Calon Segur 2016

St Estephe, Third Growth

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Calon Ségur was matured entirely in new oak for 20 months and bottled at the end of July 2018. This was one of the most impressive wines from the estate when I tasted it from barrel. Now in bottle, it has a gorgeous bouquet of beautifully defined blackberry, bilberry, dark chocolate and graphite aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, perhaps suppler than Cos d’Estournel and more velvety in terms of texture. A dash of cracked black pepper and allspice appears toward the finish, which fans out gloriously. A brilliant wine from François Millet and his team.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023-2055 01 January 2019

The 2016 Calon Segur is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot cropped at 42 hectoliters per hectare between 29 September and 15 October (finishing with the Cabernets and the Petit Verdot). Notice that Cabernet Franc, which excelled not just here but around Saint Estèphe in this vintage, given that there was not a drop in the 2015. It has a very elegant bouquet, very pure with small macerated black cherries, blueberry, a hint of licorices and juniper berries, all effortlessly detailed and exuding what I term "controlled opulence." The palate is medium-bodied with a sense of symmetry on the entry, the acidity very well judged and the tannins far less rustic than the Calon-Ségurs of old. What I like about this Calon-Ségur is that it could not come from anywhere apart from Saint Estèphe: that structure, that obduracy counterbalanced by the opulence bestowed by the growing season. There is freshness locked in here from start to finish, with a subtle tang of seaweed and black pepper on the long aftertaste. For me this is a serious step up from the 2015, and the structure augurs a Calon-Ségur destined to last as long as those legendary wines from the 1920s and 1940s. Chapeau to winemaker Vincent Millet and estate director Laurent Dufau. This is easily the best Calon-Ségur that I have tasted from barrel.

Score: 95 - 97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2026-2060 28 April 2017

The 2016 Calon Ségur is dense and radiant on the palate, just as it was from barrel. Even with all of its intensity, the 2016 is distinguished by its sense of freshness, lift and nuance, much of which comes from the 18% Cabernet Franc in the blend. Sweet floral, spice and minty notes add aromatic intensity to a core of sweet red cherry and plum fruit. There is plenty of underlying structure, but the tannins are sweet, silky and perfectly ripe. In short, the 2016 Calon Ségur is a wine of pure and total sensuality. Technical Director Vincent Millet and his team did a tremendous job with the 2016. Tasted three times.

Score: 97

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2056 01 January 2019

The 2016 Calon Ségur is dense, powerful and radiant. Even so, it possesses striking aromatic intensity. Much of that no doubt comes from the Cabernet Franc. Sweet red cherry, plum, spice, mint and rose petal build into the silky, textured finish. In 2016, Calon Ségur is all class. There is quite a bit of tannin (more than 2014 and 2015) but the tannins are totally woven into the wine's fabric. The 2016 is not an explosive or obvious Calon, but rather a wine of exquisite beauty and pure class. Don't miss it! As of today, the best Saint-Estèphe wine of the vintage.

Score: 94 - 97

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 25 April 2017

An extremely complete and well balanced vintage for Calon Ségur that shows how, with the right levels of acidity, tannin and depth of fruit, even 100% new oak can melt away. This is one of the signs of a great vintage and we have it here in spades. Great definition on the darkly spiced palate, with powerful cassis, liquorice, mint and violets that are dense yet feathery, with chalky tannins that need time to bed in. I love that the tannins are extremely high (80IPT) but not upfront, helped by a pH of 3.6. Just 35% of production made it into the grand vin because so much replanting was done back in 2006, although this should ramp up as the vines mature - they believe the potential is for 70% grand vin. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Score: 96

Decanter Maturity: 2027-2050 20 April 2017

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot & 2% Petit Verdot. High quality Cabernet Franc distinguishes the 2016 from the 2015 when none was used in the Grand Vin. A sophisticated nose, a wealth of ripe black and blue fruit. Profuse and weighty savoury black fruits in the mouth, very dense character that seems to build and build, with exciting freshness, elegant bite of ripe tannins and length. A great Calon Segur.

Score: 96 - 97

Albany Vintners 19 April 2017

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. Rich, deep, glowing purplish crimson. Pungent and really interesting and layered on the nose already. Creamy texture and massive energy. Lots of tannin but all beautifully balanced. This is seriously intriguing rather than just ticking boxes. Glows on the end. Old-vine influence - really gives layers and intrigue. Sweetness of tannin. But the freshness really lifts it. 14%

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2055 19 April 2017

This sports a dark fruit core, a mouthwatering iron edge and a long, tobacco-accented finish. The broad and racy feel gives this a distinctive profile. This should put on some weight.

Score: 94 - 97

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 06 April 2017

Wow. This is the Calon we have been waiting for! Intensity and power. Chewy and polished tannins. Full body, great depth. It goes on for minutes. Shows a classic, historical character that really excites me. The essence of this estate and St.-Estèphe. Best ever?

Score: 98 - 99

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 24 March 2017