Vieux Chateau Certan 2014

Today we turn the investment spotlight on a Bordeaux right bank powerhouse to stock up on, Vieux Chateau Certan (VCC). It is where the smart money is going in the village of Pomerol and a wine considered on par in quality to Chateau Petrus and its neighbours. VCC is one of the oldest Bordeaux estates in Pomerol, dating back to the 1700s, whence its history began with Jean Demay de Certan. During its formative years it was considered the finest of the Pomerol appellation and it is easy to understand why, the peak of its vineyards are sited at the epicentre of the Pomerol plateau. It boasts one of the largest single blocks and is surrounded by Chateau Lafleur, which is next door, with Petrus and Trotanoy, Eglise Clinet and L’Evangile as neighbours, it also has vines planted next to Le Pin. In fact, its vines found at the centre of the top of the Pomerol Plateau share this position with Petrus, on the blue clay dominant soils. In the last few decades under the direction of Alexandre Thienpont its famous pink capsule has one again taken centre stage. VCC has been on a meteoric rise in recent years, not only posting some considerable scores but has undergone extremely impressive price appreciation to match. When taking a rebase of the average VCC price across all vintages the trend is undeniable.

This growth is only made more impressive when comparing VCC’s performance to the neighbouring Chateaux. Over the same term, only Le Pin has posted higher growth, but with an average bottle price of £2,022 compared to VCC’s £134, the latter provides a far more accessible entry point. A full rebase of the seven Chateaux can be seen below:
 

Rebase VCC Le Pin Petrus La Fleur Petrus Eglise Clinet La Fleur Trotanoy
Sep-15 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Jan-16 101.06 103.88 104.50 103.08 103.76 105.49 105.93
Jan-17 119.15 133.73 117.07 118.46 101.50 112.47 118.64
Jan-18 155.32 141.79 121.81 124.62 106.77 117.96 134.75
Jan-19 159.57 186.64 149.54 123.08 114.29 139.40 143.22
Jan-20 177.66 196.87 148.37 121.54 117.29 153.87 143.22
Aug-20 186.17 193.58 151.82 121.54 123.31 144.64 141.53

 
Looking further at neighbouring Chateaux’s prices whilst factoring in scores a pattern emerges. From the average scores taken from the four leading critics over the last decade VCC emerges with an average score of (97), pipped only by Petrus (97.30), Le Pin (97.30) and Eglise Clinet (97.20). However, the price disparity between VCC and Petrus and Le Pin is considerable. Over the same term the average 12×75 price of Le Pin and Petrus have been £28,483 and £28,082 whereas VCC has averaged just £2,062 respectively. Furthermore, of the six Chateaux, VCC has the second lowest average price overall, bettered only by Evangile. As a result, it is now one of the most highly allocated wines on the Place de Bordeaux, each year all leading merchants try to get more of the meagre 4,500 cases produced a year, but to little avail. We have been trying to secure a parcel of their 2014 vintage for most of the year, the most undervalued by price and quality, which along with 2012 vintage has the lowest Price Over Points ratio of any VCC vintage.

The 2014 has been awarded 97+ points from Antonio Galloni who declares it as ‘One of the unquestioned stars of the vintage, the 2014 Vieux Château Certan soars out of the glass…’ Neal Martin then of The Wine Advocate awarded it 96 points delacring, ‘A cellar without the 2014 Vieux-Château-Certan would be a great pity.’ Jeb Dunnuck continues rhythmically, ‘The 2014 Vieux Château Certan is glorious stuff that has more personality and sexiness than just about every other wine in the vintage.’ Finally, James Suckling pronounces ‘This is so gorgeous with black truffles, stones and subtle blackberries. Black mushrooms, too…Truly irresistible.’ That is all rather definitive, the 2014 is a truly great wine, though this acclamation of greatness follows every vintage. Our price today is the lowest in the market, offering cases of six at £800 under bond.

When analysing the releases since 2006, what is particularly apparent is the 2014 vintage’s score is suggestive of a higher price than that on offer today. Once the market adjusts to this, we believe those who take a position in the vintage at the £800 per six or £1,600 per 12 bottles price will be handsomely rewarded. Comparing other vintages suggest an appreciation of as much as 40% is still on the table. This is almost unheard of from a wine with such global acclaim. A chart demonstrating this can be seen below.

VCC is therefore unquestionably a wine to stock up on, its global cachet and price increasing year-on-year. The 2014 is set to benefit from the rising watermark of VCC’s brand and it being undervalued as a vintage within this cadre of vintages. The price correction has certainly begun as demonstrated above, yet we are still at early stage, which we believe will continue unfettered for another decade. Whether for investment or for future drinking – preferably both – we strongly advise collectors to stock up and accumulate VCC in droves, it will re-pay you in pleasure and investment over the coming decades.