|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Margaux|
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 leading wine of the appellation after Palmer and Château 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 start here with a quite outstanding 2015, which has been followed by a string of great successes. A Farr Vintners favourite and a château on top form.
Representing around 44% of the estate's production (more or less as usual), the 2021 Rauzan-Ségla unwinds in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, blackberries, loamy soil, dark chocolate and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively concentrated, it's layered and seamless, with a sweet core of fruit, powdery tannins, lively acids and an impressively penetrating finish. The Rauzan team opted to ferment Merlot rather cooler than normal this year to moderate extraction. Tasted six times.
According to Nicolas Audebert, the 2021 Rauzan Ségla has a reduced proportion of Merlot, as a consequence of which it was felt that the Petit Verdot crowded out the final blend and was thus demoted to the Deuxième Vin. Matured in 60% new oak for an intended 18 months, it has a surprisingly opulent bouquet with conspicuous Merlot that has the hubris to vie for attention with the Cabernet. Very pure and well-defined, this gains intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very finely chiseled tannins, displaying disarming purity and poise. Minerally on the finish, with just the faintest hint of dark chocolate on the aftertaste. Precision, precision, precision. (13.0% alcohol)
The 2021 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. This is the highest proportion of Cabernet seen in the final blend for a long time. The yield of 38 hl/ha was more than in 2020 but a little less than in 2019. Deep purple colour. Violets, blue fruit and cool blackcurrant tones. The palate has a weightless intensity - the vibrant cassis turning to blossoms thanks to bright acidity. Quintessentially Margaux in style, the persistent, ripe and fine tannins provide an elegant structure for the compact core of fruit. Very fine, with a long, pure finish.
A firm and linear wine with crushed stone and some citrusy acidity, Medium body, creamy tannins and a fresh finish, Lively at the end. Currant, blackberry and fresh tobacco in the aftertaste. 75% cabernet sauvignon.
The 2021 Rauzan-Segla is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, aging 18 months in 60% new oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little closed to begin, delivering subtle notes of cassis, raspberry leaves, and mulberries with hints of fallen leaves, cinnamon stick, and pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly knit with black and red berry layers and a grainy texture, finishing with good intensity on a lingering mineral note.
A clear step up from the Ségla, proving why in 2021 even with the best names and most accomplished winemakers, it pays to head to the 1st wines. This is excellent for the vintage, with sinewy-juice-filled blue and black fruits. Cabernet-dominant, fresh, well constructed, precise, you feel a slightly higher acidity than usual, giving a muscular, angular feel. As it opens cloves, cassis bud and rose stems appear. 60% new oak, well balanced, clear classicism and the alcohol level feels refreshing and restrained. Working with the vintage, a little shorter on the finish that the biggest vintages but this is easy to recommend. Tasted twice, 45% of overall production. A candidate for upscore in bottle.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Cask sample.
Pretty solid crimson. Much more complex nose than the Rauzan-Gassies. Sweet start and very polished tannins. A saline note adds interest. No sign of oak. The finish is impressively long and interesting without any dryness nor any excess of acidity. Very well judged and very Margaux though the opposite of concentrated or flashy. Complete and already relatively accessible.
Drink 2026 – 2042