This is the 3rd year that legendary Jean-Claude Berrouet (who made more than 40 vintages at Château Petrus) has been sole consultant here, and Ch Certan de May continues to go from strength to strength. It is a genuinely rare property, which lies at the heart of Pomerol’s greatest sector, the siliceous-clay, central plateau. In 2016, the Merlots were harvested during four different periods, to ensure that each plot reached perfect ripeness, without over-ripeness. They represent 65% of the blend, with Cabernet Francs contributing 31% and Cabernet Sauvignons the balance. “Merlots bring the roundness,” says owner Jean-Luc Barreau, “and Cabernets the boost.” Fine-tuning of the wine-making now sees the gentlest of extractions, to ensure that tannins are round and succulent, marrying perfectly with the wine’s rich fruitiness. The proportion of new barrels being used has also been reduced (to about a third from 50% in previous vintages) which further enriches the exhilarating freshness of this wine. Medium-deep garnet-purple in colour, with opulent aromas, this has spectacular structure, densely concentrated mid-palate and outstandingly harmonious aftertaste. This is compelling, with magnificent potential – undoubtedly one of the greatest wines of the vintage (for drinking 2022-2035+).
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