2003 Vieux Ch. Certan
By Chateau Vieux Ch. Certan
2003 Vieux Ch. Certan from Chateau Vieux Ch. Certan, Pomerol, Bordeaux
The heralded 2003 vintage was as extraordinary in its climatic aberrations as it was in its rare expressions across Bordeaux, and the 2003 Vieux Ch. Certan is a splendid embodiment of this exceptionality. As one scrutinizes the effects of an unusually scorching summer on the Pomerol terroir, the 2003 Vieux Ch. Certan stands as an eloquent testament to how superb winemaking can defy expectations amidst challenging conditions.
The Pinnacle of Investment Calibre
Investing in fine wines demands a discerning eye for both quality and distinctive vintages, which is why the 2003 Vieux Ch. Certan from Chateau Vieux Ch. Certan emerges as a formidable candidate. The alchemy of severe heat and expert cultivation resulted in wines that dare to be different—lush, powerful and immediately engaging on release yet evolving with astonishing complexity and finesse over time.
A Vintage Defined by Tenacity and Temperature
The Pomerol plateau's exceptional clay and gravel soils played a pivotal role in moderating the torrid heatwave of 2003, allowing the Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines at Chateau Vieux Ch. Certan to retain moisture and achieve remarkable phenolic ripeness, setting the stage for an innovative performance in the bottle. In meeting the challenge, this extraordinary wine displays a rich tapestry of dark fruit coulis layered delicately with hints of aged leather, truffle, and tobacco—hallmarks of Pomerol's luxurious profile further enhanced by the year's signature concentration.
The pivotal nature of such an idiosyncratic vintage imbues this Pomerol with a compelling narrative that is reflected in its tasting notes—the balance between opulent fruit notes and mature tertiary elements reveals itself gloriously on the palate, whilst supple tannins lend structure without overpowering the grand symphony of flavours.
Cultivating one's collection with exquisite pieces like the 2003 Vieux Ch. Certan not only enriches the connoisseur's experience but also presents a profound opportunity for wine investment aficionados aiming for both enjoyment and economic appreciation. As Meteorology meets Merlot, we find that even in adversity, or perhaps because of it, there exists potential for monumental elegance—an essence captured indelibly within each bottle of 2003 Vieux Ch. Certan.
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Scores and tasting notes
Only 850 cases were made in 2003, the lowest production ever at this estate. The blend was 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot (the Merlot was baked in the heat of June, July and August). This wine has a 92- to 93-point bouquet, but only an 87-point palate. The complexity of the Cabernet Franc component provides a gorgeous nose of new saddle leather, forest floor, sous-bois, blueberries and black currants. Lush, attractive and beautifully fruity on the attack, it fades in the mouth, and lacks the depth and texture to back up the exquisite aromatics and entry. This fully mature 2003 is a success in this appellation that experienced many difficulties. Drink it over the next few years.
Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 27 August 2014
Tasted from bottle at Mark Walford's annual lunch at Waterside Inn. I have never been totally convinced by Alexandre Thienpont's 2002. Here it has a fragrant, earthy, foursquare bouquet whose infant opulence has ebbed in recent years. Indeed, it has turned rather conservative with quite dry tannins, nicely balanced with a touch of piquancy on the finish. There are far superior VCC's in this decade. Tasted May 2013.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Jul 2013