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Calon Ségur 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Estèphe
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

This classic château has one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux. Those who tasted the wines made here in the late 1940s and 1950s will know that the potential of Calon is huge. Since the sale of this 55 hectare property to French insurance company Suravenir and 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. Calon Segur now vies with Montrose and Cos d'Estournel for the title of top Saint Estèphe, but retains a more reasonable pricing structure for the outstanding quality it delivers.

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Tasting Notes

The 2020 Calon-Ségur is a brilliant wine from an estate in the ascendant. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, red berries, fresh mint, pencil shavings, violets and rose petals, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a vibrant core of fruit, powdery structuring tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Integrated and harmonious, this pure, concentrated and dynamic wine is one of the finest vintages that Vincent Millet and his team have produced to date. 2027 - 2055

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

The 2020 Calon Segur has a deep garnet-purple color. It comes bounding out of the glass with crème de cassis, blueberry pie, and kirsch notes, followed by hints of garrigue, cedar chest, and forest floor. Full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and bright acidity supporting the generous, muscular fruit, finishing long with lots of minerally sparks.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

The 2020 Calon-Ségur is allowed to open for over 90 minutes, unfurling in the glass with blackberry and bilberry scents, cedar and floral scents (almost identical to how it showed in barrel.) It just oozes pedigree. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannins and quite plush red fruit. It is very well balanced without the backbone and depth of say, Montrose or Cos d'Estournel. It has gained a bit of heft on the finish during its élevage. However, it fans out in assured fashion. This should drink beautifully for 25 to 30 years.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2023

Blueberries, blackberries, spearmint, currants and sweet spices on the nose. Mocha and walnuts, too. Lots of flavor here, with a medium to full body and muscular yet velvety tannins that melt seamlessly into the wine. Long, polished and delicious already. Keeps going. Better from 2025.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

Even visually this stands apart with its inky, glass-staining ruby colour. Rich and powerful but restrained, this is a brilliant Calon Ségur, more old school than the past few vintages in that there is tight cassis, eucalyptus and mint leaf restraint, but still utterly luscious black cherry and damson fruits, concentrated, supple and chiselled tannins with a touch of crème de cassis and incense. Exceptionally impressive. 47% of overall production, 33hl/h yield, 100% new oak, 3.85ph. Vincent Millet director as well as technical director.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

The 2020 Château Calon Ségur is pure gold and another masterpiece from this estate. Harvested all in September and pulled from their 48 hectares of vines, the blend is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 20 months all in new French oak, and it hit 13.2% natural alcohol. My notes started and ended with "wow," and this riveting Saint-Estèphe offers a heavenly bouquet of red and black currants, truffly earth, iron, espresso, and tobacco leaf. With incredible purity of fruit, full-bodied richness, and ultra-fine tannins, it's a deep, pure, layered 2020 that deserves at least 7-8 years of bottle age and will cruise for 40-50 years in cold cellars. Hats off to the team at Calon Ségur.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2023

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 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. (JL) 13.8%
Drink 2030 – 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

(78% CS, 12% M, 9% CF, 1% PV; 33hl/ha; 13.8% ABV; 20% new)
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. 2030–55+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

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. 2027 - 2040.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

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! 2026 - 2060

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

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.

Drinking Window 2029 - 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.