“I make my wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is in Calon.” — Marquis de Ségur
Today, I'm happy to offer the 2008 & 2010 Calon Ségur Saint-Estèphe.
Aside from being one of the great wine marketing quotes of all time, the Marquis's words were also the impetus for the label's iconic heart-shaped image. While the Ségur family holdings once included Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, and Chateau Latour, today's vintages reflect the Gasqueton family's work who owned the chateau until its 2012 sale to a French group which included Jean-Pierre Moueix of Chateau Pétrus.
Established in 1147, Calon Sègur is possibly the oldest chateau in all of Saint-Estèph. The northernmost chateau of the commune (and the northernmost commune of the Médoc), Calon Ségur's sturdy style and uncompromising traditional methods have made this a trusted Bordeaux address for those regularly hunting über classic Rhône and Burgundy. While soil-inflection has slowly fallen out of favor since the early 80s push toward big ripeness, Calon Ségur always stood their ground, producing wines below 14% alcohol in even the warmest of vintages.
The soil here comprises gravel, clay, sand, and limestone, with blue, yellow, and black clay differentiating this from neighboring vineyards. 80% and 86% Cabernet Sauvignon comprise the 2008 and 2010, respectively, with small portions of Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot rounding out this Left Bank blend.
Chateau Moulin de Tricot is the first place my mind goes when I think of Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Bordeaux that has stuck to tradition and continues to offer sharp pricing. The Margaux estate personifies all of the grace and regal structure the commune has been associated with for centuries. From their small 5 hectares a second label, the Haut-Médoc, takes their strength in authenticity and value to the extreme.
Today, I'm happy to offer the 2015 Chateau Moulin de Tricot Haut-Médoc for $35 per bottle, with special pricing down to $32/btl on 4 or more.
At this price point there is no left bank Bordeaux I drink with more regularity or enthusiasm - Baby Margaux with Bourgogne Rouge pricing. And like those warm, even growing seasons in Burgundy where I highly recommend the most moderately priced wines, here too in 2015 I say going deep will reward many years of enjoyment.
I love Bordeaux. And particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant examples regularly found on the left bank. The gravel here is suited to the variety, just as on the right bank of the Gironde the clay soils fit better with Merlot. The sad state of affairs is that Merlot plantings in these left bank gravel vineyards has been increasing steadily over decades in order to provide more soft-fruited wines that capitulate to a global palate.
Chateau Moulin de Tricot has stuck with tradition and is a rarity in Margaux as they still have 75% of their vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. They also have unusually dense vine spacing with 9,500 vines per hectare, providing naturally concentrated yields. The Haut-Médoc is aged in small one-year-old Bordeaux barrels, giving the oxygen exchange needed to soften structure while limiting any ostentatious oak flavors.
I've always had an aha moment each time I've tasted the Haut-Médoc bottling from Moulin de Tricot, but 2015 was something different. The vintage has simply elevated each component of this wine. Margaux has often been called the "Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove", explaining the balance between grace and dead-serious regal structure.
In this exceptional Bordeaux vintage this moniker is even more suited to their Baby Margaux. The dark fruit intensity, graphite and cigar box notes, and long finish is something extra-ordinary. Very special pricing has been included to make this the easiest call as we lead into Thanksgiving.