|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Estèphe|
This classic Chateau has one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux. Those who tasted the wines made here in the late 1940's and 1950's will know that the potential of Calon is huge. Since the sale of this 55 hectare property to French insurance company Suravenir and, crucially, the arrival of Laurent Dufau as manager, there has been huge investment in - and modernisation of - the wine-making facilities. There's also been much work done in the vineyards. Quality is now right back to top "super-second" levels. The vineyard is planted with 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Only half the Merlot was used for the grand vin in 2018 with the final blend 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Calon Segur is already challenging Montrose and Cos d'Estournel for the title of top Saint Estephe and, fortunately, prices remain reasonable for the outstanding quality.
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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.
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.
Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Deep purple colour. A unique and beguiling nose - iris, violet, cassis and dark chocolate layered with spices. The palate is opulent with rich and succulent tannic structure set against powerful and ripe black fruit. Full bodied but lifted throughout by floral tones this is a wonderful expression of the vintage. Lingering with intense black fruit and incense on the finish, this must be one of the greatest Calon Segur's ever. Outstanding. Rated top St Estephe by the Southwold group in 2018.
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.
An impressive, concentrated and powerful Calon that will win many admirers without a doubt, but I would be a little hesitant if you're a fan of the more classic balance found in the 2016. It has gorgeous chocolate and rich coffee notes, with complex exotic spices and even salted caramel on the finish, along with a lovely mouthwatering quality helped by a relatively low pH of 3.75 and a good yield of 41hl/ha. This will need long ageing, probably 20 months. I tasted it on several occasions and there are no arguments that it's a stunning wine but I would probably favour the 2016 if looking to cellar something, because it's more in character for what is one of my favourite properties in the appellation. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 100% new oak.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
Tasted blind. Bluer than some of its peers. Rich but open nose. Thick and sweet with the sweetness almost distracting from the tannin. Dramatic. Just very slightly chewy tannins. 15%
Drink 2030 – 2050
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. pH 3.75. 100% new oak. Barrel sample.
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. (JH) 14.9%
Very deep purple in the glass, with a plush, ripe nose of blackberry and black cherry accented by dark chocolate, liquorice and Arabica coffee. The palate is smoky and toasty, powerful and rich, but dominated by the supreme density of the fruit core. There is superb delineation of fruit, black cherries, pure blackcurrant, peppery blackberries and more. This has superb focus, with the fruit and spice driving the palate forward through the ripe but mouthcoating tannins. The finish is long and expansive, hinting at the greatness to come with bottle age. Another extremely impressive Calon Segur, adding to the run of brilliant wines in recent years.
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.
(65 Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 Merlot, 15 Cabernet Franc, 3 Petit Verdot) | 100% new oak – will be matured for 20 months |14.9% alc | 70 IPT All of the Cabernet Franc in the property went in to the Grand Vin in this vintage and I have no doubt that it is this grape which has brought so much joy to this beautiful wine. Sexy and smooth Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create the beating heart of this wine, but it’s the Cabernet Franc, with its beguiling aroma, that adds the X-factor. The depth of colour and haunting, violet tones do so much to invigorate the Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is sensational, layered and exciting and the palate is stuffed with ebullient fruit and fine-grained tannins. It was, apparently, an easy vintage to make according to winemaker Vincent Millet as each plot was either very good or excellent. I have never seen Vincent smile so much in a tasting and it is not surprising because he has made one of the wines of the vintage.
The quality of the tannins is most notable here; they are present, but totally integrated and folded into the wine. Medium-to full-bodied with lovely savory fruit and a persistent and long finish. Very harmonious and fine. Yet, with air, it takes off with tannin power.
In the running for the wine of the vintage in Saint-Estèphe (if not the whole Medoc), the 2018 Château Calon Ségur is a tentative blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot that will spend 20 months in new French oak. In comparison to the more backward Montrose and more classically styled Cos d’Estournel, this beauty is as sexy and opulent as Saint-Estèphe gets, revealing a saturated purple color, awesome notes of crème de cassis, crushed rocks, spicy oak, and cedar pencil, full body, remarkable purity, and sweet, mouth-coating tannins. Checking in at 14.9% natural alcohol, it’s a big wine, no doubt, yet is perfectly ripe (not overripe or underripe), has terrific purity of fruit and a seamless texture, all making for a singular, thrilling 2018.