Calon Ségur 2009

SubregionSt Estephe

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Tasting Notes

The 2009 has the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) ever included in a Calon-Segur (the rest is Merlot and Petit Verdot). Completely different from its St.-Estephe brethren, it is more backward and structured with a dense purple color, lots of black cherry, black currant, loamy earth, forest floor and spice notes, excruciatingly high levels of tannin, and a wonderful inner core of sweetness and concentration. It could behave like the 1982, which, at age 30, is just becoming mature. The 2009 is an uncompromising, masculine, massive style of wine that needs 15-20 years of cellaring even in this luscious, flashy, flamboyant vintage. It is super-tight and needs lots of coaxing and aeration. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050+.

Sadly, Madame Gasqueton, one of the great grands dames of Bordeaux, passed away recently. She was a no nonsense, always gracious lady who normally received me early in the morning, sometimes before the sun had even risen. I have many fond memories of her for her professionalism and her talent in making long-lived, traditional Bordeaux.

Score: 94+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

Made in a very different style for this estate, the 2009 is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon (the highest I have ever seen here), 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, and achieved 13.8% natural alcohol. It is a big, rich, tannic, structured, dense ruby/purple-tinged wine offering a sweet kiss of creme de cassis, loamy soil, and spice box. Remarkably, despite the use of 100% new oak because of the 2009's power and intensity, there is not a hint of wood in either the aromatic or flavor profile. Never that showy from cask, this traditionally made St.-Estephe should be forgotten for 10-15 years, and drunk over the following 40-50 years. My rating is very conservative, and I expect it to rise considerably as this wine comes out of its infancy. (Tasted two times.) Drink 2020-2070.

Score: 92/94+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

The 2009 Calon-Ségur has a classic Saint-Estèphe bouquet with pencil box and freshly tilled earth on the nose, beautifully defined if not with quite the same pedigree that François Millet imparts into the Grand Vin nowadays. (Less Merlot here than other examples.) The palate is medium-bodied, masculine in style, a little closed at first, strict and detailed yet missing some flesh and density on the finish. Unlike the bottle poured blind a week later that was much more exuberant and higher-toned. It is a fine Calon-Ségur but it is shaded by say the 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2020 - 2045

Score: 93Neal Martin,, March 2019

Tasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine & Spirits Calon-Segur dinner in London, the 2009 Calon Segur is cut from such a different cloth to the 2008, you might presume they are totally different châteaux! What they share in common is that they are both long-term propositions. This is an atypical 2009 in the sense that it remains one of the few that require patience. Sure, it has an opulent and intense bouquet with plenty more glycerine and warmth than the 2008, maintaining fine delineation, but you know there is more to come. The palate is full-bodied, powerful and almost viscous on the entry, bold but structured, especially towards the substantial finish that clams up tightly after 20-30 minutes. Punishment for jumping the gun? Hey, it's up to you, but there are many other Left Bank 2009s that you could enjoy within ten years of age before considering this excellent Saint Estèphe. Tasted March 2015.

Score: 94Neal Martin, (227), October 2016

Tasted at the château. This has a very strict nose with brambly black fruit, wild hedgerow, a touch of plum and Mirabelle with cold stony aromas developing with further aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, firm tannins, good balance, just a little tough at the moment, briary and blackberry, a very saline finish with moderate length. Very taut, coalescing nicely in the glass, just a little hard on the finish. It will interesting to see whether this softens with age: perhaps a little less oak would have served this redoubtable Calon-Segur better? I will remain prudent with my score for now. Tasted March 2010.

Score: 91/93Neal Martin,, April 2010

The 2009 Calon-Ségur is deep garnet in color and opens with a beautiful fragrance of redcurrant preserves, cassis, black cherry compote and red roses plus nuances of cigar box and cinnamon stick. Medium-bodied and wonderfully elegant in the mouth, it has a compelling line of very ripe, fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the fragrant layers, finishing long and perfumed. 2020 - 2049.

Score: 96Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (241), March 2019

Delivers gorgeous aromas of blackberry, blueberry and licorice, with hints of tobacco and spice. Full-bodied, offering a lovely texture and refinement. Very long and beautiful, with tangy acidity and lively fruit. A rich, yet very balanced, Calon. This is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon instead of the normal blend with 40 percent Merlot. The château is now using 100 percent new wood. Like the changes.

Score: 93/96James Suckling,, March 2010

Exciting ripe mineral character – pretty aromatic. Dense and pure and very St-Estèphe. Lots of refreshment. And a fair amount of ripe tannin.
Drink 2018-2040

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW,, March 2019

Dark crimson. Wonderful electric vitality on the nose. Great vibrancy. Great integrity in the same way as Pontet-Canet is seamless right through the palate - great line. Pure and dense and polished. Really vibrant. Lovely minerality on the finish. Complete. Date tasted 1st April 2010. Drink 2018-2030.

Score: 18Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2010

This classic Chateau has one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux. Quality is always high but en primeur prices are usually reasonable - especially so in comparison to those of traditional rivals and neighbours Cos d'Estournel and Montrose. There is a new winemaker - Vincent Millet, brought in from Chateau Margaux. The owner, Madame Gasqueton has been here a long time and doesn't need to produce a show-off style of wine. One of the great traditional clarets. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. The highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ever - the 2nd wine will be 80% Merlot. 100% new oak for the first time. The decision was made not to blend in the Merlot as it was too opulent for the style of Calon and didn't "marry" well with the Cabernet. Lovely ripe red fruit here with a coolness and freshness that are rare in the vintage. Finely balanced and great purity with just a hint of licorice and vanilla. Concentrated yet focussed and very fine. The best Calon Segur for many years,

Score: 17+Farr Vintners, November 2009

There is an attractive sweetness on the nose, the mix of cassis and blackberry feels ripe. The richness of sloe gives weight on the mid palate, the sweetness accentuated by ripe tannins. Towards the back it is firmer with more weight of fruit, the finish has the racy freshness of bilberry, all quite elegant but not as serious as Cos. Drink 2020-2045.

Score: 91/94Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

The most northerly cru classé in the Médoc has made one of my favourite 2009s. It's not as big as Montrose, or as in-your-face as Cos, but winemaker Vincent Millet has managed the tannins to perfection here. Elegant, stylish and well balanced, this is a wine that is much more concentrated that it seems as first, holding its power in reserve. 15+ years.

Score: 97Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

Dense, very Cabernet (90%) nose of red/black berry fruits, great freshness, purity and length, a beautifully made, truly aristocratic wine. Drink 2016-30.

Score: 18.5Steven Spurrier,, April 2010

With a lot of fennel and earth character this is a classic St.-Estèphe, but on the palate it has a suppleness that's modern in the best sense. Needs time to soften. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)

Score: 95Stuart Pigott,, March 2019

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.