Château Calon-Ségur 2000
• Domaine: Château Calon-Ségur
• Appellation: Saint-Estèphe
• Classification: Third Growth, 3ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
On the label of every bottle of Château Calon Ségur is a heart -- a symbol which has become synonymous with the estate. It was meant to immortalize the love its very first owner, the Marquis de Ségur felt for the property. He is famously known for saying, “I make wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is at Calon.”
For context, Château Calon Ségur was a part of the holdings of the illustrious Marquis de Ségur, who was affectionately known as the, “Prince of Vines” throughout the Court of Versailles. The Marquis owned three of the top Pauillac Estates besides Château Calon Ségur – Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton Rothschild. Both Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Latour were classified as First Growth Estates in 1855 and though Mouton Rothschild was ranked a Second Growth property, it would later be re-classified as a First Growth in 1973. Naturally, the team at Château Calon Ségur would choose the emblem of a heart to commemorate the property’s status as the Marquis’ favorite.
Château Calon Ségur was ranked as a Third Growth estate during Napoleon’s 1855 Classification. It was one of the oldest estates in Saint-Estèphe, with origins dating back to the Gallo Roman era. It rose to prominence when the Marquis took over viticultural operations, and thus began the immortalized love affair between man and vine. After the Marquis passed, the property changed hands throughout the centuries, but one constant remained – a passion devoted to crafting excellent wines. Even during the most trying years like the 1940s and 1950s where many other châteaux failed to produce good vintages, Château Calon Ségur continued to dazzle.
A small team of 50 oversee operations in the 55-hectare walled-off vineyard. This is unique to the Left Bank estates in the Médoc. The terroir has a mixture of colorful clays and gravel which serve as a sponge, retaining water and giving the grapes a signature freshness. The wines of Calon Ségur do not have the typical chunky and awkward backwardness of many Saint-Estèphes. The technical director, Vincent Millet, takes great measures to ensure the wines here have finesse, and a lot of this is due to their gravity flow vat room and refusal to use any punch downs during the winemaking process.
The estate is implementing an extensive replanting program scheduled to finish in 2032 increasing the percentage of Cabernet to 70% of its vineyards. Initially, the wines of Château Calon Segur were energetic wines that were typical of the Saint-Estèphe region. Now these wines are purer, with more fruit and a startling intensity to them. These delicate wines unfold beautifully but require some time. Top vintages of Château Calon Ségur need at least a decade or more to fully express themselves. At Calon Ségur, the heart has become more than just a symbol representing the Marquis de Ségur. It represents the love and passion they put toward crafting beautiful wine.
"Tasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine & Spirits Calon-Ségur dinner in London. The 2000 Calon Ségur is one of those wines that reminds you how great the millennial vintage could be. Now at fifteen years old, it has a brilliant, vivacious red berry nose infused with ash and cigar box aromas. The detail here is a beguiling and it just "sings" Saint Estèphe. The palate is medium-bodied with dense, firm tannin that provide a rigid backbone, but it is swathed in copious tobacco-drenched black fruit and a superb line of acidity. It finishes with a twist of bitter cherry on the finish that completes what is a deeply impressive Calon-Ségur; it might just outclass the 2005. Tasted March 2015." Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (10/28/2016, Issue 227), Rating: 94, Drink from: 2018-2050
"A dense, traditionally crafted wine for those with patience, the 2000 Calon-Segur rivals the estate's finest wines of the last two decades, the 1995, 1988, and 1982. But be forewarned, this wine has already closed down, something totally in character with all top vintages from this estate. This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc exhibits a plum/purple color along with gorgeous aromas of creosote intermixed with spring flowers, black cherries, cassis, licorice, and stony, liquid minerals. A powerful, tannic, full-bodied and opulent wine, it possesses considerable structure that is reasonably well-concealed by considerable glycerin and intensity. Look for it to be at its best between 2012-2040. Patience, patience, patience!" - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (4/22/2003, Issue 146), Rating: 94, Drink from: 2012-2040
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