located in the heart of the Pomerol plateau. Covering 14 hectares (35 acres) in one single block, the Vieux Château Certan vineyard is the fruit of a century of painstaking work and careful decision-making.

The estate vineyard is today made up of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.This varietal mix enables the best possible balance to be sought in each vintage between the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc. The latter performs exceptionally well in this terroir and reaches perfect ripness levels. The grapes are picked by hand and sorted meticulously at the end of each row of wines. After a gentle crushing they are put into oak vats, by variety. Those vats destined to make up the blend of the Grand Vin are run off into 100 % new French oak barrels and aged for 18 to 22 months.

Vieux Château Certan is regularly ranked by the world's press and international tasting panels among the very top wines.

Grape

Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

Region

Pomerol

Pomerol is the smallest of Bordeaux's major appellations, with about 150 producers and approximately 740 hectares of vineyards. It is home to many bijou domaines, many of which produce little more than 1,000 cases per annum.

Both the topography and architecture of the region is unremarkable, but the style of the wines is most individual. The finest vineyards are planted on a seam of rich clay which extends across the gently-elevated plateau of Pomerol, which runs from the north-eastern boundary of St Emilion. On the sides of the plateau, the soil becomes sandier and the wines lighter.

For a long time Pomerol was regarded as the poor relation of St Emilion, but the efforts of Jean-Pierre Moueix in the mid-20th century brought the wine to the attention of more export markets, where its fleshy, intense and muscular style found a willing audience, in turn leading to surge in prices led by the demand for such limited quantities.

There is one satellite region to the immediate north, Lalande-de-Pomerol whose wines are stylistically very similar, if sometimes lacking the finesse of its neighbour. There has never been a classification of Pomerol wines.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Pétrus, Vieux Ch. Certan, Le Pin, Ch. L’Eglise-Clinet, Ch. La Conseillante, Ch. L’Evangile, Ch. Lafleur, Trotanoy, Ch. Nenin, Ch. Beauregard, Ch. Feytit-Clinet, Le Gay.

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