On Tuesday 4 April 2017, at Primeur in Bordeaux, I was a guest of Château Phélan Ségur for an extraordinary private vertical tasting reserved for us winners of the Millesima Blog Awards. I have not yet told you about this wonderful experience, so I will gladly dust off my tasting notepad to transcribe my oenological thoughts for you.
Since the year I was born, 1985, the Gardinier brothers have ensured the prestige of the wonderful Château Phélan Ségur and its oenological heritage. The three brothers Thierry, Stéphane and Laurent Gardinier perpetuate the values and chivalrous spirit of its Irish creators, men of heart and high ideals. Véronique Dausse, director of Château Phélan Séguraccompanied us on our visit with competence and charm.
"Everyone tries in the course of their lives to find a variety of means to express themselves. The acquisition of Phélan Ségur seemed to me to be this means, allowing me to respect the past and the creation of my predecessors while at the same time modestly putting my own stamp on this magnificent 'living object' whose longevity exceeds, by luck AND by nature, the life of a man. "
Xavier Gardinier - March 1985.
After the visit to the cellar, the thing I enjoyed most was the initial 'game' that had us tasting different batches of Château Phélan Ségur 2015 to make us understand the different impact of the barrels on the final result.
Château Phélan Ségur 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon 55% | Merlot 45%
It is a beautiful, impenetrable ruby red with violet hues. As you swirl it in the glass, it forms regular arches from which the wine slowly descends, suggesting an important structure. The nose is quite intense, quite complex and certainly very fine. Hints of cherries in spirit, leather, cocoa, dried rose stand out very cleanly. On the palate it is decisive, intense, with tannins that are still a little green, rightly savoury, fresh and warm. Overall balanced, with a fairly long finish.
Château Phélan Ségur 2015
Cabernet Sauvignon 53% | Merlot 47%
It is a beautiful impenetrable ruby red with purple highlights. On swirling the glass, its beautiful consistency is immediate. Very pleasant nose: leather and cherry fade into a nice balsamic note. In the mouth it enters decisively, with a nice structure, warm, quite soft and endowed with great freshness that presages a happy evolution over the years. Nice tannins and great elegance for a very long finish. Excellent vintage.
Château Phélan Ségur 2013
Cabernet Sauvignon 60% | Merlot 40%
It is a beautiful intense ruby red, with a slight transparency that lets me glimpse the letters of my notes beyond the glass, where it forms regular arches from which the wine descends very slowly. It has a marvellous nose, by far the one that impresses me most: truffle, cherry in syrup, grilled pepper, caramelised hazelnut dance together with an uncommon cleanliness. In the mouth it is very soft, the flavour is vanilla. Justly tannic, with great freshness and a long finish. Absolutely to buy and put in your cellar, to jealously guard it for the next 4/5 years and then drink it for that occasion you are waiting for.
Château Phélan Ségur 2012
Cabernet Sauvignon 50% | Merlot 50%
It is a beautiful impenetrable ruby red, swirling in the glass to form uneven close bows. The nose strikes me with notes of wet leather, balsamic and that chocolaty Mon Chéri so defined. In the mouth it enters with a beautiful softness, the tannin is lively and the freshness hints at a nice ageing potential. The finish is very long. Overall one of the 3 best vintages along with the 2013 and 2010.
Château Phélan Ségur 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon 55% | Merlot 45%
It has an almost impenetrable ruby red colour. On swirling the glass, it forms fairly regular close bows, which denote to me a slightly less robust structure than the previous ones. On the nose, the aromas have changed: solvent, cherries in spirit and black pepper predominate over all the others. In the mouth it enters very firm and tannic, the great freshness trying to balance the still high pseudo-caloricity. The finish is quite long. Overall, it is the one that convinced me the least.
Château Phélan Ségur 2010
Cabernet Sauvignon 51% | Merlot 49%
It is a deep, impenetrable ruby red. As it swirls in the glass, it forms regular arches that do not descend too slowly. The nose is perfect: truffle, cherry in syrup, enamel, new leather, dry hay. In the mouth it is warm and fresh, rightly tannic, with extraordinary elegance and a very long finish. By far my favourite vintage!
Château Phélan Ségur 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon 58% | Merlot 40% | Cabernet Franc 2%
It is an impenetrable ruby red. As it swirls in the glass, it forms not particularly regular but very close bows, where the wine descends slowly, denoting a certain alcoholic content. The nose has clean notes of solvent, leather, undergrowth and cherries in spirit. In the mouth it enters warm, tannic, with great structure, very intense and savoury. It has lost some freshness, and is penalised by too much pseudo-caloricity. The finish is long. At the end of the tasting we went to dinner in Arcins, at the restaurant Le Lion d'Or... but I'll tell you that story next time 😉
I invite you to visit the beautiful site of Château Phélan Ségur to be able to appreciate this fabulous tasting even more. Thanks again to Millésima for the opportunity given to us bloggers and for the cover photo by Frédéric Lot. By the way, have you seen the official video of our week in Bordeaux? Every time I think about those wonderful days we spent in France, I watch it again and I admit I get goosebumps. They were beautiful, intense days... and with the best fellow adventurers I could have had. Thanks a lot guys, I'll be waiting for you in Italy!
P.S. As always for the photos I thank Photo Universe for the wonderful Sony RX100 M4 which I love... and which I am slowly learning to use with great personal satisfaction <3 Here you can find all the other articles from the Millésima Blog Awards 2017: Millésima Blog Awards 2017: a fabulous week in the France of wine