2012 Vieux-Château-Certan, Pomerol (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. Perfumed, elegant wine with an unusually high proportion of Merlot at the expense of Cabernet. Spicy, fruit cake and dried fruits go with a stylish blackberry character. Complex and set for a long aging.
A dense VCC with beautiful fruit of chocolate, blackberries, blueberries. Full body and velvety, with lovely richness and balanced. So juicy and yummy already. A round and voluptuous young red. One of the top wines of the vintage but not quite 2011 VCC, which benefited from outstanding Cabernet Franc.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A top success, the 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan is composed of 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep mulberry, plum and black cherry fruit notes intermixed with touches of graphite and subtle smoke lead to a medium-bodied wine with beautiful intensity, well-integrated oak, a velvety opulence and a long, impressively pure finish. A strong effort, it should drink well for 15 or more years. Alexander Thienpont continues to turn out brilliant wines from this property situated on the high Plateau of Pomerol...All the old vine parcels of Merlot made it into the final blend.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby. Cool, medicinal aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, violet and mint. Then silky and deep on the palate, offering pure dark berry and floral flavors and an attractive combination of stuffing and energy. Finishes perfumed and very long, with suave, fine-grained tannins. Another very successful VCC in the making.
Bright, delivering savory and tobacco leaf aromas, with damson plum, pomegranate and red currant fruit. The lacy structure lends a fresh feel through the finish. The tobacco element is prominent, but this slowly fills out in the glass with air. Tasted non-blind.
(Deep, dark cherry colour. Certainly no shortage of colour in the 2012s on the right bank. Alexandre Thienpont describes 2012 as 'a Merlot vintage of pedigree and balance', and this year only 12% Cabernet Franc (a third of the total), and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, went into the grand vin...Approx 75% new oak. High level of coulure, and very strict selection, giving rise to one of the lowest yields in the last 20 years.) Strong graphite aroma on the nose even though there is less Cabernet Franc than in some years. Silky tannins pull you along to a dry, polished finish. Cool and fresh with sweet blueberry fruit on the mid palate and a touch of earthiness adding savour. Very fine tannins. Earlier drinking wine than 2009 or 2010. Drink 2017-2025. 18/20 points.
Vieux Chateau Certain is one of the most prestigious chateaux in Pomerol. Holding an impressive 14 hectares of contiguous vineyard of clay and iron subsoil topped with large pebble atop what is arguably the best vine growing terrace in Bordeaux. Planted to 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, these vineyards provide ripe Cabernet varietals giving VCCs winemaker a lot of flexibility (the final blend for 2012 is 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon)