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Château Calon Ségur


Address: 33180 St Estèphe

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 30 08

Third growth Château Calon Ségur had a sensational reputation up until the 1960s. The wines made here in the twenties and the post war period are legendary, notably the 1947. After a tricky patch subsequently the wine has rebounded since the 1980s and now turns out impeccable and traditional St Estèphe with elegance and a fair clip of refreshing acidity. Second wine here is Marquis de Calon. The heart that is depicted on the label of the grand vin is a reference of the quotation of the Marquis de Ségur in the eighteenth century. ‘I make my wine at Lafite and Latour but my hear is in Calon.’

The property was run with style and vim by Madame Capbern-Gasqueton until her death on the eve of harvest in 2011. The property, including cru bourgeois Château Capbern-Gasqueton, was subsequently sold in 2012 to a Brittany-based insurance company Suravenir, a subsidiary of Credit Mutuel Arkea. Videlot, owned by Jean-Francois Moueix and run by his son Jean Moueix, took a minority stake in the purchase, according to Decanter. So far the excellent winemaking [Vincent Millet] remains unchanged and for me this can be one of the most beguiling and beautiful of Bordeaux’s red wines. The wine is spellbinding in 2009 and 2010 and potentially in 2014 too.

Vineyard/Terroir:  60 hectares planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Yields 40 hectolitres per hectare.

Winemaking/Elévage: Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and ageing for 18 months in oak, 50% new [up to 100% oak in more recent vintages].

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Mid depth; not huge colour; nice purity on the nose; elegant vintage; again very Bordeaux; lovely Cabernet here; elegant and mid weight; this has nice texture and harmony; good acidity and freshness. Round. Will fill out further. Classical. 2014 better. [82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.3% alc, TA 3.4, pH 3.75, 47hl/ha, 100% new oak]. Drink 2025-2040. Tasted at Calon 4/4/16. 92-94+
  • 2014 Deeply coloured; arterial at centre; legs; opaque; very seductive blackcurrant fruit; power but very evident refinement; very complete even at this stage; pure and focused; fruit compelling; natural and unadorned [even despite 100% new oak]; lovely flavour; beautiful Cabernet tones; perfumed fruit; layered and textured; simply fantastic effort in my book; caressing fruit and elegance despite the obvious power and concentration. Excellent length. [66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.8% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.70, IPT 78, 41hl/ha, 100% new oak]. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted at Calon Ségur 30 March, 2015. 95-97+
  • 2013 Deep and healthy colour; purple at edge; clean and pure blackcurrant aromas; elegant but fullish; real purity; great palate; layered with extract and sweet fruit; real character and surprising depth for the vintage; attractive sap and purity on the finish. Very good effort. [92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.1% alc, 3.7TA, 3.65 pH, IPT 62 36hl/ha, 20 day cuvaison, 100% new oak]. Drink 2018-2030+. Tasted Calon April, 14. 91-93 
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; quite tight on the nose initially; lots of extract on the palate; real density and pretty structured; this is a very serious, classically styled wine; tight but very dense. Grip and sap but plenty of material. Feels long term and classically styled St Estephe in the very best sense. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 13.6% alc. Tasted at Calon-Segur April 11, 2013. 91-93+ Drink 2020-2035+
  • 2011 Deep looking, earthy, vibrant purple at rim – healthy and fresh looking; seductive nose; red fruits, perfume; blackcurrants and loganberry notes; very polished; sweet entry to the palate, lots of depth here but this is a cool, elegant wine; some grippy notes but lots of sour cherry and blackcurrant flavours on the palate. Very good length. Fresh and harmonious. Interesting has the same vital statistics as 2010. Excellent effort. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, 100% new oak 13.2% alc 93-94+ Apr ’12 at Calon Ségur. Drink 2020-2035+
  • 2010 Deep looking; lovely nose; blackcurrant Cabernet tones with pain grillé notes; elegance; less immediate flesh evident than in ’09; opens up in the glass; wonderful palate with blackcurrant notes and great purity; terrific stuff and great balance; lots of extract and tannin here; concentrated and precise with beautiful tension between the texture, the blackcurrant fruit and the acidity. Great counterpart to the near perfect 2009 here. Drink 2017-2040. 97+ Tasted MW Institute Nov ’17.
  • 2009 Deep at centre; healthy looking; fabulous nose – a delirious medley of blackcurrants, spices, pain grillé – so very fine Bordeaux – and sexy; this terrific stuff; very good balance on the palate – spicy blackcurrants; real ripeness but freshness too – very nimble on its feet. Feels mid-weight and light in feel. Lafite-like in that respect. Go buy this – worth every penny – you’ll be hard pushed to find such nicely balanced, delicious wine [at any price]. Drink now – 2035. 97+ Nov ’13 MW Institute
  • 2008 Mid depth; dark at core; not black; rose petal, cassis, blackcurrant, leafy notes; very complex and enticing; palate mid weight, nicely balanced with acid and sufficient flesh. Nice polish to the palate. Works very well indeed. 92+ MW Institute tasting Nov ‘12 Drink now – 2025+
  • 2006 Dark red and central core; quite dumb and brooding; blackcurrants emerge but also minerals and wet stones; some oak lift and some chocolate at the back; palate firm and structured, less flesh than Cos, quite old fashioned in style [in the best sense]. Lots of chew, tannin and acid. Firm wine, tannic and structured. 90+/100 MW Institute tasting Nov ’10 [Earlier note] 2006 Deep red purple; fresh blackcurrants, stones and minerals; palate structured with depth, serious wine here; lots of extract but quite hard at present. Typical St Estephe characters I suppose, sturdy and strong but with the freshness of a more elegant year. Good acid balance on the palate. Very good wine in traditional fine St Estephe mould. 90+/100 April ’10 in Bordeaux Drink 2016-2025
  • 1988 Red/black; some blackcurrant with tobacco notes and cedar; quite full bodied and still with time in hand. Noticeable tannin which needs to resolve but pretty good effort. 88+/100 June ‘98 Drink now.
Marquis de Calon
  • 2015 Mid depth; purple at edge; attractive fruit; some spice; elegant; nice soft and supple entry on the palate; very easy fruit here this year; less concentration apparent than in ’14 but a harmony and roundness; fresh and pure; nice extract – very Bordeaux in feel. Good acidity. [57% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13.7% alc, TA 3.5, PH3.7, 47hl/ha, 50% new oak]. Drink 2024-2030. Tasted at Calon 4/4/16. 90-92
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; tight to the rim; purple at edge; saturated and opaque; black cherry; ripe and real sweetness; pretty palate; perfume; cherry and plum tones; soft feel to the fruit on entry; tannins very enveloping; plenty of fruit but some sense of modesty at the same time; supple; some chew and trace of alcohol on the finish. [64% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.7% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.60, PIT 70, 41hl/ha, 50% new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Calon Ségur 30 March, 2015. 91-92+
  • 2013 Mid depth; vivid at the edge; clean and correct; berry fruits; quite clean; palate fresh with elegance but nice tension; no puckering notes; reasonable density and nice chew. [60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.2 % alc, 3.70 TA, 3.6 pH, IPT 63, 36 hl/ha, 30% new oak]. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88
  • 2012 Deep and dense; quite tight again; some prettiness from the Merlot (69%); dense and structured on the palate; full and big but also pretty tannic. What the hell, this is St Estephe after all! 69% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon 14.4% alc. Tasted at Calon-Segur April 11, 2013. 90-91+ Drink 2020-25+
Château Capbern [formerly Capbern-Gasqueton]
  • 2015 Mid depth; purple at edge; ripe and pure fruit aromatics; pretty; some spice; lovely purity; ripe, elegant and nicely judged. Soft finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 13.7% alc, TA 3.3, pH 3.8, 47 hl/ha, 60% new oak]. Drink 2023-2030. Tasted at Calon 4/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Deep colour; very saturated look; colour tight to the rim; lots of ripe fruit here; real joy; black fruits; some cherry but nicely fresh; composed too; pretty and voluptuous even; lovely fruit tones continue on the palate; plenty of extract and ripe fruit tones; perfumed and caressing; great palate really; concentrated and glossy. Great effort. Drink 2019-2030. [78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 14.2% alc, TA 3.50, pH 3.80, IPT 76, 41hl/ha yield, 60% new oak]. Tasted at Calon Ségur 30 March, 2015. 91-93+
  • 2013 Mid depth; some purple at edge; charming aromatics; pretty fruit; very jolly; charming fruit; fresh and vibrant with good depth; very pure. Attractive. Gentle extraction and handled with real finesse. [91% Cabernets, 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13% alc, 3.60 TA, 3.75 pH, 59 IPT, 65% new oak]. Tasted April, ’14. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
  • 2012 Deep looking; stone fruits on the nose; some mineral tones; fresh; grippy, stalky Cabernet fruit on the palate; sappy and quite lean in style; bit backward but will doubtless fill out. Chewy finish. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot. Tasted at Calon-Segur April 11, 2013. 87-89+ Drink 2018-2025
  • 2011 Deep and earthy red; purple at edge; attractive red fruits; some oak; little rose petal. Strong, meaty palate quite deep with lots of stalky, fresh Cabernet flavours. Pretty harmonious effort again here; blackcurrants, grip and good acid. Structured wine with good acid. 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot 13.2% alc 60% new oak 87-89 Tasted Apr ’12 at Calon Segur. Drink 2018-2025
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