Something about Chateau Calon Segur
Chateau Calon Segur name is derived from the old French word Calon which was boat used in the Middle Ages to transport timber from one side to the other of the Garonne, and from the Marquis de Segur who owned the Chateau in the early 18th century. The Third Classified Growth in the appellation of Saint-Estèphe remained in Capbern-Gasqueton family throughout the 19th century until 2012. Chateau Calon-Segur continues to produce wines with an inimitable style marked by the typicity of the appellation.
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The 2018 Calon-Ségur 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.
The 2018 Calon-Ségur was cropped at 41hl/ha and matured for 20 months in 100% new oak. The last racking had been done in mid-July, a couple of months before the tasting, when the barrels are transferred into the second year cellar. What I find fascinating is that comparing this with the 2017, they are actually quite similar, despite significant differences with respect to the growing season. Mainly black fruit, raspberry coulis, hints of leather and undergrowth, this is well defined and focused, disguising the 14.9% alcohol. The palate is less predisposed to disguise the warmth of the growing season, with ample confit-like black fruit, mulberry, fig and bilberry jam. This is a Calon-Ségur of considerable girth: quite muscular in style and grippy towards the finish. I do not find it as nuanced or as pixelated as other recent vintages. This opulent Calon-Ségur will provide plenty of drinking pleasure over the next 20 to 25 years but writing this has a massive fan for many years, I need to be more convinced that it truly ranks as one of the estate's all-time greats. We shall see. 2023 - 2045
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. Try after 2025.
The 2018 Calon-Ségur has a classic Saint-Estèphe nose. Rather obdurate at first, it takes time to coalesce, revealing black fruit, charcoal and warm gravel scents, well defined but distant and not predisposed to charm the imbiber. In a funny way, I quite like that stubbornness. The palate is well balanced with firm tannins and fine acidity. Maybe this feels a little pinched compared to recent vintages; it does not possess the amplitude of the 2016 and 2017 and it is rather serious on the brine-infused finish. This is a fine and very typical Calon-Ségur, though it is not the most finessed in recent years. 2023 - 2045.
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. This magical Saint-Estèphe can be drunk any time over the coming 20+ years.