2009 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

2009 Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Vieux Chateau Certan | Code: 952269 | 2009 | France > Bordeaux > Pomerol | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol



Bottle 12 x 75cl




Bottle 12 x 75cl



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Scores and Reviews











DECANTER - Magnificent wine but atypically rich, round and powerful rather than linear and discreet (only 16% Cabernet in the blend). Enormous depth of fruit. Sweet, ripe and persistent. Voluptuous. Owner-winemaker Alexandre Thienpont compares it to the 1950 and 2000.
(Steven Spurrier - Decanter - April 2010)

JANCIS - Broad and sweet and exotically jewelly. Almost porty but it has real substance and complex fruit. 
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - Feb 2013)

84% Merlot (mainly the 1942 plantings), 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Same blend as in 1998, oddly – which was their reference point for Merlot. pH 3.8, 40 hl/ha compared with the very small vintages of 2008 and 2006. 'Now that we have a better cellar, we can take more risks. In old days we couldn’t have taken 09’s risks.' Unusually low proportion of Cabernet Franc; these particular old vines just did not deliver in 2009. Very dark – much darker than Le Pin. Very luscious – more like the nose you would expect of Le Pin! Very big and rich and full. Round and chewy and very very ripe but not heavy nor very hot. Splendid nose with great richness and savour but not excessive sweetness. Gouleyant. 13.7%
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - April 2010)

PARKER - The 2009's nearly 14% natural alcohol, exquisite ripeness, and incredible complex bouquet of Asian spices, fruitcake, licorice, smoke, blackberries and black currants are to die for. A blend of 84% Merlot and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it possesses a viscous texture as well as a freshness and vibrancy that are remarkable given the wine’s weight, richness and potential massiveness. This extraordinary effort is one of the finest Vieux Chateau Certans made over the last sixty years. It will undoubtedly shut down in bottle, requiring a decade or more of cellaring. It should keep for 50 years thereafter. Proprietor Thienpont thinks it is a modern day version of the 1948.

As I wrote in my barrel tasting notes, the 2009 ranks alongside four of the legendary vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan’s ancient past, 1945, 1947, 1948 and 1950. It is undoubtedly a cleaner wine than those older vintages, and the selection process under proprietor Alexandre Thienpont was far more severe in 2009 than it would have been sixty years ago.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - February 2012)

WS - This has an incredible nose of chocolate and berries that turns to sweet tobacco and China tea leaves. Full-bodied, with a beautiful softness and silkiness that makes you want to keep tasting it. Goes on and on.
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Apr 2010)

The Story

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 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.



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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