2019 10b 

Calon Segur is situated in the northern part of Medoc, far north of other classified growths. To find the chateau, you can just look for Syndicat Viticole in the small village of Saint-Estephe on the left side of the road; and after you pass by it, you will notice a giant wall on the left side of the property. This winery dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest wine producers in Bordeaux. Marquis de Segur, who owned Latour, Mouton Rothschild, and Lafite, was the man who made Calon Segur renowned. He was nicknamed the Prince of Vines. The label has had a heart engraved with the property name inside it since the 20th century.

The Gasqueton family owned Calon Segur from 1894 to 2012, and I first visited the winery in 1987 and met Mme Gasqueton's husband. However, it took me over 20 years to return to the property, and I managed to do so in April 2012. Mme. Gasqueton was a peculiar owner and had strict rules for making appointments. I attempted to visit Calon Segur several times before April 2012 with no success. She passed away in September 2011, and her heirs, after a brief attempt to continue running the property, decided to sell it to an insurance company, Suravenir. The new proprietors have planned significant modernization of wine facilities, chateau renovation, and garden makeovers. Since 2016, a new vinification cellar with 70 stainless steel vats of different volumes and an aging wine cellar has been used. The renovated chateau itself was ready at the beginning of 2019.

The vineyard covers 55 hectares of hilly slopes, 45 hectares of which are in production. The entire vineyard is contained within the wall. It comprises 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. The vines' average age is 22 years, and the new owners plan to increase the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and decrease the amount of Merlot planted in the coming years. The soil is typical Saint-Estephe, with a thick layer of gravel and large pebbles on top and clay as subsoil. The vineyard's proximity to the Gironde estuary ensures a perfect microclimate and keeps frost danger at bay. The Grand Vin matures in 100% new oak for 20 months.

The quality of Calon Segur has significantly improved since the 2015 vintage, although it was already apparent in the 2014 vintage that significant improvement was on the way. There is more precision, focus, and attention to detail. The general manager, Laurent Dufau, who arrived in 2013, and technical director/winemaker, Vincent Millet, who came in 2006, have been instrumental in raising the property's quality. Calon Segur perfectly blends power, elegance, subtlety, and a strong backbone. It's a typical St.Estephe wine that embodies the flair and character of the soil. It complements its two nearby competitors, Cos d'Estournel and Montrose, perfectly. Laurent Dufau left Calon Segur at the end of 2019, and since January 2020, Vincent Millet has been the general manager and winemaker.

Capbern (formerly Capbern Gasqueton), a Cru Bourgeois, is a sister property managed by the same people. It often provides excellent value for money, particularly since the 2014 vintage.


Laurent Dufau (left) and Vincent Millet (right) have taken Calon Segur to new heights.

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2022 (barrel sample) 98p

Tasted in April 2023. 70% C. Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 1% P. Verdot. 15% alcohol. Big mouthful! It has luscious berries and fat tannin, great complexity, strong structure, bright acidity, splendid mid-palate, vibrant, superb balance, depth, and length. Cascades of creamy fruit and acidity keep the high alcohol content quiet. Stupendous effort. 

2021 (barrel sample) 95-96p

Tasted in April 2022.  81% C. Sauvignon, 11% C. Franc, 7% Merlot and 1% P. Verdot. 12.93% alcohol. 50% less Merlot in the blend. It displayed an elegant nose of black and red currants, violet, graphite, and pencil. Great complexity, firm structure, freshness, vibrancy, superb balance, depth, and length exist. It was less abundant than in recent vintages, but it compensated for that with a big brush of elegance and finesse. Excellent! Awe-inspiring effort.

2020 (barrel sample) 98p

Tasted in May 2021. 78% C. Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% C. Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 13.8% alcohol. This wine was less abundant than the monstrous 2018, and it’s 1% down on alcohol and a bit lighter and more classic St. Estephe. A classy nose of cigar box and forest floor. Touch of black winter truffle. Distinguished with a strong backbone. Potent with fat tannin, complexity, structure, length, and excellent acidity. Long-lasting finish. Tremendous effort! 

2019 98+p

Tasted twice - last time in February 2022. Consistent notes. 73% C. Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% C. Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. This property made a blockbuster wine in the 2018 vintage, and 2019 is very close to that effort. Similarly expressive and concentrated, with stunning structure, length, and sophisticated touch. Great display of St.Estephe’s soil characteristics. Among the best wines in this vintage, that's for sure!

2018 99p

Tasted three times, last time in December 2020. Consistent notes. The blend comprises 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The combined efforts of Laurent Dufau (general manager since 2013) and Vincent Millet (technical director/winemaker since 2006) have resulted in the best vintage of Calon Segur in the past 50 years. The wine has a beautifully scented nose and is simultaneously distinctive, precise, focused, stylish, elegant, and powerful. It has excellent complexity, structure, and length. Wow! Despite its 14.9% alcohol content, the wine is well-balanced by cascades of perfectly ripe fruit and tannins. Excellent acidity completes this masterpiece. As of December 2020 (after bottling), the wine tasted as extraordinary as it was sampled from the barrel in April 2019.

2017 (barrel sample) 96p

Tasted in April 2018. This property's been remarkably consistent for a long time, and its 2017 blends power and elegance excellently. Of the 76% of C. Sauvignon in the 2017 vintage, 15% are ten-year-old vines. The remaining grape varieties are 13% Merlot, 9% C. Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It is potent, strong, tight, complex, and aromatic. A stylish wine with elegance.

2016 96-97p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2019. Consistent notes. 60% C. Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% C.Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It is very fruity and stylish, with great concentration, length, complexity, and remarkable structure and length. Awesome wine.

2015 (barrel sample) 96-97p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2017. Not consistent notes.  82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. It was even better than I remember it from the barrel. Fresh, aromatic, potent, long, and with a persistent finish. 

2014 94p

Tasted three times - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. Excellent fruity nose of blackberries, strong structure, splendid complexity, and long finish. Impressive effort.

2013 (barrel sample) 91p

Tasted in April 2014. Aromatic, sappy, splendid structure, delicate complexity, and long aftertaste. It was very attractive at the time of the tasting. The question is how long this wine will keep fine after the bottling. The weather conditions in this vintage were far from perfect.

2012 (barrel sample) 92+p

Tasted in April 2013. 78% C. Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 2% C. Franc. Flowery and aromatic on the nose, with silky fruit and silky tannin, elegant with finesse. Splendid grip, structure, and length. Heartbreaker wine!

2011 (barrel sample) 92p

Tasted in April 2012. Tasted together with 2010 and 2009. Despite not having the ripeness, flair, concentration, and depth of the above vintages, it showed good vibes with an elegant approach, complexity, and nice balance. It will only improve after bottling.

2010 (barrel sample) 95p

Tasted in April 2012. It is a big, bold wine with fat fruit and tannin, great depth and length, and a rich and persistent finish. It perfectly combines power and elegance. A great future awaits!

2009 95p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2019. Consistent notes. Impressive wine with perfectly ripe fruit, strong and elegant at the same time, sophisticated on the palate, and a long finish. This vintage was characterized by high alcohol in Bordeaux, but it's not tasteable here, meaning it was perfectly integrated with fruit!!

2006 92p

Tasted in September 2018. It was a powerful wine with an unmistakable mark of Saint-Estephe soil, delicate complexity, acidity, and length. It had a long and meaty finish. Splendid effort. 

1946 90p

Tasted in December 2006. Powerful, juicy, strong, and quite full-bodied. It is an excellent effort in the context of the vintage, which is ranked low. At 60 years of age, this wine was still great to taste. Fine old wine.

1918 96p

Tasted in November 2018. Stand A/B. Chateau bottled. Dark color! Elegant and gracious on the nose, intense on the palate, with great acidity and a long finish. It does not precisely show its age with its remarkable freshness and complexity. Young and kicking! It's real badass wine for a 100-year-old!

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A blast from the past!


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