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Vieux Chateau Certan is one of Pomerol's oldest and most exalted estates, having produced wine since at least the mid 1740s. On the Belleyme Map, published in 1785, the property was listed as "Sertan" and was owned by the Demays, a family of established Bordeaux negociants. A century later, ownership passed to a banker, Charles de Bousquet, who sold it to George Thienpont in 1924.
The family diversified in 1979 when Marcel and Gérard Thienpont founded nearby microcuvée estate Château Le Pin. In 1985, management of Vieux Château Certan came to Alexandre Thienpont.
In Bordeaux, the decade culminated in the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented period of drought. Cold, rainy weather had hampered germination, resulting in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, led to a record harvest. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heatwave like it had never seen before. Temperatures of up to 43°C have been recorded in Médoc. Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until harvest at the end of the month. The already small harvest was made even smaller, but it produced an incredibly juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age. The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these lack the concentration found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger even of the best 1945 and 1947, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also exceptional, although no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique and noble wines.