Red, Drink now

1995 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

1995 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

Red | Drink now | Vieux Chateau Certan | Code: 582 | 1995 | France > Bordeaux > Pomerol | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA - Frightful bottle variation left me perplexed about just where this wine fits in Bordeaux's qualitative hierarchy. I tasted the wine three times since bottling, all within a 14 day period. Twice the wine was extremely closed and firm, with an evolved plum/garnet color, high levels of tannin, sweet black currant, prune, and olive-tinged fruit, and astringent tannin in the medium-bodied finish. Those two bottles suggested the wine was in need of at least 5-7 years of cellaring, and would keep for two decades. The third bottle was atypically evolved, with a similar color, but it was far more open-knit, displaying Provencal herbs, black cherry, and cassis fruit in a medium-bodied, jammy, lush style. I expect marginal bottle variation, but while the quality was relatively the same in all three bottles, the forward, open-knit example left me puzzled.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - Wine Advocate - Issue#115 - Feb 1998

The Producer

Vieux Chateau Certan

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.

The 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.

The Region

Pomerol

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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