There’s been a lot of change at Calon Segur. Following the death of the formidable Madame Gasqueton in 2011, the estate was sold to Suravenir, a subsidiary of the banking group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. For those who thought this spelt the end of Calon Segur as we knew it; they needn’t have worried. Far from becoming an overbearing, corporate parent, the new owners along with Jean Moueix have embarked on a program of sympathetic restoration and development, whilst retaining the style of the wine we so love.The charming Laurent Dufau was appointed as the new Technical Director. Since his arrival work has started on an impressive new chai and a major replanting program. The estate is in very good hands.
We recently tasted Calon’s sister property, Capbern Gasqueton 2012. This was a revelation to many. It is already eminently enjoyable with a glorious bouquet of stones, flowers and bright red berries. The palate is gorgeously supple and juicy, with a profile more akin to Pauillac than the normally mineral style of St Estephe. It is a tremendous effort and an absolute bargain at £62.50 per six in bond!
We also tasted the 2012 and 2005 Calon Segur – two exceptional examples from this hallowed terroir. In fact, Calon is almost unique in that its 55 hectares are unchanged since it was classified as a Third Growth in 1855. The vineyard that surrounds the Chateau is a single clos comprised of deep gravel and clay soils.
Calon Segur has always enjoyed a particular fascination from UK collectors. What separates Calon from the other great wines of the Medoc is perhaps its finesse, femininity and charm. It possesses the power, structure and balance to last for decades; however, whereas neighbours may choose extraction and inky colours, Calon Segur errs towards brightness, fragrance and lift. It doesn’t feel the need to flaunt itself – it caresses and enchants with its understated personality. As with the Capbern Gasqueton, the Calon Segur 2012 is a mighty impressive, juicy style with all the hallmarks of a Calon that will age gracefully for decades. The 2005, as one would expect, is a very striking wine. This is a grand, structured vintage, built for the long-term. Don’t be fooled by the fragrance and approachability, this is a deceptively big, serious wine for the very long haul.
We also have a parcel of the excellent 1996 - a wine that is really hitting its straps. This great vintage is beginning to show its class with complex, nuanced Cabernet aromas that can only be achieved in the northern communes of the Medoc. It is glorious to drink now, or if you have the patience, tuck it away and it will continue to develop over the next 10-20 years.