Château Calon Ségur 2015
• 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.
"Composed of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Calon-Segur was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 20 months. It has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of warm blackberries, cassis, black cherries and licorice with touches of roses and dark chocolate. The medium-bodied palate is firm and chewy with good concentration and a spicy finish." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2/21/2018, Interim Issue), Rating: 93, Drink from: 2020-2042
"The 2015 Calon Segur is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot (no Cabernet Franc in the Grand Vin this year). It was picked from 8 September until 5 October at a yield of 47 hl/ha and is matured in 100% new oak for the next 20 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the aromatics with blackberry, cedar and graphite aromas: quite linear, nicely focused and reserved compared to the 2014 last year. The palate is understated on the entry, the tannin very fine and the acidity very well judged. Like the nose, the Cabernet drives this wine forward: structured and a little "brittle" in the mouth, perhaps the most Pauillac-like Calon-Segur that I have encountered over many years of tasting. Afford this several years in bottle." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224),Rating: 91-93, Drink from: 2022-2040
"The 2015 Calon Ségur checks in slightly behind the 2014 and is a more sexy, rounded, forward effort that displays fabulous sweetness in its cassis and black currant fruits, spice, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors. With soft tannins, a lovely, elegant texture, and medium to full body, drink it any time over the coming 2+ decades." -Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 93, Maturity: 2018-2038
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