Le Marquis de Calon-Ségur 2018
- James Suckling – (91-92)
A fruity and pretty second wine with medium body, fine tannins and a juicy and earthy undertone.
- · Wine Advocate – Lisa Perrotti-Brown (92 – 94)
The 2018 Le Marquis de Calon-Ségur is a blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Sauvignon (14.9% alcohol). It is anticipated to age for 17 months in barriques, 30% new. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up opulent scents of Indian spices, menthol and plum preserves with a core of crème de cassis, baked cherries and raspberry pie plus a hint of sandalwood. Big, rich, full-bodied and voluptuously fruited in the mouth, it has bags of black fruit preserves and exotic spices with a firm, plush frame, finishing long with a minty lift. Definitely one for the hedonists!
“2018 was complicated to vinify because of the potentially high alcohols,” Laurent Dufau, Managing Director of Calon-Ségur and Capbern informed me. “Also, you had to be very gentle with extraction. You had to be soft, so as not to extract too much. The alcohol percentage of the Merlot was concerning—some came in at 16% potential alcohol! And the Cabernet Franc this year was amazing on this terroir.” Merlot was picked from September 19 to 25. The Cabernets came in September 26 to October 5. Petit Verdot came in on October 8th. Yields were pretty good here on average in 2018: 41 hectoliters per hectare.
This year marks the final stages/completion of years of vineyard restructuring, new aging cellars and a gravity-fed vat room at Château Calon-Ségur. Most notably, they have been increasing vine density and slowly working on bringing more Cabernet Sauvignon rather than Merlot on line, as was the blend traditionally. No doubt about it, quality at Calon-Ségur has been on an upward trajectory in recent years!
Decanter – Jane Anson (91)
A luxurious wine with really a rather beautiful texture to the palate. You get the sweetness of the black cherry and damson fruits – gorgeous flavours that make this a hedonistic style of Marquis de Calon that will make lots of people very happy. I almost hate to add that, as with the grand vin, I question the typicity and the touch of heat. The alcohols are so much higher than usual because the ripening happened quicker than usual, and the soils here are a kind of clay that heats up more quickly than cooler limestone and clay soils as found at Capbern. 41hl/ha yield. 3.65pH.