2020 Château Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

2020 Château Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

Product: 20201014147
 
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2020 Château Phélan Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Merlot 42%, Cabernet Franc 2%, Petit Verdot 2%

There was a change of ownership (but not of the team) here in 2017. The estate’s trajectory of reliability and over-delivery continues. St Estèphe’s graphite notes are here in abundance, but they are well moderated by the hallmark toasty, almost savoury character of the wine. Its broad shoulders and creamy sensation give pleasure, and there’s a welcome twist of freshness at the finish. The wine always feels like it has more to give, a sure pointer to the benefits of some bottle age.

Drink 2026-2040

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson94/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous91-93/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Wine Advocate90-92+/100
James Suckling95-96/100
Jeb Dunnuck94-96/100
Jane Anson94/100
The austerity to the tannins works in this wine's favour giving a juicy grip to the concentrated blackcurrant and bilberry fruits without strangling them. Excellent stuff, finishing up with liquorice and smoked coffee bean. This is an estate that has just powered to better and better wines over the past few years. Yields were 10% below the average of the past five years but still at 40hl/ha. Harvest September 16 through to October 1, finishing around 10 days earlier than the past two years. Consultants Michel Rolland and Julien Viaud. First vintage with Petit Verdot included in the main wine (2%), from vines planted in 2013. Tasted twice.

Drink from 2026 to 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous91-93/100
The 2020 Phélan Ségur is sophisticated, classy and polished. There is perhaps a bit less size than has become the norm of late, but that is not a bad thing at all. Sweet floral, spice, cedar and tobacco lend brightness to this mid-weight, beautifully persistent Saint-Estèphe. I especially admire the wine's aromatic presence and persistence. Tasted two times.

Drink 2028 - 2045

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (April 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Phélan Ségur has a very intense and almost Pauillac-like nose of blackberry, pencil box and cedar aromas, complex and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco, quite sturdy and conveying more substance than recent vintages. This impressive Saint-Estèphe has great potential and might well represent the appellation's best value for money.

Drink 2025 - 2045

Neil Martin, vinous.com (April 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate90-92+/100
Displaying a medium to deep purple-black color, the 2020 Phélan Ségur offers up intense notions of crushed red and black currants, black raspberries and fresh mulberries, plus suggestions of charcuterie, pencil shavings and cinnamon toast. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering a firm, grainy texture to support the crunchy red and black fruits, finishing with a peppery kick.

Drink from 2024 to 2039

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling95-96/100
Bright and perfumed with some chocolate, berry, sandalwood and cedar. Very elegant and fine, medium to full-bodied palate with very integrated tannins and refined, polished texture. The tannins melt into the wine. Long finish with serious structure. Vivid and refined. Class here. Very Bordeaux. 54% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck94-96/100
Getting a legit 'wow' in the notes, the 2020 Château Phélan Ségur looks to be another incredible wine from the team of Véronique Dausse. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon 42% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it's a deep, almost inky-hued barrel sample offering gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, damp earth, crushed violets, and graphite. With full-bodied richness, a round, layered texture, serious concentration, and building structure, this is the real deal and up with the gems in Sainte-Estèphe. While some wines show a softer, more forward style, this is firm, mineral-laced, and structured, and is going to reward a good decade of cellaring. The alcohol checks in at 13.5% with a pH of 3.7 and a whopping 88 for an IPT.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Château Phélan Ségur

Château Phélan Ségur

Château Phélan-Ségur is a St Estèphe property that produces textbook meaty, solid and long-lived St Estèphe. Founded by Irishman Bernard O’Phelan, the estate was developed by his son, Frank, and renamed Phélan Ségur in the early 20th century. It was bought by Xavier Gardinier in 1985 and run by his sons, Thierry and Laurent until 2018, when Philippe Van de Vyvere bought the property.

Phélan-Ségur's 70 hectares of vineyards are well-sited near the Grionde estuary, lying on well-drained gravel soils, bordered by those of Château Montrose and Château Calon-Ségur.

The grand vin is normally a blend of at least 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot and a touch of Cabernet Franc and/or Petit Verdot. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barriques (maximum 50% new) for 16 months. Phélan Ségur usually requires at least five to seven years of bottle ageing to show at its best, and the finest 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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