"Bottled in July, 2005, the saturated ruby/purple-colored 2003 exhibits a tightly-knit, but promising nose of mulberries, blackberries, cherries, and hints of new oak and truffles. This 60% Cabernet Sauvignon / 40% Merlot blend possesses a gorgeous texture as well as an expansive, exotic softness, and 13% alcohol (according to the proprietor, Madame Denise Gasqueton). Generous and rich, this high class, full-bodied wine will undoubtedly be more approachable than its closest spiritual sibling, the 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030." Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate 94 Points
"Loads of crushed berries, with mineral, lightly toasted oak and licorice. Full-bodied, with big, velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. This is the sleeper of the vintage. Best after 2010." Wine Spectator 95 Points
Chateau Calon-Segur Winery
The community of Saint-Estèphe has it roots in the Gallo-Roman origins of this château. Château Calon-Ségur was the first wine estate in the commune and is classified as a Troisième Cru Classé. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is matured in wood for 18 months, with 50 percent new oak.
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St.-Estèphe is the northernmost of the 4 communes hugging the Dordogne river in the Northern Haut-Médoc area of Bordeaux. While the appellation has no premier crus (first growths) of its own, it's southernmost chateau, Cos d'Estournel, is a highly acclaimed second growth, geographically separated from the famed Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac by only a stream. Many believe Cos d'Estournel consistently produces wine of a first growth level.
Wine from St-Estèphe typically matures more slowly than its southern counterparts. The soil is heavy and rich with clay, leading to wines with firm, muscular tannins and high acidity. Dark and opaque in color, the wines can be a bit austere in their youth, though most get softer as they age. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape in most of the region's blends, although Merlot is important in helping to soften the wines. In volume, St-Estèphe creates the most wines of the top four Haut-Médoc communes. There are quite a few Cru Bourgeois properties, which are more approachable when young and, even better, lower in price. To get a feel for St-Estèphe, look for Cru Bourgeois like Chateau Haut-Beauséjour.
About France - Other regions
When it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.