Château Certan de May Château Certan de May
March 31, 2020, James Molesworth
“Suave, with a silky frame supporting alluring damson plum, black cherry and raspberry sauce flavors, backed by red licorice and raspberry ganache notes. The polished finish displays energy and length. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
March 1, 2020, Roger Voss
“This wine is developing well, bringing together tannins and concentrated black fruits. The dominant Merlot gives a solidly jammy character to the bold tannins. It is maturing into a serious wine that will be ready from 2024.”
December 17, 2019, James Suckling
“There’s a striking sense of deeply ripe plums on the nose, as well as notes of forest wood, black truffle, wet earth and sous bois. The palate has regal tannin shape and texture. Quite powerful but supple, the tannins carry long and fresh with ripe dark-plum flavors. Try from 2022.”
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 winter of 2016-2017 was dry and sunny. The spring was the third warmest since 1900, with the notable exception of a few cold nights the 27th and 28th of April which resulted in frost damage to certain low-lying terroirs.
The summer was marked by persistent dry conditions (annual rainfall was 30% lower than average) and a few heat waves. The clay and gravel soils of Château Certan de May, natural hydric regulators, provided a steady water supply to the vines throughout the drought.
Welcome rain in early September rounded out the maturation of the grapes and confirmed the good quality of the vintage. Before harvest, the berries were gorged with sugar yet fresh at the same time, with intense aromas of small black and blue fruit; the thick skins were rich in soft tannins. Harvest took place in ideal conditions.
Varietals: 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Acres: 13.5 acres acres
Soil Composition: Clay and deep gravel
Average Vine Age: 35 years