Now comfortably established in the super-second league. Huge efforts have been made by owners Chanel to make great wine at Rauzan, with production of the first wine only around half of the total harvest. The rest is used for their excellent second wine - Ségla. The 70 hectare vineyard is planted with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Average vine age is 37 years. In our view this 2nd growth is consistently the top wine of the appellation after Palmer and Chateau Margaux itself - and it is frequently the winner of the Margaux appellation in our blind tastings. New winemaker Nicolas Audebert arrived following stints at Krug and making Cheval des Andes for LVMH in South America. He certainly had a terrific debut here with a quite outstanding 2015. Nicolas believes the 2018 to be the best Rauzan Segla ever made - just ahead of the 2010 and 2015. The yield was rather low at 32 hl/ha and the wine is assembled from 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Maturation for 18 months in 65% new oak.
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The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla has a sublime bouquet of black cherries, violet and lavender, all beautifully defined and focused. The oak is seamlessly enmeshed both here and on the palate. The graphite-tinged black fruit is framed by very fine tannins and matched with a perfect bead of acidity. There is an abiding symmetry about this Rauzan-Ségla that is totally endearing, and it delivers so much freshness on the finish. Absolutely superb. 2024 - 2050
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla was picked starting on September 13 with the young Merlot vines and finishing on October 11 with the Cabernet Sauvignon, the yields at 32hl/ha, and aged in around 60-65% new oak. Inky black cherries, cassis, crushed violets and a hint of lavender blossom leap from the glass, and the oak is nicely integrated. The palate is medium-bodied and comparatively rich for this Margaux growth; sensual and velvety in texture, it offers layers of precocious black fruit laced with fig, menthol and spice toward the opulent finish. This is certainly a "big" Rauzan-Ségla, almost unrecognizable from the vintages of old, but certainly well crafted, and it should age with style. 2024 - 2050
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is composed of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine has 14% alcohol, and it was aged for around 18 months in barriques, 65% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with powerful, energetic scents of crushed black cherries, blackcurrant cordial and mulberries, plus suggestions of violets, star anise, chocolate mint and crushed rocks with a touch of tobacco leaf. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with taut, muscular black fruit layers, supported by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with fantastic length and loads of earthy sparks. This is a thoroughbred Margaux, for sure, possessing amazing power in a very sleek, sophisticated package. Give it 5-7 years in bottle to unlock all those earth, floral and mineral nuances and drink it over the next 40 years or more. An incredible achievement that adeptly sidesteps the potentially overwhelming stamps of this extreme vintage. Bravo to Technical Director Nicolas Audebert and the team at Rauzan-Ségla! 2026 - 2066
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from September 27 to October 11; Merlot from September 13-27; Cabernet Franc on September 28; and Petit Verdot from September 28-29. The wine has 14% alcohol and aging is anticipated to be 18 months in barriques, 65% new. Deep purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of warm plums, crème de cassis, Black Forest cake and candied violets with hints of mocha, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, multilayered and sporting a lot of freshness and tension in the mouth in spite of all its decadent perfumed black fruits, it has a firm, finely grained frame and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Seduction in a glass.
Aromas of crushed blackberries and blueberries with dried flowers and bark, following through to a full body with a tight and powerful palate of beautiful fruit and chewy yet polished tannins that are compressed and impressive. Extremely linear and intense. Muscular, in a toned way. Yet it opens in the mouth at you taste it. 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot. Drink after 2025.
This is one of the most structured and deep Rauzans I have tasted with a full body, layers of fruit and a firm and polished tannin backbone. Compact and composed. Such depth and power. 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 40 per cent merlot.
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 offers tremendous depth and soaring intensity. Super-ripe red cherry, cedar, tobacco, mint and spice all build over time, framed by incomparably silky, polished tannins. Today, the 2018 is dense and packed. I expect it will develop into a stunning Margaux in another 10-15 years or so. Actually, it already is. 2028 - 2058
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is fabulous. Regal and soaring in the glass, Rauzan-Ségla is simply unforgettable. Stunning aromatics and layers of flavor develop in the glass in a drop-dead gorgeous Rauzan that will leave readers weak at the knees. Inky and explosive, the 2018 possesses off the charts intensity and richness. Leather, licorice, spice and grilled herbs add nuance as the 2018 builds to a huge crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures on the finish. I won't be surprised if one day the 2018 is considered among the greatest Rauzan-Séglas of all time. It is a tremendous achievement by the property and the team lead by Technical Director Nicolas Audebert. Don't miss it! Tasted four times.
Barrel sample. Black core. Expressive cassis on the nose, just slightly herbal and very stony/mineral. This has real finesse on the palate, chalky and very fine texture. Dark, almost savoury restraint on the palate. Pretty dry on the finish but in balance with the power on the palate. Notable freshness in 2018. Needs time. (JH)
Deep purple in colour. Violets, blueberries and meaty, savoury spices on the nose make this complex and enticing. The palate is glossy, with satin-textured tannins enveloping a core of opulent, ripe blackcurrant fruit. Waves of acidity come through on the mid palate, refreshing the fruit and giving a floral lift. The toasty oak is integrated and subtle, with superb precision and refinement in both texture and intensity. The finish is long, pure and harmonious. An elegant but still exuberant wine from Rauzan Segla this year.
Unquestionably in the same class as the 2016, the 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is magical stuff and plays in the top tier of the vintage. A rough blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 2% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot brought up in 65% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by complex notes of sweet crème de cassis, cigar tobacco, crushed flowers, lead pencil shavings, and crushed rock-like minerality. Full-bodied, concentrated, and incredibly classic in style, it’s made in a style similar to the 2016 yet is slightly more elegant (possibly not as concentrated), with building structure, beautiful purity, and a great, great finish. Like most vintages from this estate today, it will drink beautifully in its youth yet easily evolve for 30 years or more. For the data-driven people out there, this beauty hit 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.68. You probably couldn’t have too much of this in the cellar.
Very concentrated, atypically so for Margaux, with sappy kirsch and plum reduction notes that are well-defined and luxurious in feel, draping beautifully over a graphite underpinning on the finish. Very long.
Rauzan-Ségla is here proclaiming its right to be considered among the wines of the year in Margaux. In the Chanel stable, Canon has had the edge for me in the past few vintges, but here Rauzan Ségla comes roaring back with its mix of elegance and confidence matched by perfectly ripe, Cabernet-dominant fruit.
There's a slightly higher percentage of Merlot than usual - partly because it was so good this year and partly because the concentration in the Cabernets took the yields down (a real feature of the vintage, they were at 32hl/ha here). The Merlot adds flesh through the mid-palate, which is followed by freshly crushed mint on the finish which adds precision and lift. Great quality. 3.8pH. 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
Enticing on the nose with spicy berry fruit notes and nicely integrated oak, there is a cool feel about this wine which points to careful balance and reasonable alcohol – they got the picking dates just right. The texture is not too grainy or tough and the fruit rolls on well for a minute or so and therefore I am confident that this will be a well-earned success for this Château.