Vieux Château Certan, La Gravette de Certan, 2016

Vieux Château Certan, La Gravette de Certan, 2016

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2016

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Merlot 75%, Cabernet Franc 18%, Cabernet Sauvignon 7%
  • Rating

    RP 95

This second wine of the estate La Gravette de Certan is made subsequent to the blending tastings of Vieux Château Certan. Produced from young vines and a contrast to the First Wine, La Gravette de Certan is a wine with very fine precision that faithfully mirrors the pedigree of the vineyard. Although it has undeniable similarities to its superior, it offers a more accessible character in its youth.

2016 La Gravette de Certan has a deep garnet-purple colour and features lovely red currants, black raspberries and black cherries notes with a beautiful floral background of lavender and rose hip tea plus suggestions of sandalwood, cinnamon stick and menthol. Medium-bodied, refreshing, elegant and beautifully seamless, it offers layers of perfumed red and black fruits with a satiny texture and very impressive length.

About 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.

Grape variety
Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds as Cabernet Sauvignon but with some noticeable differences. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It is often characterised by a green, vegetal strike that can range from leaves to green bell peppers. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel. New World examples of Cabernet Franc tend to emphasise the fruit more and may delay harvesting the grapes to try to minimise the green leafy notes.

Alternative Names: Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Franco, Cabernet Frank

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France and Spain, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, South Africa's Stellenbosch region, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines a re hardy and naturally low yielding, budding late to avoid frost and resistant to viticultural hazards such as rot and insects - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olive notes while in very hot climates the currant flavours can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side. In parts of Australia, particularly the Coonawarra wine region of South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a characteristic eucalyptus or menthol notes.

The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed blackcurrants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavours of black cherries and plum. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Alternative Names: Bidure, Bouche, Bordo, Bouchet, Burdeos Tinto, Lafite, Vidure

Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the colour of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally. The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015.

While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles. The "International style" favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasise late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavours (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.

As a varietal wine, Merlot can make soft, velvety wines with plum flavours. While Merlot wines tend to mature faster than Cabernet Sauvignon, some examples can continue to develop in the bottle for decades. There are three main styles of Merlot - a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins; a fruity wine with more tannic structure; and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, mulberry, olallieberry and plum. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, cola nut, bell pepper, fennel, humus, leather, mushrooms, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, laurel, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Alicante Noir, Bégney, Bidal, Bidalhe, Bigney, Bigney rouge, Bini, Bini Ruzh, Bioney, Black Alicante, Bordeleza belcha, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Higney rouge, Langon, Lecchumskij, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlaut, Merlaut Noir, Merle, Merle Petite, Merleau, Merlô, Merlot Noir, Merlot black, Merlot blauer, Merlot crni, Merlot nero, Merlott, Merlou, Odzalesi, Odzhaleshi, Odzhaleshi Legkhumskii, Petit Merle, Picard, Pikard, Plan medre, Planet Medok, Plant du Médoc, Plant Médoc, Saint-Macaire, Same de la Canan, Same dou Flaube, Sème de la Canau, Sème Dou Flube, Semilhon rouge, Semilhoum rouge, Semilhoun rouge, Sémillon rouge, Sud des Graves, Vidal, Vini Ticinesi, Vitrai and Vitraille

About Pomerol

Pomerol is a much-respected red wine appellation in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France. Both historically and physically, it stands apart from other Bordeaux appellations. It does not conform to the accepted image of a Bordeaux wine district as being a wealthy, long-established, château-laden area, with an all-important (if slightly outdated) classification system. Pomerol is none of these things, yet has managed to earn itself a place among the world's most revered wine region.

Pomerol has no formalised wine classification system (as do the Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Saint-Emilion), and has risen to its current glory in a relatively short space of time. While the appellation was barely acknowledged in the middle of the last century, wines like Petrus and Le Pin now command higher prices than many cru classé properties in the long-established Médoc.

Pomerol is located in the east of the Bordeaux region, near Saint-Emilion, in the area known as the Libournais – the town of Libourne sits just to the south of Pomerol. While most appellations are named after a village or town within their boundaries, Pomerol has no such epicentre. It is an unchanging 800-hectare (2000-acre) gravel bank, which rises and falls by only 20 meters (65ft).

The south and west of the appellation have sandier soils compared to the slightly heavier soils in the east, which include a certain proportion of clay. It is in this eastern section, on the marginally higher land where Pomerol meets Saint-Emilion, that the best wines are produced. Three of the most highly regarded Pomerol producers – châteaux Petrus, Lafleur and Le Pin – are located here.

Merlot is the dominant grape in Pomerol and plays a large part in making the wines rich, smooth and approachable at an early age, while also being capable of extended aging. Cabernet Franc is also often present, adding structure and an element of savoury spice. These characteristics mean Pomerol wines are much sought after on the international market.

The prevalence of Merlot has its risks for Pomerol, as it does for neighbouring Saint-Émilion. Merlot is an early-flowering variety and is susceptible to spring frosts. In the season of 1991, for example, spring frost damaged a large proportion of Pomerol's vines. In fact this only served to increase the market value, where demand already far outweighed supply.

Pomerol's place in the international wine world is secure for some time to come, given the continuing increase in demand for prestigious wines and the limited production of this small, quality-focused appellation.

Regular price $1,878.00

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