Château Rauzan-Ségla 2001
• Domaine: Château Rauzan-Ségla
• Appellation: Margaux
• Classification: Second Growth, 2ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
The wines of Château Rauzan-Ségla have captivated the minds and seduced the hearts of many for the greater part of three centuries. The American President and oenophile Thomas Jefferson was a fan of this beguiling Margaux estate and ordered several cases during his well-documented visit to Bordeaux in 1784. Château Rauzan-Ségla was delineated as a 2nd Growth during the 1855 Classification, yet many will claim the wines from Rauzan-Ségla have a shot of standing up to the First Growth producers in terms of quality and sophistication during select vintages. In the 1980s and early 90s, American wine critic Robert Parker Jr lamented that Rauzan-Ségla was not delivering on its potential. That was bound to change.
Prior to the 1855 Classification, Château Rauzan-Ségla was a massive estate with sweeping grounds in both Margaux and Cantenac. They were carved up into four smaller estates – Château Rauzan-Gassies, Château Desmirail, Château Marquis de Terme and the incomparable Château Rauzan-Ségla. Ownership of the estate changed hands throughout the centuries until it was acquired by the Wertheimer family of the iconic women’s fashion brand, Chanel. The family took the quality of Château Rauzan-Ségla to new heights and hired a winemaking team led by Château Latour’s David Orr and John Kolasa. Since the Wertheimer family acquired the estate, the wines of Rauzan-Ségla have become more promising with each consecutive vintage. The present winemaker Nicolas Audebert brings his skill from Möet Chandon and believes in producing wines that will last for decades.
Château Rauzan-Ségla is proof that great wine is a product of both exceptional terroir and winemaking technique. With its gently sloping vineyards and mixture of soils, Château Rauzan-Ségla has arguably some of the best terroir in all of Margaux. Nothing is left to chance at this estate, and the winemaking team carefully assesses the optimum terroirs to plant the vines. Multiple clones of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are planted in different parcels on the estate depending on the soil. Merlot is planted on the vineyard sites with bluish clay and Cabernet Sauvignon is planted in the more graveled areas of the 79-hectare vineyard. Berries are tasted individually for ripeness and then picked and vinified parcel by parcel. The weather is fairly moderate due to the proximity of the Gironde. Regardless, adaptability is key here, and the team of expert vignerons must pivot during extreme weather conditions in this ever-changing environment. With the help of cutting-edge winemaking technology and expertise in the field, the Rauzan-Ségla team navigates the capricious weather and delivers consistently excellent wines.
There is an ethos of elegance at Château Rauzan-Ségla, and it permeates nearly every facet of the estate and its wines. If one is fortunate enough to visit the Château, one will marvel at the richly furnished interior designed by the incomparable Karl Lagerfeld. Just a sip of one of Rauzan-Ségla’s opulent wines is enough to envelop the drinker in a whirlwind of sophistication. The grand vin, Rauzan-Ségla, promises a delightfully rich journey with the beautiful aroma of cigar box that is signature to the estate. The sister wine, Ségla, is friendly, fresh and succulent. It possesses some of the intensity of Rauzan-Ségla, but is a much more approachable wine that begs to be enjoyed immediately.
"The 2001 Rauzan-Ségla, picked September 28 to October 11, shows moderate maturation on the brick rim. The bouquet is quite intense, embracing both primary and secondary aromas at 17-years of age, blackberry, sage, clove, and just a hint of black olive and violet. This is quite complex and enticing. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, maybe a little rustic compared to latter-day Rauzan-Séglas, but with fine balance and focus. Moving toward its second half it develops a light ferrous touch, earthy and edgy, a drop of balsamic appearing towards the finish. This is perfect to drink now but it should age nicely over the next ten or fifteen years. Tasted at the Rauzan-Ségla vertical at the château." - Neal Martin., vinous.com (April, 2019), Rating: 93, Drink: 2019-2038
"Notes of new saddle leather, dried Provencal herbs, and a hint of lavender jump from the glass of this deep ruby/purple-tinged Margaux. The complex aromatics are followed by a sweet attack, but some narrowing on the mid-palate and finish is apparent. Pure and elegant, it is ideal for near term drinking. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2015." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (6/22/2004, Issue 153), Ratings: 89, Drink: 2008-2015
"Beautiful aromas of spices, berries and plums follow through to a medium- to full-bodied palate, with very fine tannins and a pretty, delicious finish. All in finesse. Best after 2008. 9,165 cases made." Wine Spectator (03/31/2004), Rating: 91, Drink from: 2008
"Medium-deep red. Sexy aromas of raspberry, boysenberry, cedar and spicy oak. Intensely flavored, supple and suave; not especially fleshy or sweet but fresh and surprisingly open today. Offers excellent palate coverage and length. Has plenty of underlying structure but has not yet closed down after the bottling." Stephen Tanzer, Vinous.com (03/01/2004), Rating: 89
"Quite dark crimson. Scented, really very aromatic and Margaux-ish. A little sweetness at the beginning. Heavier than some. Still quite a bit of chew." JancisRobinson.com (03/01/2012), Rating: 17, Drink from: 2014-2030
"The 2001 Rauzan-Ségla is fully mature as well and has an evolved yet sweet bouquet of dried red and black fruits, weedy herbs, cedarwood, and earth. Medium-bodied, elegant, and completely resolved on the palate, it drops off slightly with time in the glass. I love its complexity, but I suspect it’s best enjoyed over the coming 4-6 years." Jeb Dunnuck, 25 Years of Château Rauzan-Ségla (5/1/2019) Rating: 89
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