From winter to the start of summer, 2002 was marked by very mild temperatures and moderate rainfall. Such climatic conditions resulted in an early bud-burst in the vines in March followed by homogenous flowering at the end of May.
After an extremely sunny month of June, July and August were particularly cool and rainy. Fortunately, the spell of fine weather which set in as from September 9 enabled the grapes to catch up and to reach optimal ripeness in ideal conditions. The Merlot and Cabernet grapes were picked between September 20 and October 2, with a high alcohol content and plenty of colour. This remarkable balance is found in the final blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
After 20 months of ageing in new oak barrels, the Vieux Château Certan 2002 proves today to be very much a classic vintage, offering a rich and subtle range of aromas. Its smoothness and body on the palate are reminiscent of the excellent 1996. This is a great wine for cellaring and the first bottles can be opened in 8 to 10 years time. The others can be kept for another 20 years or more in a good cellar.
"For maximum enjoyment, it should be decanted into a carafe well in advance for the younger wines and at the last minute for the older wines. It will provide a perfect match with white meat or grilled fish."