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Bordeaux 2019: Château Calon Ségur

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Well there is no doubting the richness of Château Calon Ségur in 2019. They have produced another profound St Estèphe to rival 2018 here. For me that remarkable wine still pips this 2019, but only just. Château Calon Ségur is decadent, verging on the unctuous in 2019. It displays beautiful blackcurrant and violent scented fruit and there is a boatload of ripe extract and tannin here too. The 2018 felt a fraction more nimble from memory, but I’d really like to see these two vintages side by side when there bottled. Obviously 2019 is a terrific wine regardless of the comparison. Both Le Marquis de Calon Ségur and Château Capbern weigh in at a heady 15.1% alcohol. Le Marquis impressed much more. It has plenty of rich fruit and volume and feels decadent almost.

A few words about Château Capbern in 2019. It is very forward. It has lots of super ripe fruit but alcohol did dominate the palate. This was the first twinge of anxiety I’ve had tasting Capbern, which represents one of Bordeaux’s reliable wine values.  I have much respect for winemaker Vincent Millet at Calon. Vincent clearly knows what he is doing and has shaped some wonderful wines at Capbern over the years. The wine comes from super terroir by Phelan Ségur and Tronquoy Lalande, so I’ll certainly give Capbern the benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say I was a bigger fan of the 2018 here. This is one 2019 I’d like to look at again, further down the track.

The following notes were taken from wines sent to London in June 2020 and were tasted shortly after arrival.

Château Capbern, St Estèphe, 2019

Super deep and dark; colour tight to rim; jam packed with briary, brambly fruit; almost inky; super ripe black cherry and plum; some molasses and fruitcake spice; super rich; dark chocolate and black cherry; eau de vie; feels rich; sweet entry; very ripe fruit; little stewed; plenty of weight but this feels very alcoholic on the palate. Certainly, an early drinking Capbern. The vintage feels a little tricky here, I wonder, in terms of alcohol and balance? Like to see this again in bottle. [69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 15.1% alc, 3.25 TA, VA 0.4, pH 3.9 40hl ha]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2033. 87-89

Le Marquis de Calon Ségur, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dense looking; legs; opaque at centre; little oak; seam of black fruits; precise and focused; has purity and some wet rock; classy; schist notes; olives and some tapenade; black plum and dark chocolate; lovely fruit entry on the palate; lush fruit tones and wonderfully melted tannins; works a treat; lacks a bit of zap and zing though, which would give the wine more amplitude; lovely extract though and very well handled in the cellar. Length. [54% Cab Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 15.1% , TA 3.2, 0.4VA, pH 3.85]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2024-2040. 92-94+

Château Calon-Ségur, Grand Cru Classé, St Estèphe, 2019

Deep and dark; legs; colour tight to rim but looks glossy and healthy at the same time; wonderful blackcurrant cassis and violet scented fruit; very pretty; lovely seam of focused blackcurrants which unfurls on aeration revealing layers after layer; really opens up – this another profound wine here – different in style to the 2018 which was one of the wines of the vintage. This feels more classical in a way; super deep and layered; textured on the palate; structure evident; plenty of fruit tannin and extract; slight chew to the tannins which suggests big extract; lacks a bit of freshness possibly but this is a beautiful, powerful wine overall. Super length too. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, TA 3.2, 0.4 VA, pH 3.85, yield 40hl, 14.5% alc, 100% new oak]. Tasted June 2020. Drink 2026-2050. 96-98+

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