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Vieux Chateau Certan 2012 (750ML)

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Right Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

98 WI / 97 JD / 97 DE / 96 VM / 96 JA / 95 WA / 18 JR

#5 Jane Anson Top 10 Right Bank Wines of 2023

The 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan is medium to deep garnet-purple colored. It charges out with impressively pure, laser-precise, and intense scents of blueberry compote, chocolate-covered cherries, and warm plum, plus hints of cinnamon toast, dried roses, and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, rich, and oh-so-classy in the mouth, the palate delivers velvety tannins and compelling tension, finishing very long and opulent. The blend this year is 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Independent

The 2012 Vieux Château Certan is absolutely brilliant, but it shows a more Cabernet Franc-dominated style in its pure cassis, spring flower, graphite, green tobacco, and lead pencil-like aromas and flavors. These carry over to the palate, where the wine is medium to full-bodied, with a focused, pure, precise mouthfeel carrying ultra-fine tannins, remarkable purity, and a rare mix of freshness, elegance, and persistence. Where current vintages are more about incredible opulence without any sensation of weight, this is more about fineness, purity, and precision. It’s a sensational Pomerol that is just now in its early prime drinking window and has another two decades of longevity. - Jeb Dunnuck

A blooming bouquet backed by a splendid core of multi-faceted fruit give this real class, which Left Bank wines often lacked in 2012. The highest proportion of Merlot (87%) since the 1985 vintage, which third-generation owner Alexandre Thienpont described as a ‘glass of perfume’. Still improving. Drinking Window 2025 - 2035 - SP MW, Decanter

Unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage, the 2012 Vieux Château Certan is pure class. So many Pomerols speak to power in 2012, but VCC is all finesse. Forward and open-knit with that classic sense of translucent beauty that is the most identifiable attribute of VCC, the 2012 is simply magnificent. Veins of minerality give the wine its precision and energy, while lifted notes of sage, lavender, mint and tobacco captivate all the senses. The blend is 87% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Readers who can find the 2012 should not hesitate, as it is superb. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

Tasted at the Duquesne club in Pittsburgh during a wonderful event to celebrate their 150th anniversary. Still young at 13 years old, but the tannins are beginning to melt into the raspberry and redcurrant fruits, and the violet aromatics that you can spend years searching for in Pomerol uncurl out of the glass with barely a coaxing. Fine but plentiful tannins suggest this has decades ahead of it. Particularly special because George Thienpont bought the estate in 1924, meaning that next year in 2024 they are celebrating their 100th anniversary in the family. 50% new oak. - Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux tasting. The 2012 Vieux Château Certan has a potent, smoke, cooked meat, Cabernet Franc-scented bouquet that is beautifully defined—quintessentially Pomerol. You want typicité? Come right here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite gentle as it sashays across the mouth. The acidity is very well judged and leads to an elegant tobacco tinged finish. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont have produced one of the finest wines of the Right Bank in 2012, one that is up there with the greats. Tasted January 2016. - Neal Martin, Wine Advocate

Very distinctive, with a terrific smoldering tobacco and charcoal frame around a core of steeped fig, blackberry and plum fruit. The fruit drapes across the finish. Best from 2018 through 2030." - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

So complex and pure with mushrooms, tobacco, chocolate and berries. Full-bodied yet refined, fresh and lively. The texture is so silky and intense. A real beauty and balance that both make you want to drink it. - James Suckling

Tasted blind. Lift, fragrance, almost stereotypical Margaux on the nose! Really very attractive indeed. Liquorice and lovely fruit. Throbbing with life. Dry finish. - Jancis Robinson

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