Just as good, yet in a different style, the 2016 Vieux Château Certan shows cooler notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, underbrush, graphite, violets, and crushed rocks. Deep, incredibly full-bodied and powerful, yet like the 2015, weightless and sensationally textured, it glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Expansive, deep, beautifully concentrated, and flawlessly constructed, it builds incrementally on the palate and has a finish that lasts for over a minute. It’s another legendary wine from this estate to enjoy over the coming 30-40 years.
The 2016 Vieux Château Certan is blended of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with pristine, vivid notions of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry compote and mulberries with fragrant touches of raspberry leaves, crushed rocks, licorice, cumin seed and yeast extract plus a waft of red roses. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully elegant, the palate builds from a quiet intensity to an incredibly well-sustained aria of crunchy red and black cherries notes plus tons of floral undertones, framed by exquisitely soft yet firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with lingering mineral and floral sparks. How does this 2016 compare to the also amazing 2015 vintage? Stylistically they are very different, as my notes on each should convey, but beyond this I am struck by the incredible harmony and seamlessness of the 2016 along with its amazing depth and energy this year. Bravo! (LPB)
I have been fortunate to follow the 2016 Vieux Château Certan almost from the beginning, starting with a tasting of several lots from barrel in early January 2017, in which Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont showed me the wines in a sequence arranged by the year of planting of various parcels. Even then, it was clear, the 2016 had the potential to be a majestic wine. Now, from bottle, it is every bit as captivating as early tastings suggested it would be. Sweet red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice infuse this exquisitely beautiful, layered Pomerol. Alexandre Thienpont adds that the harvest was saved by September rains that gave the parched vines just enough water to restore some of the balance that had been lost earlier in the season. Put simply, the 2016 VCC has it all. (AG)
The ripeness in this wine is incredibly balanced and perfect with plum and orange-peel character, buttressed by the ripe seeds of the grapes that give a hazelnut and coffee undertone. Turns to violets. Full body with firm and very sexy tannins that are perfectly balanced and polished. Some chocolate and dried black tea-leaf character in the aftertaste. Wonderful finish. Needs five to six years to soften, but already a joy to experience. Try after 2025.
This big, rich wine has perfumed Cabernet Franc flavors to give shape to the dominant Merlot. It is a well-structured wine, elegant and with juicy acidity. It displays power and concentration along with restraint and style. Drink this wine from 2024. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
This is deep and incredibly silky, with concentrated notes of coffee grounds and cappuccino, liquorice and a welcome touch of bitterness. There's a whoosh of menthol freshness and dark chocolate through the finish. It's intellectual and reserved right now, with some austerity evident, but the complexity builds in the glass, as does the seductive silky texture. This was extremely good at en primeur, but has deepened even further since. Bottled in early June at the property, as they now bottle the wine themselves rather than using a mobile bottling line. 70% new oak. Drinking window 2024 - 2045 (JA)
A horse of a different color among its peers in this vintage, featuring an extremely vivid core of pastis-soaked plum, cassis and blackberry fruit streaming forth. Muscular yet imbued with racy cut, the finish ripples along the edges, with sweet tobacco, warm gravel and ganache notes. A violet hint glistens here and there for added effect. Power and vivacity make a thrilling combo. Best from 2023 through 2040. (JM)
Sumptuous nose. Great lift. Real race and dancing stuff. Good structure and line. Nothing sweet or fleshy about this but lovely ripeness and nobility. Amazing persistence and elegance in claret mode. (JR) 19/20
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