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Château Certan Leaves Us Speechless Yet Again in 2010. Plus Iconic Library Releases.
June 23, 2020

“I Am Lost for Words” – Vieux Château Certan Leaves Us Speechless Again in 2010…and 2019? It’s the Debut of the Hottest Wine in Bordeaux with An Iconic Library Release. This Is Why You Buy En Primeur!

It was a busy 48 hours with the 2019 Bordeaux releases of Pichon Lalande (SOLD OUT in 6 Hours), Smith Haut Lafite, Canon, Rauzan Segla, Les Carmes Haut Brion, Beausejour Duffau, and most importantly Vieux Chateau Certan. This is arguably the most important Bordeaux release we will provide this year, as this is the single hottest estate in Bordeaux that manages to stay under the radar. In 2019, Alexandre Thienpont, believes the wine can be compared to his iconic 2010 in regard to its character, complexity and concentration! Due to our close relationship with the Chateau we are including the legend-in-the-making 2019 with the iconic wine of the past – the 2010 Vieux Chateau Certan!

While many merchants are sprinting to get offers out, at IWM we do our best to offer what we taste and believe are exceptional expressions of the vintage. As for the 2010 Vieux Chateau Certain, yes, James Suckling gave it perfection, stating, “I am lost for words. Legendary 1950 all over again.” Robert Parker, along with Alexandre Thienpont himself echoed this sentiment with “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.” But the critics are not alone on this one. I had the opportunity to revisit the 1983, 2004, 1998, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Vieux Château Certan with Alexandre and Francois Thienpont. These are the wines of the vintage and for the 2010, the words that immediately come to mind are, stunning, jaw-dropping, mesmerizing. Mr. Suckling was right in saying, “I am lost for words.” But those were only the initial comments, in tasting the wine over the course of eight hours, the wine just got that much better. Yes, it is still young, but it is deceivingly approachable today with its fine tannins and velvet like texture, and is one of those redefining bottles that makes you question what you already think you know about wine and why Pomerol has earned its reputation and status.

Today, we are pleased to present new releases from 2019 Bordeaux. The highlight is the 2019 Vieux Chateau Certan along with the monumental 2010, a wine that Parker calls “one of the finest Vieux Château Certans made over the last sixty years.” While the 2010 commands $400+, the 2019 is now available at $244.99. And like the 2019 Pichon Comtesse Lalande yesterday, we anticipate this wine selling out quickly.

Featured Wines: Debut of Vieux Château Certan – New Arrivals and More (Click to Order)

*indicates pre-arrival direct from Bordeaux. Some bottles have arrived, please inquire.
Note on 2019 Bordeaux: More sizes 1.5L, 3.0L, 6.0L available on request. Please note, for 2019 En Primeur selections, the wines will arrive by the end of 2022. As such, should tariffs exist at the time, the purchaser of the wines will be responsible for these additional tariffs at the time of importation. All wines subject to confirmation.

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.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

97-100 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: "Very deep purple-black in color, the 2019 Vieux Château Certan slowly opens out to reveal a heart-stopping perfume of red roses, kirsch, black raspberries, violets and star anise over a powerful core of plum preserves, blueberry pie and boysenberries plus hints of cardamom, sandalwood and Ceylon tea. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is achingly graceful, featuring tightly wound layers of crunchy blue and black fruits with tannins so ripe and finely grained, you really have to look for them. The acidity here is absolutely seamless, and the finish explodes into an array of mineral sparks. Be prepared to fall head over heals for this one." 6/20

96-98 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: "The 2019 Vieux Château Certan is deep in colour. It has a fabulous, very intense nose that explodes from the glass with billowing scents of black cherries, freshly shaved black truffles, raspberry and light rose petal aromas. The palate is so sensual and seductive on the entry, its creamy texture irresistible and completely disguising the structure underneath. Interestingly this VCC really comes into its own after 12-hours of opening, revealing more quintessential Pomerol characteristics and more grip on the finish. Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont fashioned a brilliant follow-up to the glorious 2018." 6/20

100 Points, James Suckling: “This is a wine that had extreme intensity of electrifying tannins and acidity, with supercharged fruit. Full-bodied, yet agile and lively. It touches every taste bud on your palate. Chocolate mousse and fruit. I am lost for words. Legendary 1950 all over again. Try it in 2020.” 2/2012

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.” 2/2013

100 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine: “2001 was a vintage that very much suited Pomerol, and the Merlot here takes precedence over the Cabernet Franc, expanding sideways, juicy and smiling. This is a show stopper of a wine, from the very first moment that you pour it. Concentrated and powerful, it gathers pace through the palate with flavours of truffle, cinnamon, toasted almonds, rich plum and damson. The texture is of cashmere and silk, the fruit palate varied and balanced. You can open it now, but there's no rush, even at close to 18 years on.”

96 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: “Inky purple in colour, with peony and iris aromatics, then a whoosh of freshness that makes your mouth water before you are even halfway through. This is extremely impressive, well balanced, with fine tannins and real discretion but hidden power and depths. Clear floral character, with an austerity that makes you celebrate minerality. There are gourmet touches but the focus is rather on slate, rosemary and crushed stones with hints of chocolate shavings alongside the damson and blackberry fruit. 3.56pH, 80% in casks, 11% 20hl wood and 9% amphoras, 55% whole bunch fermentation (which brings the alcohol down to this relatively low level for the estate's location). A wine to surprise those who think Bordeaux can't deliver understatement. Tannin count of 82IPT.”

96-98 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Composed of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) was harvested from the 24th of September to the 7th of October. Yields were 45 hectoliters per hectare this year with about 60% of production going into the grand vin. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose is deceptively forward to begin, giving a wonderful intensity of Morello cherries, wild blueberries and boysenberries scents, soon unfurling to reveal more and more layers: pencil lead, cast-iron pan, wilted roses, oolong tea and charcoal with a hint of garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate is charged with energetic, crunchy black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing very long and minerally. If this delivers on its promise, it should be very long-lived indeed! About 2,000 cases are anticipated to be made.”

98 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: "Sleek, elegant and appealing even before you get your nose near the glass. Aromatically it is deep and rich, and then it revs up and takes off. Dense, compact and intense, zingy limestone vibrancy and grip. Winemakers say they are looking for balance all the time, but here you feel it, with tiny pulses of electricity that appear from beginning to end of the palate. Salinity on the finish with gunsmoke and extremely moreish blueberry and blackberry fruit, with a creamy texture as things open up. 50% new oak. Thomas Duclos consults."

96 Points, Jane Anson, Decanter: "The black fruits burrow downwards through the palate at first, keeping things pretty closed, everything holding its breath, before the fruit opens. There is the precision of Rauzan Ségla that is reminiscent of the 2016, less of the immediate voluptuous impact of 2018 but the density becomes extremely clear in the glass. A serious Rauzan, cassis and cedar, still with a rinse of iris flowers to give it the Margaux touch. 3.73pH. 50/50 1st and 2nd wine. A yield of 42l/ha."

This is an email ONLY offer! 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. Wines being to arrive late April.

All my best,