Vieux Ch Certan 2020

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Tasting Notes and Scores

98-100

Wine Advocate

Drink Date
2029 - 2069

Reviewed by - Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2020 Vieux Château Certan is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, picked on the 14th to the 24th of September for the Merlot, then on the 28th and 29th of September for the Cabernet Franc. The pH is 3.77 and the alcohol is 14.5%. Deep purple-black colored, it needs considerable coaxing, swirling and a lot of patience before it finally lets rip an intoxicating perfume of ripe, juicy black plums, Morello cherries, candied violets, black truffles and crushed rocks, giving way to hints of black tea, molten licorice and Sichuan pepper, plus a waft of dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers achingly ripe, silt-like tannins and shimmering freshness that melds with the black fruits and earthy layers with jaw-dropping seamlessness, finishing with layer upon layer of mineral and savory suggestions and, finally, a gorgeous floral whisper. There are going to be two ways to approach this: 1) Just let the remarkably sensual, inexplicable beauty of it wash over you or 2) Try to unravel all those intricate layers and have it blow you mind. Either way, this is simply an incredible achievement—bravo Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont!

96-98

Neal Martin

The 2020 Vieux Château Certain is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc (no Cabernet Sauvignon this year). Drought retarded vigor, particularly with respect to the older vines, and picking was carried out September 14–24 for the Merlot and September 28–29 for the Cabernet Franc. Examined over a couple of hours, it delivers intense and quite opulent black cherries, blueberry and shavings of black truffle and iodine, becoming increasingly floral with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive structure and bags of freshness. There is plenty of sappy black fruit, lip-smacking underlying salinity and a finish that is a doppelganger for Lafleur (despite containing less Cabernet Franc). A gorgeous VCC that exudes both density and refinement.

vinous.com

98-99

James Suckling

Extraordinary clarity and brilliance on the nose with ink and iodine, blackberry and blueberry. Really perfumed already. Full-bodied with fine tannins and superb depth and length. I love the complexity and the great texture. Energetic finish.

18++

Jancis Robinson

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Deep, intense colour. Lovely open expression of fruit on the nose with floral notes and plenty of lift and relief. Palate ripe but vinous and sappy, the tannins finely honed offering a velvety texture. Contained power and concentration behind. Slight glow but remains digeste. Another top year. (JL)

96-98

Antonio Galloni

A powerful, vertical wine, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is endowed with tremendous intensity right out of the gate. Everything about the 2020 is dialed up. The fruit is huge, as are the tannins. Black cherry, licorice, new leather, spice and bittersweet chocolate saturate the palate in a wine that conveys opulence from start to finish. Yields were just 30 hectoliters per hectare, well below the norm of 40-42. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, in other words a high percentage of Franc. There is no Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend this year, the result of dehydration on the vine. The 2020 is fabulous. I can't wait to taste it from bottle.

vinous.com

97-99

Jeb Dunnuck

Always one of my favorite wines in just about every vintage, the 2020 Vieux Château Certan is another magical wine in the making, revealing a dense purple hue as well as stunning notes of cassis, bright cherries, chocolate, and flowers. It hits the palate with full-bodied richness, perfect tannins, a dense, layered mid-palate, and one blockbuster of a finish. This is unquestionably one of the biggest, richest, sexiest wines in the vintage, and my money is on it flirting with perfection and delivering 30-40 years of prime drinking. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, harvested all in September, and hitting 14.5% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.77.

95

Decanter

Tasted by Jane Anson(at Primeur week tastings in Bordeaux, 01 May 2021)

Concentrated and complex flavours with a silky, velvety and supremely seductive texture, alongside a ton of energy, freshness and juice. It has dense muscular tannins, and is going to age beautifully. As it opens you get the aromatics coming out, and the Merlot fleshy fruits become generous and welcoming, opulent without being tiring. A little less Cabernet Franc in the blend than normal because one of the three plots has currently been pulled up before replanting. Harvest September 14 to 29. 3.77pH. A yield of 30hl/ha because of the dry weather through the summer followed by the flashes of heat in September, among lowest ever (similar to 2010).

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042