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Just Arrived: A Best Kept Secret - “Readers Who Can Find…Should Not Hesitate.”
August 23, 2020

Just Arrived - Ready To Ship: A Final Allocation of the Best Kept Secret from the Petrus Neighbor - It's the Rare Little Cult Wine of Vieux Château Certan That “Readers Who Can Find…Should Not Hesitate.” Experience the Pomerol Aristocrat at a Fraction the Price!

“Readers who can find the Gravette should not hesitate…all of the sensuality of the Grand Vin… flat-out gorgeous.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Just arrived, direct from the fabled Pomerol cellars. It's a final allocation of our favorite collector value from the vaunted 2016 vintage. In fact, outside of Lynch Bages, Pichon Lalande, and Tour Saint Christopher, it is our number one selling Bordeaux from the legendary vintage in the making. It is five cases from the chateau that inspired many of Italy's most prized wine.

Long before Italy’s iconic trio of Masseto, Redigaffi, and Messorio, there were the prized wines of Pomerol. If you are new to Pomerol's Vieux Chateau Certan (VCC), it is the humble aristocrat that sits on the top of the Pomerol plateau surrounded by L’Evangile, La Conseillante, and Château Petrus. Like Petrus, the VCC property shares much of the same prized 40-million-year-old blue clay soil, which is only found in the northeast corner of Pomerol and contributes to the magical appeal of these wines. VCC is one of the oldest properties in Pomerol with a history dating back to the 1770s, and it's now in the hands of the Thienpont family, the same family and approach behind Bordeaux’s ultimate cult wine, Le Pin. However, the greatness of the estate does not end with the grand vin of Vieux Chateau Certan. In fact, it is their little Gravette that may just be the best insider tip from Pomerol!

Antonio Galloni was correct when he noted, “Readers who can find the Gravette should not hesitate.” There is simply not much of this special Pomerol cult wine of pedigree to be found in the U.S. — it is trule one of Bordeaux’s best-kept secrets. As such, you may not be familiar with the tiny cult wine of Vieux Château Certan, La Gravette de Certan. The wine gets its name from a small parcel purchased by the Thienpont family in 1946, well before they even created the unicorn-like Le Pin. It is worth noting that the quality at Vieux Château Certan has improved so much over the past decade that Robert Parker has previously shared, "La Gravette de Certan is better in 2010 than many of the vintages of Vieux Château Certan produced in the 1970s."

Additionally, with our close relationship with the chateau we are able to include a final allocation of the Grand Vin, the 2010 Vieux Château Certan (VCC), direct from Bordeaux. Next to the 2016 release of VCC, this is our favorite expression that truly challenges its prized neighbors of Petrus and Lafleur at a quarter of the price.


Well, good news, 2016 follows suit, and it's a release that Alexandre Thienpont himself has called the "greatest La Gravette ever produced.” We emphatically agree with this observation and are not alone; the critics are shouting that it's “one of the best ever…” and confirming it is “shockingly good…well worth your time and money.” For Italian Wine Merchants, it truly is a taste and introduction to the prized wines of Vieux Château Certan — and so much more! The wine captures a Burgundian and elegant side of Pomerol from a vintage that simply stuns today with some of the best pricing in the country at under $79. Best of all, the final cases are here and ready to ship - and more importantly, this is a Pomerol with pedigree that can be enjoyed today.

Cheers to the Thienpont family for not only making the finest wines of Bordeaux but also making wines accessible to more with value. A special thank you to François for introducing me to La Gravette so many years back and providing access to such an exceptional and rare find.


Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Tasted five times. This is another one of those examples where the critics are being too critical in rating a second wine. It is a bottle that is so much more than a mere 'second wine' and is certainly more unique and interesting than many first labels in Pomerol (and beyond). The second label of the iconic Pomerol producer Vieux Château Certan is the La Gravette de Certan, named after a parcel of vines bought by the Thienpont family back in 1946. The quality at Vieux Château Certan has improved so much over the past decade that Robert Parker previously posted this quote from Alexandre Thienpont "La Gravette de Certan is better in 2010 than many of the vintages of Vieux Château Certan produced in the 1970s." Even better news here is that the 2016 follows where the 2015, 2014, and 2010 left off. Sure, there are inviting layers of Pomerol’s signature silky and seductive dark fruit, but there is also tongue-staining red fruit, persistence, and depth here. Expect to find notes of succulent black cherries, raspberries, mulberries, plums, crushed violets, and licorice, matched with hints of earth, eucalyptus, tobacco and a touch of salinity. Just 1,500 cases of this difficult-to-find wine are produced. It is a wine that pleases today and offers longevity for tomorrow. The 2016 Gravette is a wine that François calls the greatest ever more complete and not as generous as 2015. Our recommendation is to let the wine breathe one hour should you start drinking today.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “The 2016 La Gravette de Certan is flat-out gorgeous. Supple, creamy and beautifully textured, the 2016 possesses striking density and class to burn. Readers will find all of the sensuality of the grand vin in this striking, sumptuous second wine. A rush of blue fruits, lavender, spice, menthol, and rose petal builds in a silky, beautifully perfumed Pomerol. Readers who can find the Gravette should not hesitate, as it is sublime. The 2016 is 75% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon taken from young vines, under 25 years of age. Because young vines struggle a bit more under heat stress, the Gravette has a slightly exotic character. It is a fabulous and arrestingly beautiful wine by any measure.”

2010 Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol
(100 Points, James Suckling) 99 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: The 2010 Vieux Château Certan, a blend of 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol. Production was lower than in 2009 and the alcohol slightly higher, but the pH is 3.7, which is surprisingly reasonable given the lofty power and alcoholic clout this full-bodied wine possesses. Dense purple-colored , the 2010 displays a vivid yet astonishing array of spice box, red, blue and black fruits, crushed rock and spring flowers. The oak is well-concealed behind the lavish concentration and richness. Exceptionally pure, this unbelievable wine flirts with perfection. Unfortunately, there is 20% less of it than in 2009, and the tannins warrant a good 8-10 years of cellaring, as I suspect it could actually close down. This is another 40- to 50-year effort in 2010 that should elicit considerable interest from wine consumers. Thienpont thinks he has produced three wines - 2008, 2009 and 2010 - that are the greatest trilogy in the history of Vieux Château Certan, rivaling what this estate did in 1947, 1948 and 1949.”

If you would like to take advantage of this offer we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,