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Wine Advocate 92 points
The 1996 may not be as profound as I had predicted from cask, but it is an exceptional wine. Dark ruby-colored, with a complex nose of dried herbs, Asian spices, and black cherry jam intermixed with cassis, it possesses outstanding purity, and considerable tannin in the finish. This classic, medium to full-bodied, traditionally made wine improves dramatically with airing, suggesting it will have a very long life. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2028. - WA, RP (4/1999)
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.
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.
1996 presents itself as a “classic” Bordeaux year, although – as Jancis Robinson MW wrote – not in the “lean” sense; Although Farr Vintners director Tom Hudson told the drinks industry it may have been a "very good" rather than "really great" year as it was not uniformly excellent across the region .
As a reminder, 1996 was a particularly promising vintage for Médoc wines. The Berry Bros & Rudd website boasts: “This is one of the great post-war vintages for Médoc Cabernet wines. These are rich, complex and beautifully balanced wines, full of ripe, pure fruit and with the structure that will allow the best wines to age over the next decade and beyond.
The Right Bank, on the other hand, is described as “distinguished” but “overshadowed” by the 95s – which was a particularly good vintage for Saint Emilion and Pomerol.
It was also an excellent vintage for white Bordeaux.
Robert Parker's scores tend to favor the Left Bank, although some of the best Right Bank wines have also received very respectable reviews.
Only two wines received 100 points: Lafite and Latour, Margaux was ranked 99, Léoville Las Cases 98, Ducru Beaucaillou 96 and Pichon-Comtesse 96.
La Mondotte was the highest rated right bank wine with 97 points, Ausone was the second highest rated with 93, as was L'Eglise Clinet, while Gomerie, Petrus and Le Pin settled for 92 and Cheval Blanc 90 .
With almost 20 years, the wines have naturally appreciated and now that they are well within their drinking window, demand will almost certainly start to push prices even higher for the most in demand among them.
The figures are often impressive, to date Lafite has seen an increase of 657.9% since its release, its second wine Carruades is up 592%, Latour is up 437%, Petrus is up 400% and Pichon Baron is up 240%. %.