Classified Bordeaux: St. Estephe

Saint-Estèphe is the appellation at the most north and east of Haut-Médoc area, just to the north of Pauillac, south-east of the Médoc Appellation. The wines from Saint-Estèphe, unlike other Médoc appellations, come only from the commune of that name, one of the largest communes in the area. Saint-Estèphe is home to five classified growths. Here, being left bank, the wines are dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon, with additions usually of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but Petit Verdot and Malbec show up in the better properties. The soils are lighter upper soils of river sediments and sand, with a layer of limestone/clay underneath. Flavor profiles are refined and elegant, with expressions of blackcurrant, violet, mocha, vanilla, spices, and licorice. These wines tend to be tough with tannins when young, despite very robust fruit, but with ample aging become very elegant and long-lived wines, not as flattering as Saint-Julien, but almost, and not quite as powerful as Pauillac, but prettier. Cellaring potential five to fifty years.

  • Chateau Calon Segur 2006

    Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #181 February 2009)
    Drink: 2014 - 2035

    "A blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2006 Calon Segur is an elegant, classic effort that represents about 60% of their total production. Deep ruby, with forest floor, cassis, black cherry, and soil undertones in both the aromas and flavors, this is a medium to full-bodied wine. A success for the vintage, it exhibits fine density, moderately high but sweet tannins, and alluring texture, and fine purity. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2035."

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    • Chateau Montrose 2006

      Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #181 February 2009)
      Drink: 2012 - 2037

      "The first vintage under new owner Martin Bouygues,who convinced Jean-Bernard Delmas to come out of retirement to produce this wine, the 2006 Montrose is an undeniable success. A blend of approximately two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot, and a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot, the most dramatic difference between the 2006, and wines made by the previous administration is that Jean Delmas produces wines with sweeter, silkier tannins, although analytically, they are as high as those found in the great Montrose vintages of the past. The 2006 is extraordinarily elegant and finesse-styled, but it exhibits stunningly concentrated, sweet blackberry and cassis fruit with hints of flowers and minerals. Full-bodied with a savory, expansive mid-palate as well as sweet, noble tannins, this beauty will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 20-25+ years."

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      • Chateau Montrose 2005

        Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #176 April 2008)
        Drink: 2020 - 2040

        " The 2005 Montrose is an exceptionally tannic, broodingly backward offering displaying a dense ruby/purple color along with a provocative perfume of crushed rocks, flowers, cassis, black raspberries, and blueberries. It continues to add weight and richness, good traits considering the substantial, forbiddingly high tannin levels and zesty acidity. If you are over the age of fifty, this backward, powerful wine will probably be more enjoyable to your descendants. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040+."

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