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Chateau Phelan Segur (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

  • WE94
  • JS93
  • V93
  • D93
  • WS92
  • JD92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The oak is currently quite forward and powerful in this young wine, which needs time for the fruit to come through. But the fruit is there, with black currant acidity and freshness showing in the background. Let the wine soften and don't drink before 2024.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
JS 93
James Suckling
This is tight and firm with a linear precision and dark fruit. Medium to full body. Bright and lightly juicy. Pretty center palate. A poised and focused young wine.
Barrel Sample: 92-93
V 93
Vinous
The 2017 Phélan Ségur is powerful, brooding and intense, but also has more than enough fruit to stand up to the tannins. Dark red/purplish fruit, smoke, incense, charcoal embers and gravel give the wine much of its distinctive savory/earthy personality. Time in the glass brings out a more floral, red-toned quality that is hugely appealing. Phélan Ségur has the potential to be one of the dark horses of 2017. Certainly, this is a very strong showing relative to the vintage and where Phélan has been in the recent past. In 2017, the Grand Vin contains an unusually high amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), much of which was able to hang until early October, with 34% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Winemaker Fabrice Bacquey opted to reduce exposure to oxygen during fermentation with the goal of maintaining as much freshness in the fruit as possible. Tasted two times. – Antonio Galloni
Barrel Sample: 90-93
D 93
Decanter
New owner, Philippe Van de Vyvere as of 2017. This is a wine that settles into the glass. It has confident, firm and rich fruit, good aromatics and structured tannins that have been well extracted. Bristling, young and a clear life ahead of it. The tannins vibrate through the palate but are very much at the front of the mouth right now, raring to go. Exceptionally good for the vintage. Retasted several times.
Barrel Sample
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This has a core of dark plum and cherry paste flavors, with waves of warm tobacco and smoldering charcoal checking in on the finish. Has character and a bit more depth than most of its peers in the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 89-92
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The deep, saturated purple-colored 2017 Phélan Ségur is a classic, well-made wine in the vintage that has notable depth and density as well as textbook Saint-Estèphe notes of ripe black fruits, leafy herbs/tobacco, and loamy earth. It shows the fresher, cooler-climate style of the vintage yet is far from austere and has loads to love.
Barrel Sample: 89-92
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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.

JOAF422859_2017 Item# 422859