Calon Ségur 2017

SubregionSt Estephe

This classic Chateau has one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux. Quality in the past has been good but a little variable. However, en primeur prices were always reasonable - especially so in comparison to those of traditional rivals and neighbours Cos d'Estournel and Montrose. The 55 hectare property has recently been sold to a French insurance company - Suravenir. Manager Laurent Dufau has over-seen much modernisation of the wine-making facilities and quality is now back to "super-second" levels. The vineyard is planted with 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Calon-Ségur was bottled at the beginning of July 2019. This is clearly more intense and complex than the Marquis de Calon with blackberry, bilberry, traces of brine and discrete tobacco aromas. Classic in style with the Cabernet component clearly more expressive than previous vintages (a long-term policy as they reconfigure vineyard planting). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and superb balance. There is a natural and effortless feel to this nascent Calon-Ségur, very focused with a "cool" and slightly reserved finish. Classy and, dare I say, it represents one of the few 2017s that may challenge its 2018 counterpart. 2022 - 2045

Score: 93Neal Martin,, February 2020

The 2017 Calon-Ségur was cropped at 43.5hl/ha and underwent a 20-day cuvaison after which it is matured entirely in new oak for 20 months. It contains 13.2° alcohol. At the moment the aromatics convey the 100% new oak but there is sufficient fruit underneath. There is a palpable sense of “coolness” imbuing the aromatics and like other Saint-Estèphe barrel samples, it conveys a subtle estuary-like tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, beautifully integrated new oak that lends this a silky texture. Perhaps this is the smoothest of all the 2017s I encountered within this appellation, a classy and sophisticated Calon-Ségur in the making and heightened by the thrilling tension towards the finish and the latent energy that lingers in the mouth. Excellent. Drink 92-94.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin,, May 2018

The 2017 Calon-Ségur is tentatively blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with pronounced black currants, crushed blackberries and fresh black plums with hints of cigar box, sandalwood and cinnamon stick plus a waft of mossy bark. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant, energetic and fresh with layers of black fruit, perfumed incense and fragrant earth notions, lingering nicely with exotic spices coming through on the finish.

Score: 92/94Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

Graphite, wild herbs, bracken, violets and such spicy black and blue berries. The palate has impressive concentration, yet very supple, charming texture. Such impressively articulated tannin detail with very fine, long tannins and deeply integrated oak. This wine is so full of flavor and interest from start to finish. A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, 9% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Needs three to four year to come around. Try in 2023 and onwards.

Score: 95James Suckling,, January 2020

This is very delicate on the attack but it grows on the palate with firm and silky tannins that turn lightly chewy. Builds consistently. Compacted and tight.

Score: 94/95James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 Calon Ségur is a classy, polished wine. Conditions favored Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up 76% of the blend. Open-knit and supple, the 2017 is surprisingly open and harmonious in the early going. Hints of espresso, mocha, red cherry jam, cinnamon and dusk of new French oak add accents, but it is the wine's gentle personality that stands out most. In some vintages, Calon Ségur speaks loudly. In 2017, the Grand Vin is hushed and yet very expressive. The blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times.

Score: 90/93Antonio Galloni,, May 2018

Inky core with black-cherry rim. Ripe, dark and with a fine mineral cast to the cassis fruit, which is ripe but not sweet. Paper-fine tannins in many layers. Great ageing potential but also accessible. Deceptively accessible, suggesting lack of ageing ability, but I don't think that is the case. Cool, fresh, serious, fine cassis fruit. The finesse comes from the lack of sweetness but there's no lack of fruit. Dry, firm and very St-Estèphe, with tannin structure. But the structure is filled molecule by molecule with the fruit. It's so finely balanced. There's more firmness than in Cos but there's still excellent harmony. Opens to a hint of violets. Super-moreish and juicy even with the structure of the terroir.
Drink 2025-2040

Score: 17.5+Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

In 2017 there was no frost damage and the harvest was 2 weeks earlier than the average with picking from 15th to 29th September. The final blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot which will be aged for 20 months in 100% new oak. Deep purple in colour with creamy vanilla, mulberries and graphite on the nose, this is intense and very promising. The palate follows, with dense and yet very pure, precise cassis driving the fruit core through the mid-palate. Notes of sweet smoke, incense and vanilla all support rather than mask the fruit, and though the tannins are plentiful, they are glossy and refined, already integrating wonderfully into the palate. The precision. harmony, and delineation of the palate is really superb. Very impressive.

Score: 17Farr Vintners, April 2018

Minty fragrant the nose is fresh the start of the palate has a bramble and bilberry mix. Concentration and depth in the middle the tannins fine the rich fruits fill out the back plate the finish is lighter stylish and long. Drink 2025-2040.

Score: 90/93Derek Smedley MW,, May 2018

This is rich, with fresh blueberry and cassis notes. The fruit is on the elegant side, and this should be earlier to drink than the 2016 and even the 2014. Technical director Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen and the team took an interesting approach to building the mid-palate, increasing the persistency by re-integrating the press wine immediately after vinification, so having both free run and press wine together during maceration. Blending the press wine at such an early stage took a leap of faith, as did using so much of the young, nine-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon in the first blend. But it works - this is precise, balanced and appealing, building slowly over the palate. Yield of 43.5hl/ha, 40% of production into the grand vin. 3.7pH.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2040

Score: 94Jane Anson,, April 2018

The growing season started early with relatively dry conditions and temperatures which were above average – accordingly the harvest was two weeks early compared with the previous five vintages. Because of the proximity to the Gironde Estuary the vineyards were protected from the frosts at the end of April. In spite of some hot spells, the clay soils regulated
moisture well. Everything was picked between 15th and 29th September. Very deep and sonorous on the nose there is a superb wave of cassis which greets the palate. This is a different take on Calon and it is a style of wine which I have never seen before at this property. It is shaped like the lovely 2008 in terms of refinement and size, but this wine has 15% ten-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend and this is the first time that this fruit has been used in the Grand Vin. It brings acidity and freshness and this lifts the wine and elevates the blackberry fruit beautifully. It will make 20-30 years even though it initially seems to be a more discreet and calm vintage.

Score: 18Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

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