Pomerol stands apart from the other Bordeaux appellations. It has no formalised wine classification system, has risen to glory in a relatively short space of time and offers some of the most elegant and decadent wines in all of Bordeaux.
Vieux Château Certan dates back to the 1700s and is owned by the Thienpont family. Being well-positioned and one of the oldest Pomerol properties, its wines are also some of the most sought-after.
The Grand Vin is produced from the oldest Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines, the youngest being 55 years old, grown on a plateau of clay and gravel. Although ‘unashamedly classic in style’ as Neal Martin says, it is still full-bodied and sumptuous, always gifting a delicate dried herb and hauntingly floral bouquet. Having produced some of the 1940’s most magical wines, the modern-day vintages of 2009, 2010 and now 2014 are Bordeaux benchmarks. It’s often atop the Bordeaux list. Early on, Neal called the 2014 the ‘best wine of the vintage’.
For a slightly more affordable offering, the rare second wine La Gravette de Certan 2014 is, quite simply, a stonker! A blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot from ‘young’ 30-year-old vines, it is handsome, regal and utterly delicious.
We truly could not be more excited by these 2 wines which will appeal to all Bordeaux-lovers.
La Gravette de Certan, Pomerol 2014 – R 850
Lovely, with a stream of raspberry confiture flowing through, while light mint, star anise and black tea notes weave in and out. The long and refined finish has a light mineral accent, while the fruit sails on. This is quietly one of the best second wines in Bordeaux. Best from 2018 through 2026. – Wine Spectator, 91/100
The plum and blueberry character and hints of cocoa are really impressive. Medium to full body and firm and silky tannins. Integrated and so fine. A beautiful thing. Drink now or hold. Second wine of Vieux Château Certan. – James Suckling, 93/100
Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol 2014 – R 3,550
The 2014 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon… It was one of my stars of the vintage and now in bottle, I find no reason to change that. It is endowed with an exquisite bouquet, really one of the best I encountered throughout my tastings: perfumed blackberry, wild strawberry, cold stone and wilted rose petals. Like in barrel, it is not powerful, yet it is blessed with wondrous precision. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and fine tannin, a slightly masculine VCC due to its linearity and precision. There is tension here from start to finish, a sophisticated and cerebral Pomerol that transcends the growing season. It is a totally different kettle of fish to the 2015 (and doubtless the pre-natal 2016). This is unashamedly classic in style, fanning out towards the mineral-rich finish with great frisson and energy. A cellar without the 2014 Vieux Château Certan would be a great pity. – Wine Advocate, 96/100
Gorgeous, with a core of remarkably pure blackberry, raspberry and black currant fruit wrapped up in a fresh tobacco leaf accent. Everything is carried by silky yet persistent tannins, while the finish lets suave warm stone and singed juniper details fill in. Shows some coiled-up energy, which should make for fun cellaring. Best from 2020 through 2035. – Wine Spectator, 96/100
Soils trumped grapes in 2014, according to proprietor Alexandre Thienpont… Exceptionally late vintage. Bright crimson. Meaty, really savoury nose with great life. Medium weight and beautiful balance. Some light inkiness and a little marked by the oak at present but a really beautiful whole. Fragrant, roses with life and lift again. The wine is relatively high in acidity but, most unusually, surrounded by the ripe fruit. Easy to see a relationship with the beautiful 2006 served after this. Drink 2020 to 2040. – Jancis Robinson, 18.5/20