The Bordeaux wine faculty never ceases to remind us: « to make a perfect vintage in red wine, the vine growing season must fulfil five successive conditions. »
In the 2009 vintage, each of these conditions was fulfilled, one after the other, with clockwork precision. A real winter and then a superb spring, neither too hot nor too wet, brought about an even and normally early budding of the vines. The summer was hot and dry, but never excessively so, helping the grapes to remain in excellent health at an expectedly quite small crop size. Then, one week before the harvest was due to start, heavy rain fell, enabling the skins of the berries to complete ripeness and increasing the potential crop size to a satisfactory level.
The 2009 is balanced, concentrated and warm without being powerful. The Merlot is dense, rich, smooth and full and shows breed. It rolls around the tongue. The small amount of Cabernet Franc chosen to go into the first wine is all finesse and delicacy. It is ripe, complex, packed with flavour and very long on the palate.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is lively, delicious and savoury. Even though the proportion in the blend is small, it brings a touch of freshness that is essential to the final blend.
The 2009 Vieux Château Certan, with a yield of slightly over 40 hectolitres per hectare, resembles in its blend composition, the excellent VCC 1998.
|Harvest||2 weeks, from September 21 to October 2, 2009|
|Final blend||88% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 6% cabernet sauvignon|
"2009 will be a long-ageing wine, the first bottles of which can be enjoyed in ten year’s time, and the rest of which may be cellared a good twenty years or so more."