Château Calon-Ségur 2018 (Pre-Arrival)
• Domaine: Château Calon-Ségur
• Appellation: Saint-Estèphe
• Classification: Third Growth, 3ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
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.
"The 2018 Calon-Ségur is blended of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (14.9% alcohol). It is anticipated to age for 20 months in barriques, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs just a little coaxing before it reveals seductive notes of baked cherries, warm cassis, licorice and smoked meats with nuances of hoisin, camphor, Chinese five spice and dried roses with a waft of cardamom. Full-bodied and completely packed with concentrated black fruit and spice layers, it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and a wicked backbone of freshness giving an energetic lift to the very long finish. There's lots of brightness coming from the Cabernet Franc component in here, but it is nonetheless a decadent expression." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/23/2018, Bordeaux 2018 Issue), Rating: 96-98
"A stratospheric, regal wine, Calon Ségur embodies all the best qualities of the vintage. Rich to the point of being exotically ripe, 2018 reminds me of the 2014 in its composition, but with more of everything. On the palate, the 2018 is towering and statuesque, with soaring structure and tremendous overall intensity. Striking aromatic top notes and bright saline underpinnings give the 2018 its energy, tension and nuance. As in 2014, the entirety of the château's Cabernet Franc went into the Grand Vin. Inky, powerful and explosive, Calon Ségur is a headspinning wine. Don't miss it!" - Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, Rating: 96-99
"As you’d expect, the grand vin ratchets up the intensity. The 2017 Chateau Calon Segur is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 2% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot aged 20 months all in new barrels. This deep, inky hued 2017 boasts medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, leafy herbs, and mineral nuances. It stays tight and compact on the palate, has wonderful Saint-Estephe Cabernet character, ripe tannins, and is just a classic, balanced effort that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and evolve for 25+ years." -Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 95, Maturity: 2024-2049