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History

Certan de May is perfectly situated in the heart of the plateau of Pomerol, rubbing shoulders with the commune’s most illustrious names: Petrus, Vieux Chateau Certan and Le Pin. Despite its charmed position, the wines do not really live up to the competition. That is not to say that they are not good, they are excellent, exotic, perfumed, slightly tarty expressions of Pomerol and they are quite reasonably priced (in the context of Pomerol), however, they have yet to emerge as one of the leading lights in this star studded appellation.

A Right Bank, Pomerol estate residing on clay and gravel soils, named after the Scottish founding family, the Demays, who had inhabited France since the Middle Ages and retained ownership from post-French Revolution times up to 1925. A two-owner vehicle, this is, with the then new purchasers the Badar family still in charge today, having morphed into the Barreau-Badar family.

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Vineyards

The vineyard is planted in 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. At around five hectares, Certan de May is a tiny jewel poised between Vieux Château Certan and Petrus. It was very strong in the 1980's, then slipped a little through the 1990's. From 2005 onwards the estate has been back on track, producing elegant yet fleshy and flamboyant wines at a very reasonable price.

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  10 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Château Certan de May (this property's full name is Certan de May de Certan) is situated in the middle of the so-called "Le Plateau Argileux", a 900 m wide and  circle-shaped high-plateauwith large content of clay and iron oxide in the subsoil, right next to Vieux Château Certan, Hosanna and Petrus a bit away down the road. The vineyard here has only 5 hectares of vines and is planted with 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The average age of vines is 35 years and the yield per hectare is not exceeding 31 hl. The wine ferments and macerates in stainless-steel vats for 4-5 weeks and is kept in 30-50% new oak  for a period of 16-18 months.


 


My first encounter with Certan de May was in 1987, when with help of wife of Jean-Pierre Estager (La Cabanne), a good friend of the owner of Certan de May (Mme Odette Barreau-Badar), I was granted access to this property. At that time it wasn't easy to visit Certan de May, you had to have good connections.


 


Mme Odette Barreau-Badar wanted to take care of her children, so she asked Bruno Prats from neighboring Petit Village to take care of harvest and vinification at Certan de May between 1968 and 1974. He accepted. Her son, Jean Luc Barreau, joined her mother in winemaking duties in 1975. Both are responsible for the fantastic effort in 1982 vintage. Jean-Luc Barreau has been fully in charge of running the property since 1998.


 


As the title of my profile impliess, this property is highly regarded one in Pomerol. The wine from this property is very much a traditional styled one with some small inputs of modern techniques. Still, it's 100% true Pomerol, which reflects in a remarkable way the excellent soil conditions of the property. Power, strong structure, great complexity and truffles. 2016, 2015 and 2010 are probably the best vintages made since the otherworldy 1982.

10d 20h ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

4m 29d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

5m 5d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

5m 9d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  64 wines 

98 wines tasted from Pomerol 2016 vintage, a stunning vintage for the appelation. Petrus might be the wine of the vintage, such finesse! But many others as well. Le Pin, La Conseillante, Clinet, Gazin, Petit Village, Lafleur, L'Evangile, VCC, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy, L'Eglise-Clinet and many more made stunning wines. Gazin made the best wine they ever did, same with Nenin. Pomerols are beyond seductive in 2016.

5m 15d ago

 Andrea Rinaldi / Sommelier, Pro (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  39 wines 

Last weekends best wines including Cheval 1959, Romanee Conti 1970 etc.

5m 17d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  10 wines 

MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016


1. Château Montrose 1990  100p


2. Château Latour 2000       100p


.....

8m 16d ago

 Winnie Wing-Yin Ng , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  44 wines 

“Now is time to consolidate all the reviews from the En Primeur tasting after spending two weeks Bordeaux tasting wines from different regions. I will first write about the Right Bank which is said to be the winner of the vintage because of the beautifully ripened Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and of course because of lower rainfall compared to the Left Bank during the harvest season.

Pomerol is a true beauty in 2015 with consistence among the top wineries, possessing very fine tannin and freshness in the combination of just-at-the-right-time-ripened grapes. Even the alcohol level was comparatively high, most of the wines I tasted that didn't give me a strong kick of that. I didn't find any over extraction or over ripened situation in most of the wines. ”

1y 4m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  104 wines 

“Bordeaux Vintage 2015 Part I / Vieux Château Certan 2015:100 points: Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity.  Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance. ”

1y 5m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  502 wines 

“2015 will be one of the excellent vintages however hardly to compare to 2009 and 2010 or 2005. In 2015 the region played a major role, terroir was the key to success. For red wines, the limestone plateau in Saint-Emilion performed extremely well as there was water available during the hot summer days and drainage proved to be ideal during rainy August. Therefore the best wines of Saint-Emilion come from limestone soils. The sandy parts of the appellation produced a quite heterogeneous result. In Pomerol it looked the same with very successful wines from the central plateau and more heterogeneous qualities from the areas around. In Fronsac it was not only the terroir which proved important, the vintners decision had a major impact. Pessac-Léognan did extremely well in this vintage with a homogenous quality. The Médoc was divided. The southern part, mainly Margaux and the southern part of Saint-Julien have seen less rain and produced more powerful wines. The northern part of the Médoc, especially Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe have produced a very fine and elegant style with excellent persistence. On the good terroirs, the seeds were ripe which results in very ripe tannins with a silky or velvety expression. In addition the cooler conditions of autumn provoked a very pure and fresh fruit. For the dry white wines the quality depends very much on the origin again. Due to the hot and dry growing season, a lot of white wines show very mild, almost soft acidity but also some phenolic hints in the aftertaste. A few dry white wines are standing out, having preserved freshness and acidity. The sweet wines are remarkably good, very rich in character and the best of them have a crisp acidity balancing the opulent sugar. The tasting conditions were rather good, however the weather was quite mixed affecting the presentation of the wines. The wines were tasted blind where possible and open. The final decision on the rating is based on both tasting types.”

1y 5m ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  30 wines 

“My notes started out with the universally accepted .Ooooooooooooo, plus or minus an o or two. This was very nutty in the nose, in an oily way this time, and was very rich and almost creamy. The palate was enormous, especially the concentration of fruit. The oily texture of the fruit was amazing and really left an impression. The nose got more and more complex, and the wine had great t .n a. The palate was .so f.ing delicious,. I put. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to the pen. It was beefy and oily with traces of toasted brown sugar. Yum - 97 points Bruno Giacosa Le Rocche del Falletto 1990.”

1y 8m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Certan de May . In a tasting of  124 wines 

“Today’s Bordeaux 2013 tasting was very interesting. Margaux and Saint-Julien are performing much better than in the primeur tasting.”

1y 8m ago

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