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News

Phélan Ségur sale confirmed

Today, the Gardiniers have confirmed that they intend to sell the property: “For greater coherence between our various business activities, we have decided to devote our future investments to fine foods trades (restaurants, distribution, etc) and high-end business. Taillevent Paris, Domaine Les Crayères and Le Comptoir du Caviar will benefit the most from this approach, through plans that have already been defined.”

The new owner of Phélan Ségur is Philippe Van de Vyvere, a Belgian shipping entrepreneur and owner of SeaInvest. He said: “My grandfather, a devoted connoisseur and collector of Bordeaux wines, first introduced me to this world when I was quite young, and I’ve carried on that family tradition ever since. I have several friends who own wineries in the Bordelais, and my dream of one day owning a beautiful property myself came true when I met the Gardinier family.

“I fell in love with the Château Phélan Ségur, that magnificent estate overlooking the Gironde. I spoke many times with the Gardinier brothers, making sure they understood that I was a buyer who would respect the estate’s venerable history and who was determined to carry on the excellent work done thus far. My intention is to ensure that Phélan Ségur remains one of the great wines of the Saint Estèphe AOC.”

 

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History

It wasn't mere chance that led Bernard Phelan, a young Irish wine broker, to leave his homeland at the end of the 18th century and settle in Bordeaux. At that time, the city was a major trading centre with the British Isles. The families that did business together, buying and selling the wines produced in the region, formed close ties. These relationships sometimes let to marriages, and notably that of Bernard Phelan to one of the daughters of Daniel Guestier, a well-known merchant in the market. With the benefit of his father-inlaw's experience, he was able to start thinking about making his own wines.

In order to do this, he acquired le Cos de Garamey, located in Saint-Estéphe, in 1805, followed in 1810 by the Ségur de Cabanac estate to complement his 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 Château Ségur de Garamey, to his son Frank. The latter, though of Irish stock, was a Médoc man in his heart, and 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-Estéphe, holding the post for thirty years.

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Vineyards

The vineyard of Château Phélan Ségur covers 70 hectares of magnificent clay-gravels on the hillocks and plateaux of Saint-Estèphe.

Made up of four large sections, the parcels adjoin the vineyards of Châteaux Montrose and Calon Ségur, among others. The planting density is high. The mix of grape varieties is original: the talented duo of the Médoc (58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot) are complemented by a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (1.5% of each). Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of Médoc grape varieties, brings incomparable power and structure: it is the backbone of the Grand Vin.

 

Merlot expresses an attractive roundness and unrivalled suppleness. To preserve diversity and bring a hint of spice, Petit Verdot made its entry to the property in 2015. It excels on heavier soils where clay dominates. It is a vigneron’s variety, impetuous and requiring perfect control. Cabernet Franc, which has always had its place at the Château, is a precious asset in the blend, with its finesse and floral notes.

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Winemaking

Fermentation takes place over a dozen days, punctuated by regular pumping over, rack-and-return and punching down, specific to each batch, thus favouring the extraction of phenolic compounds in the wine. Then comes the critical phase of maceration over about twenty days, where the objective is to continue the extraction. The wine is tasted daily to decide the optimum date for running off. The 39 tanks allow for this precision vinification and are the basis for the future selections for blending. Steady development started in 2010 has allowed the addition of 8 tanks of 45 hl to the vat room, further improving the interpretation of the work within parcels that takes place in the vineyard.

 

After pressing and the separation of the free-run and press wines, they are “casked”; now stored in barrels, they can begin their malolactic fermentation in the warm atmosphere of the cellars. The wines take on more suppleness and roundness and rest through the winter.

The long task of blending begins at the end of winter and consists in rigorous tasting of each batch; it is at this stage that the selection is made with the invaluable assistance of Michel Rolland, consultant oenologist. Some batches are chosen to go into the blend for the Grand Vin of Château Phélan Ségur, while others are destined for the second wine Frank Phélan or for La Croix Bonis.

The final blend for the Grand Vin is then presented “to the world” in April during the en primeur tastings.

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Inside information

 Everyone tries hard in the course of their life to find a wide variety of means to express themselves. The acquisition of Phélan Ségur appeared to me to be this means, allowing me to respect the past and the creation of my predecessors and at the same time to put, with modesty, my stamp on this magnificent ‘living object’ whose longevity exceeds, luckily and by nature, the life of a man. »

Xavier Gardinier – March 1985.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

5m 5d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

5m 6d ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

5m 13d ago

 Andrea Rinaldi / Sommelier, Pro (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  39 wines 

Last weekends best wines including Cheval 1959, Romanee Conti 1970 etc.

5m 18d ago

 Björnstierne Antonson / sommelier, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Bordeaux notes from vintages 1995 -2011 

6m 10d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  50 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Part I / I did have quite great expectations for 2015 vintage while tasting barrel samples in two first weeks in April 2016. Mainly because I witnessed during 10 days stay in Bordeaux (28.09 - 08.10), exceptional quality of grapes, their ripeness inside and outside, and very favourable weather in September and October, which promised so much. Expectations weren't fulfilled 100% unfortunately. Anyway, 2015 has nothing to be ashamed of!”

1y 4m ago

 Michael Scott / Wine Importer, Pro (Canada)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  45 wines 

“Bordeaux vintage 2000-tasting / 2000 was a very consistent vintage for Bordeaux, with most producers throughout the region making very successful red wines. The best of these are rich and ripe, yet very lively and fresh, with firm tannins that may need another decade or more to resolve. Others offer similar or even greater levels of ripeness, and perhaps even more richness of texture, but lacking perhaps the brightness of the finest examples of the vintage.”

1y 4m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  109 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Part II / Château Margaux 2015 / 100-points / Medium deep colour. Lovely cherry, cola, herb aromas. Silky smooth beautifully balanced wine with red currant, red cherry plum flavours with graphite, espresso, chinotto notes, fine loose knit lacy slightly graphite textures and roasted coffee mocha notes. Fruit expands towards the back palate with light graphite plume at the finish. One of the great wines of the vintage and an evocative salute to Ch Margaux’s great winemaker Paul Pontallier (22nd April 1956 – 27th March 2016). 98-100 points ”

1y 4m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  502 wines 

“2015 will be one of the excellent vintages however hardly to compare to 2009 and 2010 or 2005. In 2015 the region played a major role, terroir was the key to success. For red wines, the limestone plateau in Saint-Emilion performed extremely well as there was water available during the hot summer days and drainage proved to be ideal during rainy August. Therefore the best wines of Saint-Emilion come from limestone soils. The sandy parts of the appellation produced a quite heterogeneous result. In Pomerol it looked the same with very successful wines from the central plateau and more heterogeneous qualities from the areas around. In Fronsac it was not only the terroir which proved important, the vintners decision had a major impact. Pessac-Léognan did extremely well in this vintage with a homogenous quality. The Médoc was divided. The southern part, mainly Margaux and the southern part of Saint-Julien have seen less rain and produced more powerful wines. The northern part of the Médoc, especially Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe have produced a very fine and elegant style with excellent persistence. On the good terroirs, the seeds were ripe which results in very ripe tannins with a silky or velvety expression. In addition the cooler conditions of autumn provoked a very pure and fresh fruit. For the dry white wines the quality depends very much on the origin again. Due to the hot and dry growing season, a lot of white wines show very mild, almost soft acidity but also some phenolic hints in the aftertaste. A few dry white wines are standing out, having preserved freshness and acidity. The sweet wines are remarkably good, very rich in character and the best of them have a crisp acidity balancing the opulent sugar. The tasting conditions were rather good, however the weather was quite mixed affecting the presentation of the wines. The wines were tasted blind where possible and open. The final decision on the rating is based on both tasting types.”

1y 5m ago

 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Phelan-Segur . In a tasting of  75 wines 

“A massive 1982 Vintage tasting!”

2y 4m ago

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