Chateau Phelan Segur (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
The Grand Vin of Château Phélan Ségur comes from this magnificent terroir of Saint-Estèphe where power dominates. Strengthened by its origins, Château Phélan Ségur has created its identity based on elegance and finesse. With a certain restraint and great precision, it reveals the purity of the fruit, the accuracy of its structure, the silkiness of its tannins, all with a natural freshness. After long ageing, it reveals a bouquet of a rare complexity, the oak harmoniously integrated. This subtle and authentic balance creates an intense emotion. Château Phélan Ségur is known for its potential to age over several decades. An old vintage opens new aromatic horizons with an unexpected richness: the warmth of spices, the generosity of ripe fruits and the nobility of leather. Its texture is refined, its power is calmed. This fullness is a testimony to the passage of time and this blossoming is the reward of astute patience. Exceptional vintages born of the generosity of Nature transcended by the talent of man. Beyond these undisputed landmarks, there are vintages dear to the team at the Château. They are witnesses to the life of the property and the expression of great emotions.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 92-94
The 2017 Phélan Ségur is medium to deep garnet-purple colored with pronounced cassis, black raspberries, kirsch and violets with notions of cedar, earth and cigars. The palate is medium-bodied and elegant with great intensity, fine-grained and firm, finishing long and perfumed.
A firm, silky red with lovely tightness and depth, offering currant, blueberry and hazelnut aromas and flavors. Shows layers and beauty. Bright and vivid. Lovely length. Better in 2022 or later.
Showing nicely, the 2017 Chateau Phelan Segur is a textbook Saint-Estephe that plays beautifully in the vintage. Classis Saint-Estephe earthy dark fruits, spice box, cedary herbs, and hints of chocolate all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a rounded, seamless texture, loads of sweet fruit, and a great finish. It's a beautiful effort that readers should snatch up. Drink bottles over the coming 15-20 years.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
Focused, featuring a beam of black cherry and plum fruit, backed by well-embedded charcoal and iron notes. A light floral accent curls around the finish as the fruit and minerality meld together. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2031.
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.