|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.
The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is set to be matured in 60% new oak barrels for an intended 18 months. I left my sample for 30 minutes because, like the Ségla, it was backward and rather taciturn on the nose. It repaid a little patience with very classic scents of blackberry, crushed stone, wilted iris flowers and a hint of orange blossom. The aromatics are exquisitely delineated yet succinctly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins that support crystalline black fruit interlaced with light graphite and crustacean notes. Brimming with energy and full of tension from start to finish, this is a sophisticated and quite intellectual Margaux. It’s also flippin’ delicious. 2027 - 2057
Full-bodied and layered with velvety layers of tannins that are beautifully interspersed with ripe fruit and dark-chocolate notes. Silky and lightly chewy texture. Very long, solid finish.
Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is aging for 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an alcohol of 13.5% and a pH of 3.74. Deep purple-black colored, aromas of blackcurrant cordial, stewed red and black plums, chocolate-covered cherries and raspberry coulis erupt from the glass, leading to an undercurrent of tar, licorice, red roses and menthol, plus a hint of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and yet manages seriously impressive intensity, which is well-sustained throughout the mid-palate and finish. Refined and refreshing, delivering beautifully soft, silt-like tannins and bags of bright red and black fruits, it finishes with amazing length and a stunning perfume. Between this and Château Canon, Nicolas Audebert and his team have knocked it out of the park this vintage. 2026 - 2056
Tumeric and cumin spices alongside concentrated cassis and bilberry fruits, this has a powerful structure where the tannins layer up through the palate. There is no question that this is intense, and a reflection of the low yields of the vintage, but Rauzan Segla manages what it always does, which is to take the foot off the pedal at exactly the right moment, and allow the juice to come rushing in. The push and pull of muscular tannins and deft supple acidity gives an extra layer of success. Should be ready to drink a little earlier than the biggest years such as 2016 or 2019, but this will still age for decades. 1% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Harvest began September 8, a yield of 30hl/ha. 60% new oak. Tasted twice.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
The 2020 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc at a yield of 30hl/ha. It will be aged for 18 months in 60% new French oak. Deep ruby in colour. Pure fresh blackcurrant, graphite and a little red cherry and cedar on the nose. This is focused and fresh. The palate follows, with an elegant and compact core of fruit framed by refined but grippy tannin. This is a wine of depth rather than breadth, driven by zesty black fruit and a hint of blossom. This is cool and savoury through to a long, fine finish. Harmonious.
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Almost the same blend as last year. Perfumed violet, floral aroma with a hint of minty freshness. Smooth and spherical on attack then long and linear. Plentiful but finely honed tannins. Lovely poise and balance. A touch steelier than 2019 but clear potential. (JL)
Drink 2028 – 2045
(60% CS, 36% M, 3% PV, 1% CF; 30hl/ha; 13.5% ABV; 60% new)
Quite dense, blackberry, blackcurrant, and gravel, very persistent; rich midweight, with a most attractive fleshy yet fresh feel and a superfine, almost imperceptible tannin, a very fine balance; a lovely impression of richness without force, sweetly ripe, long, refined, subtle, succulent, satiny, so even, so effortless, and finishing with a wonderful freshness. A new, particularly plush, silky texture, a real beauty in the vintage. A gem, which will become a great RS with age. 2030–50+.