Château Phélan Ségur 2020
• Domaine: Château Phélan Ségur
• Appellation: Saint-Estèphe
• Classification: Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Phélan Ségur is one of the Crus Bourgeoise Exceptionnel properties located within Saint-Estèphe appellation. Of all the properties that possesses the qualities of a Classified Growth, Château Phélan Ségur would definitely be an estate that fits within that category. With extraordinary terroir near properties like Château Calon Ségur and Château Montrose, Château Phélan Ségur is a true insider’s wine and available at an undervalued price.
The history of this property dates to the time it was under the ownership of Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur. Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur was a legendary figure within the wine world at his time, owning not one but three First Growth properties – Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton. He was nicknamed, “the Wine Prince,” and also oversaw operations at an estate that would later hold a very personal significance to him, Château Calon Ségur. Château Calon Ségur is of special historic significance to Château Phelan Ségur, as both properties were portions of the vast Ségur estate. A hundred years later, this property was purchased by an Irishman named Bernard Phélan. He purchased both Clos de Garramey and Ségur properties. He combined his last name with Ségur, thus Château Phélan Ségur was born. Bernard Phélan was well connected within the industry at the time, as he was married to one of the Guestier daughters of the famed négociant, Barton and Guestier. In the modern era, Château Phélan Ségur was managed by Thierry Gardinier. Gardinier also manages Château Meyney in Saint-Estèphe and the Fifth Growth estate, Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse in Pauillac. In August 2017, Château Phelan Ségur was sold for a record breaking 90 million Euros to a wealthy Belgian investor, Philippe Van de Vyvre.
This large, 70-hectare estate is planted with a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The choicest vines are located near the Saint-Estèphe powerhouse, Château Montrose. Most of the vines are 35 years old, yet there are a small portion of old vines at 70 years of age. An extensive overhaul of renovations was completed in 2011 and the prolific Michel Rolland was hired to consult at the estate. As of 2020, the estate began incorporating Petit Verdot to the final blend of the wine. The wine is aged in a smaller portion of new French oak to add dimension and structure. To improve the quality of the grand vin, a Second Wine was introduced in 1986. It was named Frank Phélan in honor of the previous owner who built the château. Château Phélan Ségur is a unique expression of a Saint-Estèphe, as the wine can be enjoyed earlier. Most Saint-Estèphe wines require significant time in bottle in order to show the fullest potential of the vintage. With that in mind, the wine has excellent ageing potential and can last up to 20 years after the vintage. This makes it a versatile wine and a worthy purchase.
"Displaying a medium to deep purple-black color, the 2020 Phélan Ségur offers up intense notions of crushed red and black currants, black raspberries and fresh mulberries, plus suggestions of charcuterie, pencil shavings and cinnamon toast. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering a firm, grainy texture to support the crunchy red and black fruits, finishing with a peppery kick." Lisa Perotti-Brown, May 2021 Week 3, The Wine Advocate (05/20/2021) Rating: 90-92+
"The austerity to the tannins works in this wine's favour giving a juicy grip to the concentrated blackcurrant and bilberry fruits without strangling them. Excellent stuff, finishing up with liquorice and smoked coffee bean. This is an estate that has just powered to better and better wines over the past few years. Yields were 10% below the average of the past five years but still at 40hl/ha. Harvest September 16 through to October 1, finishing around 10 days earlier than the past two years. Consultants Michel Rolland and Julien Viaud. First vintage with Petit Verdot included in the main wine (2%), from vines planted in 2013. Tasted twice." Jane Anson, Best Saint-Estèphe Wines Tasted 2020 En Primeur (04/30/2021) Rating: 94
"Getting a legit "wow" in the notes, the 2020 Château Phélan Ségur looks to be another incredible wine from the team of Véronique Dausse. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon 42% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it's a deep, almost inky-hued barrel sample offering gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, damp earth, crushed violets, and graphite. With full-bodied richness, a round, layered texture, serious concentration, and building structure, this is the real deal and up with the gems in Sainte-Estèphe. While some wines show a softer, more forward style, this is firm, mineral-laced, and structured, and is going to reward a good decade of cellaring. The alcohol checks in at 13.5% with a pH of 3.7 and a whopping 88 for an IPT." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020 En Primeur: Part 1, (05/23/2021) Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur - Part 1, Rating: 94-96
"The 2020 Phélan Ségur has a very intense and almost Pauillac-like nose of blackberry, pencil box and cedar aromas, complex and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco, quite sturdy and conveying more substance than recent vintages. This impressive Saint-Estèphe has great potential and might well represent the appellation's best value for money." Neal Martin, Vinous (June, 2021) Rating: 93-95
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