Vieux Château Certan: A Truly Essential Pomerol

Tom Baxter | February 29, 2024

We know that Bordeaux is a region where the effects of vintage variation manifest themselves in the glass. For this reason, estates that achieve consistency in vintages both challenging and celebrated always delight critics and consumers. Vieux Château Certan, or VCC, can be thought of as a fine example of this consistency and an indispensable reference of the Right Bank.

Third and fourth-generation Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont now manage the estate, which prides itself on possessing some of the appellation’s oldest vines (some dating back 80 years). Merlot dominates in the vineyard and so typically in the blend at around 75%; Cabernet Franc and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon follow.

The style is often lauded for being one of refinement and textural polish, but not at the expense of aromatic pungency. The Sotheby’s Wine line-up of vintages will convince you not only of the wine’s unwavering quality, but also of its various guises under different vintage conditions.

2019 and 2018 are not lacking in ripeness, but the former offers perhaps a notch more counterbalancing acidity – both are fine candidates for cellar maturation. For contrast, 2014s lighter style offers charming, accessible aromatics that are showing well today.