The 2014 Vieux Chateau Certan is a blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked in three stages: 19-20 September, 29 September to 2 October, and 7 and 8 October. The yields came in at 38.7 hectoliters per hectare with 13.4% alcohol. It was one of my stars of the vintage and now in bottle, I find no reason to change that. It is endowed with an exquisite bouquet, really one of the best I encountered throughout my tastings: perfumed blackberry, wild strawberry, cold stone and wilted rose petals. Like in barrel, it is not powerful, yet it is blessed with wondrous precision. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and fine tannin, a slightly masculine VCC due to its linearity and precision. There is tension here from start to finish, a sophisticated and cerebral Pomerol that transcends the growing season. It is a totally different kettle of fish to the 2015 (and doubtless the pre-natal 2016). This is unashamedly classic in style, fanning out towards the mineral-rich finish with great frisson and energy. A cellar without the 2014 Vieux-Château-Certan would be a great pity.
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