2003 Ch. Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe

2003 Ch. Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe

Product: 20031014147
2003 Ch. Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe

Description

Simon Staples tasting note for this wine begins simply, wow!. A rigorous selection, both during the harvest but also beforehand in the vineyard, by Thierry Gardinier and his team, has reaped dividends at this rejuvenated estate on the outskirts of the town of St Estphe. Made from 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Merlot, this impressive wine boasts an intense, sweet, toasted nose of rich black fruits followed by a fresh palate of pure, concentrated fruit that epitomises the St Estphe terroir. Given the price, this is surely a must-have for any cellar.
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About this WINE

Chateau Phelan Segur

Chateau Phelan Segur

Château Phélan-Ségur is a Cru Bourgeois St. Estèphe property that produces textbook meaty, solid and long-lived St. Estèphes. It was bought by Xavier Gardinier in 1985 and is now run by his sons, Thierry and Laurent.

Phélan-Ségur's 66 hectares of vineyards are well-sited near the Grionde estuary and lies on well drained gravel soils. The vineyards are bordered by those of Château Montrose and Château Calon-Ségur.

Phélan-Ségur's wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barriques (30% new) for 15 months.

Phélan-Ségur usually requires at least 5-7 years of bottle ageing to show at its best and the best vintages can continue improving for up to 15 years.

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St Estephe

St Estephe

St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.

St Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years. 

The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage. 

St Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.

The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.

Recommended Châteaux
Cos (Ch. Cos d'Estournel), Ch. Montrose, Ch. Calon-Ségur, Ch. Lafon-Rochet, Ch. Les Ormes de Pez, Ch. Beau-Site, Ch. Cos Labory, Ch. Phélan-Ségur

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate89/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate89/100
A legitimate sleeper that is still young and rich, this 2003 possesses lots of cassis, earth and mineral characteristics in its smoky, spicy, vibrant, young personality. It has reached its plateau of full maturity where it should remain for another decade. This would have been a great buy in 2003.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/08/2014 Read more