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 Gardinier family and the team at the Château. They are witnesses to the life of the property and the expression of great emotions.
The 1960s ushered in an era of technological advances. Steel tanks and temperature control were new phenomena. Latour followed the lead of La-Mission-Haut-Brion and installed steel tanks at its vineyards in 1964. New vines were planted and irrigation systems were installed on the plantations. Changes were also made in the structure of the wine trade, as vineyard bottling became mandatory in 1969.
The long-standing use of négociants had come to an end. During the 1960s the popularity of Bordeaux had also increased and interest in Bordeaux wines expanded beyond the borders of the dominant market England. The new market situation made English merchants work hard to ensure that the wines would remain affordable, even in the future. As a result, companies such as Harvey’s of Bristol and the Pearson Group acquired Delor and Château Latour, respectively.
1966 also saw the advent of an institution that had a significant impact on Bordeaux’s wine trade. Michael Broadbent MW resurrected the Wine Department at Christie’s, which had been closed for decades. It had been precisely two hundred years before—in 1766—that Christie’s held the very first wine auction in the world. The timing couldn’t have been better. The market was on the rise and those who invested their money in wines at that time would later see a manifold return on their investment. Bordeaux´s finest wines were already then the main attraction; they are still today, accounting for some 70% of all wine transactions.
In terms of vintages the 1960s are generally considered to be weaker than previous decades. The decade only saw one outstanding year – 1961. This was, together with the 1945, one of the most legendary vintages to come out of Bordeaux. In addition to the 1961, other good vintages were the 1962, 1964 and1966, all of which produced excellent wines. 1967 was the exception in Sauternes, where one of its finest vintages of the century was produced.
1961 was to become the decade’s and one of the century’s most adored vintages of Bordeaux red wines. Despite a frost in March, the growing season started on time and well. The frost combined with weak pollination caused by poor weather reduced the crop volume significantly. July’s rains gave way to drier weather in August, and September bathed Bordeaux in beautiful sunshine. The grapes were small, thick-skinned and extremely concentrated, much as they were in 1928 and 1945. However, unlike these earlier vintages, the vineyard now had at its disposal new technologies and equipment, which made it possible for the wines to be produced with greater subtlety, thus avoiding such problems as excessive tannicity. On the whole, excellent wines, both red and white, were produced in Bordeaux. Even though the vintage was a red, very good dry whites and Sauternes were also produced. The reds are eminently drinkable right now, although the Château Latour vintage will just get better with age.
Some of the more incredible drinking experiences were had with the Château Pétrus and Château Palmer, Haut-Brion and La-Mission-Haut-Brion, and Château Margaux. These wines all shared an uncommon elegance and balance, not to mention a massive rise in price in recent years. The finest wines should be decanted for at least 2-3 hours before drinking. This is also one of those rare years, during which wholesaler bottling is almost qualitatively on a par with vineyard bottling, even if the price points are not