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En Primeur 2017 - Available for delivery Spring / Summer 2020
93 Points - Decanter
Extremely bright, dark fruit aromas are joined by hints of gooseberry and redcurrant in the mouth, but a deeper, richer cassis comes through on the mid-palate. The high level of acidity emphasises a floral note, yet this has an austerity that is more pronounced than in recent vintages, which should settle in over time. This is a fairly concentrated vintage at VCC, more than at many properties, and was their fifth earliest harvest in the past 20 years, similar to 2011 in terms of dates, although this time it was in three stages, from 12 September to 2 October. This is different in profile to the 2016, with more Cabernet Sauvignon (planted in 2012). It's an elegant style with pure fruit; an extremely focussed and linear wine that's far from exuberant. No frost here, so a final yield of 37hl/ha. 3.75pH. IPT 73.
97-98 Points - James Suckling
This is a dense and compact center palate with a solid and pointed intensity. Full body, firm and silky tannins and an energetic finish. Complete. Harmonious.
18.5 Points - Julia Harding MW
Deepest crimson with black core. Not much aroma at first because the sample is cool. Rich, firm, dark and more savoury than usual, darker-fruited. Great freshness. Has impressive depth without weight. Very fine shape, great refinement even now. Feels like it is coiled tightly for the future. Dark beauty with just a very slight char on the finish and a long graphite aftertaste. Cool nights kept the freshness.
94-96 Points - Neal Martin
The 2017 Vieux Château Certan was picked in three passages through the vineyard, 12 and 13 September, 18 and 19 September and finally 25 September to 2 October. The yields are 37hl/ha with 14.2° alcohol and a 3.75 pH. It is the first vintage to contain Cabernet Sauvignon for several years. It has a very pure, Merlot-driven bouquet with black cherries, redcurrant and wild strawberry scents, just a hint of iris and incense in the background. The 70% new oak is nicely integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin, a deep well of black and red fruit interwoven with allspice, truffle, white pepper and a little sage. This Vieux Château Certan manifests more complexity and profundity as it aerates, delivering genuine, spine-tingling mineralité on the persistent finish. It gains even more precision when I return to the property to re-taste it again. Tasted twice, ten days apart at the property.
95-98 Points - Antonio Galloni
The 2017 Vieux Château Certan is a rapturously beautiful wine. Dark, sumptuous and seamless in the glass, the 2017 is going to tempt readers early. This is the first vintage that includes a bit of young vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2012 to complement the old-vine Merlot and Franc that are the core of Vieux Certan. A wine of exceptional balance and purity, the 2017 dazzles from start to finish. There is an element of tension in the 2017 that is incredibly appealing. "We are back to Bordeaux," adds Alexandre Thienpont in reference to the personality of the year as compared to both 2016 and 2015. The blend is 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aging in 70% new oak.
Zalto Denk-Art Universal Glass
The Zalto Universal glass is recommended for richer, oaked Sauvignon Blancs such as Hughes & Hughes Barrel & Skins, white Graves or Semillon/Sauvignon blends as well as young and non-vintage Champagne. The Zalto Universal is a very good 'all-rounder', designed for all types of wine but in our opinion may not maximize the potential of certain wines quite as much as the Bordeaux or Burgundy glass.
Bordeaux is not only the most famous wine producing region in France but in the world, with the most prestigious châteaux and wines in the industry. Its history dates back to the Roman times and today is the largest producing region of fine wines. Vineyards in Bordeaux are known by châteaux and therefore the name of each individual château is an important brand.
Many top wines are sold ‘En Primeur’ meaning that they are sold in the barrel prior to bottling. Almost 90% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called ‘Claret’ in the UK) from over 8,500 producers. The main reason for the success of the wine production in Bordeaux is the perfect combination of climate, with long hours of sunshine ideal for ripening the grapes and well-draining gravel soil. Appellations are an important part of the Bordeaux culture and the region has 54 appellations recognized by the AOC, the Appellation d’Origine Controlle.
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