Previously, I thought the best vintages of Vieux Chateau Certan, which only happen on rare occasions produce equally strong Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I changed my mind after tasting the amazing 2009, which is a year that favored Merlot. In that year, the blend is 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Clearly this is one of the top wines of the entire 2009 Bordeaux vintage! In fact, 2009 Vieux Chateau Certan is one of the best wines I’ve ever tasted from the estate. Read more...
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 wines 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 Certans 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.
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