2012Data sheet

A Merlot vintage of pedigree and balance.

2012, a typical Bordeaux year climatically

Following a particularly cold and dry winter with lows of minus 11°C, a cool and wet spring brought about an early reduction in potential crop size. 

A hot and dry summer was a welcome arrival. Thanks to low yields and meticulous selection on the vines of the best quality bunches, the ripening process was completed very homogeneously.


With berries packed with flavour and taste, and grape skins that remained thick until late in the growing season, it was possible to wait for full ripeness in all the different grape varieties. As a result, harvesting dates were amongst the latest ever recorded at Vieux Château Certan, with the last grapes being brought in just a few hours before torrential rains set in.

The risks taken were handsomely rewarded. The Merlot is ripe, opulent and velvety. The necessary Cabernet Franc, though lower in proportion this year, brings delicacy, flavour and complexity.

The 2012 Vieux Château Certan reflects once again the estate’s great terroir which, allied to a demanding climate, produces wines of great pedigree and distinction.

After a gentle extraction and three weeks in contact with the skins, the wine was aged in barrels, three quarters of which were new.

Technical data

Crop thinning and de-leafing from August 1st to 17th, 2012
Harvest from October 1st to 11th, 2012
Yield 33 hectolitres per hectare
Blend 87% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcoholic degree 14% vol.
Bottling from 19th to 23rd May 2014

"This vintage can be enjoyed as from seven to ten years, but it will continue to develop well for twenty years or so more."

Alexandre Thienpont