Silkier, sexier and more accessible – even at cellar temperature, smoky, loaded with black fruit and rich in flavour with layers there and so much more to come, both if warmer and with some years in bottle. Interesting to see if this will close up at all.
FINE+RARE (March 2012)
This is a wine that had extreme intensity of electrifying tannins and acidity, with supercharged fruit. Full-bodied, yet agile and lively. It touches every taste bud on your palate. Chocolate mousse and fruit. I am lost for words. Legendary 1950 all over again. Try it in 2020. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
James SucklingScore: 100/100
The 2009's nearly 14% natural alcohol, exquisite ripeness, and incredible complex bouquet of Asian spices, fruitcake, licorice, smoke, blackberries and black currants are to die for. A blend of 84% Merlot and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it possesses a viscous texture as well as a freshness and vibrancy that are remarkable given the wine’s weight, richness and potential massiveness. This extraordinary effort is one of the finest Vieux Chateau Certans made over the last sixty years. It will undoubtedly shut down in bottle, requiring a decade or more of cellaring. It should keep for 50 years thereafter. Proprietor Thienpont thinks it is a modern day version of the 1948. Dec 2011, www.robertparker.com
Robert ParkerScore: 99/100
This has an incredible nose of chocolate and berries that turns to sweet tobacco and China tea leaves. Full-bodied, with a beautiful softness and silkiness that makes you want to keep tasting it. Goes on and on. 84 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc and 8 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. – James Suckling , Wine Spectator 2010
Wine SpectatorScore: 97-100/100
84% Merlot (mainly the 1942 plantings), 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Same blend as in 1998, oddly – which was their reference point for Merlot. pH 3.8, 40+ hl/ ha compared with the very small vintages of 2008 and 2006. 'Now that we have a better cellar, we can take more risks. In old days we couldn’t have taken 09’s risks.' Unusually low proportion of Cabernet Franc. these particular old vines just did not deliver in 2009. Very dark – much darker than Le Pin. Very luscious – more like the nose you would expect of Le Pin! Very big and rich and full. Round and chewy and very very ripe but not heavy nor very hot. Splendid nose with great richness and savour but not excessive sweetness. Gouleyant. 13.7% Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com
Jancis Robinson MWScore: 18/20
The VCC ’09 is a blend of 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, cropped from 21st September until 2nd October, offering 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.7. It has a ripe, lifted bouquet of blackberry, black plum, graphite and raspberry, but boy, do I miss that Cabernet Franc that Alexandre felt did not reach full maturity when he made the assemblage (the same happened in 1998.) The palate is medium-bodied, firm tannins, the Merlot doing its utmost to compensate for the Cabernet Franc. Good weight, notes of blackberry, a touch of white pepper and a citric thread of acidity, the finish just a little foursquare but opening and deepening with time. This is a very fine VCC, but not the profound Pomerol it might have been. Tasted April 2010.
Neal MartinScore: 92-94/100