2020 Château Calon Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

2020 Château Calon Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008756
 
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2020 Château Calon Ségur, St Estèphe, Bordeaux

Description

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Cabernet Sauvignon 78%, Merlot 12%, Cabernet Franc 9%, Petit Verdot 1%

The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend has increased again, in line with the ambitions of ex-director Laurent Dufau (now succeeded by technical director Vincent Millet). This is a paradigm of St Estèphe, with a sense of restraint imposed by cool tannins onto the palate of graphite and blueberry. The sense of classicism persists through to a finish of aromatic herbs, liquorice and allspice, with a dash of prunelle as a nod to the summer’s drought. It’s a compelling wine.

Drink 2030-2055

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson98/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous88-90/100
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
James Suckling95-96/100
Jeb Dunnuck95-97/100
Michael Schuster93-95/100
Jane Anson98/100
A return to form in my eyes for Calon Ségur after the atypical 2018, rippling with elegance, balance and savoury blue fruits of Cabernet, with rose and peony flowers. Concentrated, chiselled and juicy, this has clear personality and equals the great, classically balanced vintages of Calon like 2016. A yield of 33hl/ha, 3.85pH, 100% new oak. Vincent Millet is now overall director as well as technical director, since the departure of Laurent Dufau in 2020.

Drink from 2029 to 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous88-90/100
The 2020 Calon Ségur is deep, dark and massively concentrated. Huge, brawny tannins give the Grand Vin a brooding, rustic feel. Quite frankly, it is hard to see the 2020 being in balance. There is too much of everything - too much ripeness, too much tannin and too much heaviness. Perhaps this sample was not perfect. We will see.

Drink from 2035 to 2050

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100
The 2020 Calon Ségur was picked from 24-30 September at 33hl/ha and after a 3-day cold soak at 10°C it underwent a 18-21 cuvaison. Matured entirely in new oak, it is backward on the nose, well defined, but broody and requires coaxing from the glass. It eventually reveals blackberry, cedar, wild mint and pressed iris petal aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, a little angular on the entry, good acidity. The second half, though, feels just a little brutish at the moment, granular and grippy on the saline, briny finish. I appreciate the way in which the DNA of this estate comes through, though the 2019 showed far more finesse and panache. It may end up at the top of my banded score if it can pull together more clarity and complexity.

Drink from 2027 to 2040

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
The 2020 Calon-Ségur is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It is aging in 100% new French oak barrels for an anticipated 18 to 20 months. The alcohol is 13.8%. Displaying a deep purple-black color, it straight away springs up with bright scents of freshly picked black raspberries, kirsch and blackberries, needing considerable swirling to reveal a vast array of nuances—rose oil, cardamom, iron ore, graphite, lavender and aniseed. The medium-bodied palate has a solid structure of firm, ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the tightly wound red and black fruit layers, accented by lots of mineral and floral sparks, finishing with impressive length and depth. Beautiful, beautiful wine! 

Drink 2026 - 2060

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
Cask sample. Classically structured and Cabernet-driven without the opulence of 2018 or the finesse of 2019. Pure and precise on the nose with cassis notes prevalent. Crunchy fruit on the palate with powdery tannins that build and drive to a dry finish. Verticality as in 2019. Perhaps a little chew but clean and saline on the finish.

Drink 2030 - 2050

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling95-96/100
Tobacco and tea aromas with currants and wet earth. Full-bodied and chewy with blackcurrant flavor. Tannins build on the finish with lots of structure and intensity. Quite muscular.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck95-97/100
The flagship 2020 Château Calon Ségur is also brilliant and certainly brings up the intensity, depth, and richness, although it’s nowhere near the exotic, almost over-the-top style of the 2018. Gorgeous crème de cassis, tobacco, roasted coffee beans, lead pencil, and sappy herbs all define this beauty, which is full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and has incredible purity of fruit. It might have some up-front appeal as well, yet smart money will hide bottles for at least 7-8 years.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster93-95/100
A very “refined” nose, subtly gravelly, almost smoky, and notably persistent; rich, full, concentrated wine, fresh in acidity, very firm in very fine tannins; freshly sweet-cored to taste, discreet, refined, long, complex, and graceful with great length of flavor, no sense at all of excess, with a lovely generosity of presence, fresh for its fairly large scale, particularly elegant and poised. Super-fine-textured in tannin and with great fragrant scent on its very long finish. A wonderfully complete Calon, of tremendous finesse, probably even finer than than its 2019.

Drink 2030 - 2055

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Chateau Calon Segur

Chateau Calon Segur

Château Calon-Ségur, the most northerly of all the Médoc Grand-Crus Classés, is the château with a heart on its label. That is because the former owner, Marquis de Ségur, though he owned such Estates as Lafite and Latour, he declared "My heart belongs to Calon". For the last century it has been owned by the Gasqueton family.

Calon-Ségur's 74-hectare vineyard, which is partly enclosed by a wall, is located just to the north of the village of St-Estèphe. The vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 20%, Cabernet Franc 15%) lie on up to 5 metre deep gravel beds mixed with sand and, in parts, limestone and clay.

The wines are fermented for 3 weeks in enamel-lined steel vats and are then matured in oak barriques (40% new) for 18 months. Recently, Calon-Ségur has hit form with notable successes in 1995 and 1996 and 2000. At its best, Calon-Ségur produces meaty and concentrated wines displaying excellent depth of fruit and superb length. It is classified as a 3ème Cru Classé.

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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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