This château gets its name from the Demay family, thought to be Scottish in origin, which has owned land here since the 16th century. Certan de May was once part of its now more famous and larger neighbour, Vieux Château Certan, but the estate was split into smaller parts after the French Revolution.
The last member of the De May family died in 1925, and since then the property has been in the hands of the Barreau-Badar family, the current generation of which is Jean-Luc Barreau, who has been in charge since 1975.
The estate's five hectares of vineyards lie on the south-eastern part of the Pomerol plateau, between Vieux Château Certan and Pétrus, an area thought by many to produce the best wines in the region. The vines, which have an average age of 40 years, are planted on one third clay - which gives the wine power - and two thirds deep gravel, which gives the wine elegance.
The blend is generally 70% merlot with 25% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon, which is aged for 18 months in oak barrels, 70% of them new. While Certan de May's record is not quite as consistent as some of its neighbours, it is nevertheless a Pomerol of considerable class with a particularly fine bouquet, and it has the potential to age for between seven and 20 years.