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Vieux Chateau Certan 2020 (1.5L)
98-100 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "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!" 05/21
97 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: "The 2020 Vieux Chateau Certan was show-stopping from barrel sample and, now, in bottle? The nose is exquisitely delineated with perfumed black fruit, crushed rock, hints of pencil box, and a very faint licorice scent in the background. Wonderful focus. The palate has marvelous definition, surfeited with tension from the start. It is a little granular in texture, reminiscent of the 2010 at this same early juncture, magnificent, life-affirming salinity and pepperiness fanning out beautifully on the lace-like finish. It's a profound Pomerol that will age effortlessly over many years. Super-bon. Alexandre Thienpont compared it to the 1945. This is cheaper and easier to find." 12/22
96-98 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “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.” 05/21
98-99 Points, James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com: “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.” 06/21
98-100 Points, Jeff Leve, Wine Cellar Insider: “Inky dark in color, it takes no time to discover the truffle, violets, black plum liqueur, Valrhona chocolate, spice, espresso bean, black raspberry and hints of blue fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, and incredibly concentrated, the wine feels like polished velvet as it caresses your palate. Dense, rich and powerful, yet weightless, balanced and fresh, the finish crosses the 60 second mark and keeps on going! The level of purity, concentration and depth of flavor here is matched by its sensuality. If Caligula were serving wine, this would be his choice. This is better than the 2009, 2016 and probably 2018. This will be one of the legendary vintages for Vieux Chateau Certan. It is a serious contender for wine of the vintage! The wine blends 85% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. The harvest took place September 14-September 24 for the Merlot. Cabernet Franc was picked September 28-September 30. Yields were low at only 30 hectoliters per hectare.” 5/21