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  • Country ranking ?

    1 216
  • Producer ranking ?

    31
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Grilled Sirloin with Red-Wine Braised Shallots

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Wine Advocate 90 points 

1990: An amber/orange edge to the color suggests full maturity, and the aromas and flavors confirm it. The medium-bodied 1990 Calon Segur exhibits sweet cedar, currant, herb, plum, and kirsch notes along with a dusty earthiness. It lacks the concentration of the finest vintages from the mid-nineties as well as every top vintage from 2000 onward. No doubt high yields and a lack of a strict selection have resulted in a wine that has consistently been on a fast evolutionary track. There is a sensuality and sexiness to it because of its full maturity. Very pleasant at present, it needs to be drunk up over the next 4-5 years. Release price: ($310.00/case)- Robert Parker Jr. (06/2009)

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The Story

Fifty-five hectares (136 acres) at the time of the 1855 classification, fifty-five hectares today: the estate is a rare example of consistency of terroir over the centuries.

The vineyard is made up of one single block adjacent to the village of Saint-Estèphe. Unique in the Médoc, it is completely surrounded by a stone wall. Inside, closest to the château, this “enclos” groups together the most famous plots of Calon.

There are very few geological models that can be compared with the terroir of Calon Ségur. The vines delve down into a deep gravel layer that was deposited there by the river. This layer covers another which is predominantly clay. This combination of clay and gravel soils is one of the main reasons for the power and finesse displayed in the wines of Calon Ségur.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the backbone of Calon Ségur. This grape variety makes up over three-quarters of the blend, and in great years its proportion can be as high as 90%.

No great wines can ever be made without constant and meticulous care of the vines. The soils are ploughed in the time-honoured tradition. From spring to autumn, vine canopy management tasks are done by large numbers of vineyard personnel. The crop is picked by hand at perfect ripeness.

 

APPELLATION Saint-Estèphe.
Third classified Growth in 1855.
CONSULTANT ŒNOLOGIST Éric Boissenot.
SOIL A thick layer of gravel laid down during the Quaternary Period. Predominantly clay 
sub-soil from the Tertiary Period. At the summit of the gravel deposits, there is also 
a fine layer of clay of lacustrine origin.
VINEYARD AREA 55 ha (136 acres).
AREA IN PRODUCTION 45 ha (50 ha planted).
GRAPE VARIETIES 53% Cabernet sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 7% Cabernet franc, 2% petit Verdot.
AVERAGE AGE OF THE VINES 22 years.
TRAINING METHOD Double Guyot.
PLANTING DENSITY 8,000 vines/ha.
TARGET YIELD 45 hl/ha.
HARVEST Hand picking. A first selection of grapes on the vine. Mechanical sorting of the grapes by vibration, followed by hand sorting.
VINIFICATION Temperature-controlled conical stainless-steel tanks. Maceration for 18 to 21 days.
AGEING 18 to 20 months, 30% new barrels. 
Fining with egg white.
AVERAGE ANNUAL PRODUCTION Around 80,000 bottles.
 

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Vintage 1990

An early, even flowering, a warm but unspectacular summer and an exceptionally hot period during the end of August and the first half of September. It was this heat that made it possible for the record harvest to not only to fully ripen, but also to concentrate the fruit.  The harvest started on September 14 and was finished before heavy rains commenced on October 2. Another reason for the success of the vintage was that most châteaux had invested in their cellars and were able to work such a large and hot harvest. It was now possible to control the fermentation temperatures better than in earlier hot vintages, such as 1947. The grapes produced wines with such high natural alcohol that chaptalization became unnecessary. They showed deep colour, high and unusually soft tannin levels and a better acidity than first thought, as well as great fruit concentration. The media hype was great, particularly thanks to the advent of new wine magazines - this was the vintage that cemented Robert Parker’s reputation. The prices rose rapidly and have not looked back since. I remember all Premier Crus (including Pétrus) being offered to end consumers for around 50 euros en-primeur in 1983.

The scene when the 1990 vintage came along was quite different. There was a surplus of very good to great wine on the market – for the first time there was talk of three great vintages following one another. This lead to most châteaux lowering their prices by about 20 per cent compared to their 1989 prices, even though the quality was outstanding. There had been a steady increase in prices during the 1980s, but they were now more or less back to the opening prices of the 1982s. It was again a record harvest, but because most châteaux had by now introduced a ‘second wine’ and due to the fact they were more selective with regards to quality, there was actually less wine being bottled as ‘Grand Vin’ than in 1982.

We have been following both these vintages from a comparatively early age, as they were both precocious and easy to drink from the start. The top wines from both vintages are spectacular, but the overall quality is much higher in 1990. Here the wines were equally successful on both sides of the river, and even minor châteaux produced something special. We have always found most 1982s from the right bank to be too alcoholic and lacking in structure; indeed many are now ageing rapidly.

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Tasting note

color

Deep and Ruby red

ending

Medium and Harsh

flavors

Blackcurrant, Toasty, Cigar-box and Caramel

nose

Intense and Rich

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, High tannin, Well-Integrated, Well-structured, Good texture, Youthful, Full-bodied, Firm, Focused, Elegant and Drying tannins

Verdict

Full-bodied

Written Notes

Fairly intensive cherry colour. Really strong nose with blackcurrant and toffee. The abundant, medium-full taste is elegant and balanced. The subdued fruitiness of the aftertaste is overpowered by tannins and acidity in the intensive mouthfeel. The wine is not as refined and balanced as the 1989, but then it is still young. Maturing will show whether it will balance out or remain rather robust forever.
  • 91p
Deep ruby, garnet rim. Massive nose of dark berries, stable, leather and cigars. A wealth of aromas and intense as few on the nose. Violets and subdued floral notes. Fresh acidity, lively and ripe tannins. Gorgeous intensity and freshness, superb if more intense texture, mouthwatering before turning into a very subdued and elegant aftertaste, very long indeed. 95
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

St.Estephe, Bordeaux

Highlights

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