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Chateau Phelan Segur 2016

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750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 95
James Suckling
A very serious St.-Estèphe with excellent concentration, firm tannins and a dark soul. I love the earth, walnut, bark and smoke aromas that pour out of this. Very long, dramatic, dry finish. Better from 2021.
D 94
Decanter
Wow, this is silky-smooth and incredibly accomplished, straying very close to being sensational. Is this their best ever wine? Cassis, damson and dark chocolate flavours are joined by brushed tannins and great lift. It's so soft that it feels almost ready to be decanted and drunk, but the tannins are perceptive and I imagine this will close down for a few years soon. Try drinking in eight to ten years when it's fully ready.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
Showing beautifully on multiple occasions, the 2016 Château Phélan Ségur is incredibly impressive and reveals a saturated purple as well as pure cassis, violets, damp earth, lead pencil, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. Beautifully layered and textured, concentrated, with fine tannins and the purity and elegance that make the vintage so compelling front and center, it’s a high-class Saint Estèphe to enjoy over the coming 20-25 years or more.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This is a touch old-school, with bay and tobacco notes out front followed by alder, warm earth and steeped black currant flavors. The grippy finish lets the fruit and earth notes wrestle a bit, leaving a chewy feel. Will settle with cellaring, but this is not for fans of finesse. Best from 2022 through 2035.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
There is a much better balance between fruit and the wood aging in this vintage from this estate than in the past. This wine offers richness and structure from fruit tannin. Dark fruits give the wine rich intensity. Drink from 2025.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Phélan Ségur gives elegant red and black currants, kirsch and black berries with violets and chocolate box scents plus a waft of cigars. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant, fine grained and fresh with great vibrancy and mineral notes on the finish.
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Chateau Phelan Segur

Chateau Phelan Segur

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Chateau Phelan Segur, France
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In 1805, Daniel Phelan, an Irish wine broker, acquired le Clos de Garamey, located in Saint-Estephe. This acquisition was followed in 1810 by the acquisition of the Segur de Cabanac estate. He thus created a magnificent wine-producing domain that remains practically unchanged today.

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.

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St. Estephe

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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.

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Bordeaux Blends

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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, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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