Château Calon Ségur 2017

Bordeaux
Photo
Awaiting Release

17.5+ Points - Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com)

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.

Antonio Galloni

Score: 90-93

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.

Antonio Galloni

Decanter

Score: 94

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.

Decanter

James Suckling

Score: 94-95

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.

James Suckling

Jeb Dunnuck

Score: 92-94

The 2017 Calon Ségur is a smoking effort and lends credence to the idea that the northern Médoc (Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe) was the place to be in 2017. Deep purple-colored, it’s packed with notions of ripe blackberries, black cherries, crushed rocks, and Asian spice characteristics that all flow to a medium to full-bodied, rich, concentrated, sexy 2017 that has more fruit, depth, and richness than most. The 2017 is a rough blend at the moment of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, which will spend 20 months in new French oak.

Jeb Dunnuck

Julia Harding MW

Score: 17.5+

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.

Julia Harding MW

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Score: 92-94

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.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Neal Martin

Score: 92-94

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.

Neal Martin