2018 Château Calon Ségur Saint-Estèphe
The Collective Review
'In the running for the wine of the vintage in Saint-Estèphe (if not the whole Medoc)' said Jeb Dunnuck. Chateau Calon-Ségur, the most northerly of all the Médoc Grand-Crus Classés, located in St Estephe, and is classified as a 3rd Growth. For the last century it has been owned by the Gasqueton family. Since 2006, Vincent Millet is the technical Director, previously at Chateau Margaux. The winery has been on an upward trajectory, especially since 2012 when the new ownership started, with the vineyards being rejuvenated and given a new lease of life.
'Delivers a laser beam of cassis, bitter plum and cherry reduction notes, with an extremely fine-grained structure carrying this through a long finish. Accents of iron and violet are piercing in their purity and definition. A very complete and precise wine." Read more
'Delivers a laser beam of cassis, bitter plum and cherry reduction notes, with an extremely fine-grained structure carrying this through a long finish. Accents of iron and violet are piercing in their purity and definition. A very complete and precise wine."
Easily the greatest example from this château that I've tasted, the 2018 Château Calon Ségur checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot aged 20 months in new French oak. This dense purple-hued beauty boasts a stunning nose of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, tobacco, baking spices, chocolate, and cedarwood. With full-bodied richness, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, gorgeous tannins, and one seriously long finish, it hits that palate with 15% alcohol, yet you wouldn't know it by tasting it, and the wine is perfectly balanced, has incredible purity of fruit, and stays fresh and lively, with a clean finish.
The 2018 Calon-Segur is blended of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (14.9% alcohol). It is anticipated to age for 20 months in barriques, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs just a little coaxing before it reveals seductive notes of baked cherries, warm cassis, licorice and smoked meats with nuances of hoisin, camphor, Chinese five spice and dried roses with a waft of cardamom. Full-bodied and completely packed with concentrated black fruit and spice layers, it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and a wicked backbone of freshness giving an energetic lift to the very long finish. There's lots of brightness coming from the Cabernet Franc component in here, but it is nonetheless a decadent expression.'
This is a dense, generous wine. Swathes of black fruits are packed with concentrated tannins. Its power is palpable, as is its luxuriously rich future. The wine will take plenty of aging, so don’t drink before 2027.
Aromas of redcurrants and plums with blueberries and black licorice, following through to a full body that’s so refined and polished, the tannins integrated wonderfully into the fruit. Fresh, linear and persistent. Real clarity and purity to this.
Rose petal, cinnamon and cedar. An exotic feel overall held in by firm tannins that are welcome in the sense of the restraint that they add. Chocolate and coffee abound along with cassis fruits. I get the same impression as I did during en primeur - that this is a slightly atypical Calon-Ségur in its concentration and character, even though it has a seductive appeal.
Darkest cherry colour. Lifted and fragrant, very Cabernet Franc on the nose. Both black and dark-red fruit, almost raspberry, but pencil shavings too. Super-fine tannins, so silky already, so fluent, though there is clearly a density and concentration here in the texture as it builds in the mouth. Lovely dry texture on the finish, dark-fruited but full of life – I would not have thought this had so much new oak as it is swallowed by the fruit. 18/20.