Château Certan de May Château Certan de May
The Wine Advocate
November 30, 2018, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“A blend of 65% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the medium garnet-purple colored 2016 Certan de May offers up notes of wild blueberries, black cherries and raspberry leaves with hints of black tea, roses and tar. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a wonderful quiet intensity of blue, red and black fruits plus a fine-grained backbone and superb freshness, delivery and very long, mineral-tinged finish.”
The origins of Château Certan de May date back to the very beginnings of Pomerol. The de May family, who settled in France from Scotland in the Middle Ages, were gifted the property by royal decree in the 16th century as a gesture of thanks for services rendered to the crown of France. The estate began producing wine in the 18th century and was managed by descendants of the de May de Certans until 1925, when it passed to the Barreau family.
Situated on Pomerol’s prized central plateau, surrounded by illustrious neighbors such as Vieux Château Certan and La Fleur-Pétrus, Château Certan de May has long been considered one of the finest estates of the appellation. The wines owe their complexity to the vineyard’s soil composition, a combination of clay and gravel that bring together power and elegance, structure and freshness. The balance of the wines from Château Certan de May illustrates the unique complementarity of these terroirs.
Owner Jean-Luc Barreau applies all of his care and attention to producing a wine in the great tradition of his forebears. Vinified under the guidance of renowned consultant Jean-Claude Berrouet since the 2013 vintage, Château Certan de May benefits from the best winemaking know-how.
The wine is rich, powerful, complex; while it can be enjoyed after a few years of cellaring, its structure and natural depth lend it great ageability.
The 2016 climatic year was composed of two distinct parts. First, a cool and wet spring with record rainfall (259 mm from April to June, compared to 108 mm during the same period in 2015). A short break from the rain in May allowed for a quick and even flowering.
The weather shifted in mid-June, giving way to clear skies and warm temperatures through mid- September. The warm, dry weather that set in over the summer resulted in drought conditions, but vineyards planted on water-retentive soils, such as the deep clay of Pomerol, fared well.
The vegetative cycle slowed over the summer months, but rain in mid-september allowed the grapes to reach full maturity. At harvest, the berries were crunchy, gorged with sugar yet fresh at the same time, with intense notes of black fruit, the skins redolent with mild tannins, the seeds crisp.
Varietals: 65% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Soil Composition: Clay and deep gravel
Average Vine Age: 35 years