Vieux Chateau Certan was the Right Bank wine of the 2011 vintage. As it is every year, Vieux Chateau Certan 2011 is stunning. I drank a bottle in January 2011 and it was so good, we hosted a dinner exclusively of 2011 Bordeaux. A vintage that appears was underrated at En-Primeur and release time.
Vieux Chateau Certan shows dark fruits, olives, oak, coffee, concentrated, compact and tightly wound. Vieux Chateau Certan looking great now, but it has a decade or two (or three) ahead of it.
Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol Bordeaux 2011, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Neighbour to the all-conquering Chateau Petrus and vying through their long histories for the title of best in Pomerol, Vieux Chateau Certan or VCC is often in contention for wine of the vintage in Bordeaux. The estate is 14 hectares split into 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is under the ownership of the Thienpont empire the wines they craft are often more structured than the typical Right Bank Bordeaux but still retaining the Merlot perfume and flesh that is the charm of the appellation.
Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol Bordeaux 2011 Wine Review
“The aromas of this are so gorgeous, with blackberries, black cherries and wet earth. Full body with super-fine tannins and bright acidity. A firm, tightly structured young red with orange peel and other citrus fruit. This is so focused and straight. Try in 2018.” January 2014
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last minute by timely sunshine.
Merlot dominates here ably supported by Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, a distant (and sometimes non-existent) third. There is only 800 hectare of vines and almost 150 producers, and Pomerol is the only major appellation of Bordeaux to eschew a ranking system. The quality at the top level is arguably better than any other Bordeaux, but it can vary.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid, but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Cabernet Franc is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux. But also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highly aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.
One of the hardest and most disappointing vintages in recent Bordeaux history. Experiencing both excessive heat and rain led to wines that were lighter, less concentrated and sometimes on the green side. Early ripening terroirs and Merlot tended to be more successful.