Bordeaux Wine Cellaring

Château Calon Ségur

In most years, wines from Bordeaux, particularly the top level ones, either need to be drunk early with plenty of decant time or should be cellared for many years. On my birthday this year, we decanted and drank a great bottle of wine, 1995 Château Calon Ségur, a Third Growth in the 1855 classification, located in St. Estèphe in the northern Haut-Medoc. I thought that It would be interesting to describe the barrel tasting at the Château in September of 2009. Château Calon Ségur 2008 St. Estèphe Third Growth Calon Ségur has a label featuring a heart since a proprietor who also owned Lafite and Latour said that his heart was in Calon. We needed quite a bit of help to locate the winery. Our host was M Vincent Millet, a very reserved individual. After our return,

I finally realized that he was the technical director and winemaker! He only spoke French to me but did speak with Pam in English. He had warmed up quite a bit by the time we left. At any rate, the estate of 150 acres is planted with about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and the remainder with Petit Verdot. The winery utilizes 90% new oak for the marquee label with the second label, Marquis de Calon using 30% new oak. This vintage was made from 82% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest Merlot. The barrel sample featured a nice aroma of black fruits and spice notes with nice entry, middle and finish. Considering the higher than normal percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine had elegance as well. This wine may be one to lay down! Again, this would merit an excellent score on any rating system.

This château has long been a favorite of mine since the quality is always excellent and the price is not outrageous. The second label is Marquis de Calon, well known for a great everyday wine. It should also be pointed out that the first wine would cost around $120 a bottle if purchased as a future. Later on the same day, we tasted the Château Latour 2008 Pauillac First Growth. The latter is close to perfection and would cost around $1200 a bottle as a future. It was slightly better but is it worth ten times the price?

Notes on the 1995 vintage

The color was dark and opaque and plenty of dark fruit in the aroma. On the palate, the wine was nearly perfect. From the entry to the middle palate and a very long finish, there was richness and smoothness. Yes, there was plenty of soft tannin to permit the wine to be cellared for another 25 years! When purchased, the bottle cost less than $40. This was the third time in the last few years that I had the opportunity to drink this. Unfortunately, it may have been my last bottle.