Château Calon-Ségur Saint-Estèp 2016
The 2016 Calon Segur is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot cropped at 42 hectoliters per hectare between 29 September and 15 October (finishing with the Cabernets and the Petit Verdot). Notice that Cabernet Franc, which excelled not just here but around Saint Estèphe in this vintage, given that there was not a drop in the 2015. It has a very elegant bouquet, very pure with small macerated black cherries, blueberry, a hint of licorices and juniper berries, all effortlessly detailed and exuding what I term "controlled opulence." The palate is medium-bodied with a sense of symmetry on the entry, the acidity very well judged and the tannins far less rustic than the Calon-Ségurs of old. What I like about this Calon-Ségur is that it could not come from anywhere apart from Saint Estèphe: that structure, that obduracy counterbalanced by the opulence bestowed by the growing season. There is freshness locked in here from start to finish, with a subtle tang of seaweed and black pepper on the long aftertaste. For me this is a serious step up from the 2015, and the structure augurs a Calon-Ségur destined to last as long as those legendary wines from the 1920s and 1940s. Chapeau to winemaker Vincent Millet and estate director Laurent Dufau. This is easily the best Calon-Ségur that I have tasted from barrel.