Overall St Estèphe was a little more variable than I’d expected in 2013. The wines are fresh, vigorous and pretty high in acidity. Some lack charm and there’s not the full-fat quality of the good years here. There are successes. I’ve posted already on Calon-Ségur, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château Meyney and Château Montrose, but Château Phélan Ségur looks nicely polished, Château Capbern Gasqueton is very pretty and I was particularly struck by Château de Pez. There are also solid efforts from Château Haut-Marbuzet, Château Tronquoy-Lalande, Château Le Crock and Château Ormes de Pez, though they lack the flair of the best vintages.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Capbern-Gasqueton’
I’m a great fan of Château Calon Ségur. The property produces wines of genuine delicacy and harmony. In a way it always feels the least St Estèphe of top properties here, its balance and elegance suggesting more the finest growths of Pauillac, St Julien or even Margaux. Calon has produced excellent wine in 2008, 2009 [really exciting], 2010, 2011 and 2012. This run of good form continues in 2013. It’s a surprisingly full effort of real character and purity. It tops the appellation for me and was one of the standouts on the left bank this year.
Despite the vagaries of the vintage it would be a mistake to overlook St Estèphe in 2012. At the top end excellent wines have been made at Chateau Calon-Ségur, Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Montrose especially. Further down the chain there are values to be had if you pick carefully. I’ve written about the excellent effort at Chateau Meyney, but very fine wine has been made at Chateau Phélan-Ségur and there is a surprisingly good Chateau de Pez. The vintage can’t be compared to 2009 and 2010 but it’s probably better than the 2011 vintage here at least. Where the price is right, and in a few cases it is, you could consider some of these wines en primeur.
Château Calon-Ségur has produced a very serious wine in 2012. It shows just how St Estèphe’s best terroirs have actually succeeded in this vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon, that misfired in so many other districts, was harvested here at thirteen degrees. The Merlot was pushing nearly fifteen. No greenhouses or poly-tunnels to be seen, just an extremely nifty vineyard site doing the magic [along with assiduous vineyard management]. Yes there is considerable tannin and structure in Calon-Ségur, but the tannin is clearly ripe enough and there is plenty of balancing material. There is freshness too that lends appeal.