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.
|Bordeaux||2020||Calon Ségur||BT||2 \ 0||24||1,020.00||12||24||113.33333333333||94.00||92.00||Calon Segur||0.75||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
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.
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
The 2020 Calon Ségur is deep, dark and massively concentrated. Huge, brawny tannins give the Grand Vin a brooding, rustic feel. Quite frankly, it is hard to see the 2020 being in balance. There is too much of everything - too much ripeness, too much tannin and too much heaviness. Perhaps this sample was not perfect. We will see. 2035 - 2050
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
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
(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+.