Chateau Phelan Segur 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points
When he died in 1841, Bernard Phelan left this vast estate, known from then on under the combined name of Chateau Segur de Garamey, to his son Frank. Frank devoted his life to promoting the renown and improving the quality of the wines produced on his property. In addition, he became the mayor of Saint-Estephe, holding the post for thirty years.
Since 1985, Xavier Gardinier has been running the vineyard with the help of his sons Thierry, Stephane and Laurent. The buildings have been totally renovated to express the spirit of their founders and house winemaking equipment enables the terroir to express itself in all its complexity. However, despite the undeniable attraction of the buildings' design and the high-tech nature of the equipment therein, they are only the necessary backdrop to the remarkable alchemy that produces each year's vintage.
Deeply colored, concentrated, and distinctive, St. Estephe is the go-to for great, age-worthy and reliable Bordeaux reds. Separated from Pauillac merely by a stream, St. Estephe is the farthest northwest of the highest classed villages of the Haut Medoc and is therefore subject to the most intense maritime influence of the Atlantic.
St. Estephe soils are rich in gravel like all of the best sites of the Haut Medoc but here the formation of gravel over clay creates a cooler atmosphere for its vines compared to those in the villages farther downstream. This results in delayed ripening and wines with higher acidity compared to the other villages.
While they can seem a bit austere when young, St. Estephe reds prove to live very long in the cellar. Traitionally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, many producers now add a significant proportion of Merlot to the blend, which will soften any sharp edges of the more tannic, Cabernet.
The St. Estephe village contains two second growths, Chateau Montrose and Cos d’Estournel.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.