Vieux Château Certan
Vieux Château Certan is a wine estate in the Pomerol appellation on Bordeaux's Right Bank, known for its rich, deeply coloured Merlot-based wine. It is consistently rated by judges and the press as one of the very best wines in the world, and achieves correspondingly high prices at auction. Until the late 19th Century the estate was regarded as the best in Pomerol and in recent decades is challenging Pétrus once more for that accolade. A second wine, La Gravette de Certan, was introduced in 1986.
The vineyard covers 14 hectares (35 acres) in a single block, and neighbours Pétrus in the heart of the Pomerol plateau. It is located on the famed Gunz gravel terrace, which is made up of large pebbles and clay over an iron-rich subsoil. This is quite fertile, so care must be taken to limit vine vigor in favour of ripening grapes. Merlot makes up 60 percent of plantings, with 30 percent Cabernet Franc, which is judged to perform particularly well here. The remainder is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled oak vats, and lots selected for the grand vin are aged for up to 22 months in new French oak. Annual production averages around 5000 cases.
The estate was already established and featuring on maps (under the name of Sertan) in 1785. Today, it is owned by the Thienpont family, who also own the nearby Le Pin.