Bordeaux 2023: Calon Segur, Capbern and Gruaud Larose

6 June 2024

Follow Your Heart

Vincent Millet and his team continue to produce brilliant St Estephes at Calon Segur and neighbouring Chateau Capbern. These are wines of precision and class with a clear heart of Cabernet Sauvignon.

They are some of the most vivid expressions we can recall tasting from these estates; packed with tiny, black berries and minerals, framed by chiselled tannins and refreshing acidities, they hark back to the great wines of the yesteryear with a precision and textual profile that clearly derives from modern viticulture and winemaking techniques.

We can also offer the wonderful Gruaud Larose 2023. After a spell in the wilderness, Gruaud is back on form with a magnificent example. In fact, for some in the group, this was second only to Leoville Poyferre in St Julien. It is without question the best example produced here since 2000, and it may eventually eclipse the likes of the 1982 and 1986. A brilliant effort!

Calon Segur

"The 2023 Calon-Ségur is another en primeur success for this resurgent Saint-Estèphe third growth. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, wild berries and plums, it's medium to full-bodied, cool and layered, with a deep and integrated core, terrific concentration, lively acids and refined structuring tannins, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. It's a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that checks in at 14% alcohol."94-96/100, William Kelley, Wine Advocate

"A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2023 Calon Segur has a deep garnet-purple color. After a swirl or two, notes of fresh blackcurrants, juicy blackberries, and redcurrant jelly leap from the glass, followed by hints of rose oil, cumin seed, and mint tea. The medium to full-bodied palate is bursting with bold red and black fruit flavors, supported by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and spicy. Nicely done!"95-97/100, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent

Capbern

"A serious, brooding wine, the 2023 Capbern offers up aromas of cassis and dark berries mingled with licorice and spices. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, with good depth and concentration, it's built around lively acids and powdery tannins. It's a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon (an unusually high proportion for Capbern) and 29% Merlot with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot."91-93/100, William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Graud Larose

"The 2023 Gruaud Larose was picked from September 11 to October 3 at 42hL/ha and matured in 95% new oak with 15% vin de presse. There was no saignée. There is a large difference between the Sarget and the Grand Vin this year: There’s much more complexity and purity here. Layers of blackberry, cedar and floral scents surface in the glass, all very composed with beautifully integrated oak (perhaps better than previous vintages). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins—quite crisp and commendably saline, which really comes through toward the finish. This is a classic Gruaud Larose that confirms the ongoing improvement at this estate."93-95/100, Neal Martin, vinous.com

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