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.
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.
Composed of 81% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Vieux Château Certan gives up gorgeous black raspberries, crushed black currants and warm black berries on the nose with chocolate-covered cherries, violets and star anise suggestions plus black truffles and wood smoke. The palate is medium to full-bodied with wonderful concentration in the mid-palate and firm, very finely pixelated tannins, with seamless freshness and fantastic length.
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.