Getting a legit "wow" in the notes, the 2020 Château Phélan Ségur looks to be another incredible wine from the team of Véronique Dausse. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon 42% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it's a deep, almost inky-hued barrel sample offering gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, damp earth, crushed violets, and graphite. With full-bodied richness, a round, layered texture, serious concentration, and building structure, this is the real deal and up with the gems in Sainte-Estèphe. While some wines show a softer, more forward style, this is firm, mineral-laced, and structured, and is going to reward a good decade of cellaring. The alcohol checks in at 13.5% with a pH of 3.7 and a whopping 88 for an IPT.
Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021)Score: 94-96/100
The austerity to the tannins works in this wine's favour giving a juicy grip to the concentrated blackcurrant and bilberry fruits without strangling them. Excellent stuff, finishing up with liquorice and smoked coffee bean. This is an estate that has just powered to better and better wines over the past few years. Yields were 10% below the average of the past five years but still at 40hl/ha. Harvest September 16 through to October 1, finishing around 10 days earlier than the past two years. Consultants Michel Rolland and Julien Viaud. First vintage with Petit Verdot included in the main wine (2%), from vines planted in 2013. Tasted twice.
Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)Score: 94/100Drink 2026-2042
The 2020 Phélan Ségur has a very intense and almost Pauillac-like nose of blackberry, pencil box and cedar aromas, complex and mineral-driven. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins and plenty of black fruit laced with cedar and tobacco, quite sturdy and conveying more substance than recent vintages. This impressive Saint-Estèphe has great potential and might well represent the appellation's best value for money.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021)Score: 93-95/100
The 2020 Phélan Ségur is sophisticated, classy and polished. There is perhaps a bit less size than has become the norm of late, but that is not a bad thing at all. Sweet floral, spice, cedar and tobacco lend brightness to this mid-weight, beautifully persistent Saint-Estèphe. I especially admire the wine's aromatic presence and persistence. Tasted two times.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (May 2021)Score: 91-93/100
Displaying a medium to deep purple-black color, the 2020 Phélan Ségur offers up intense notions of crushed red and black currants, black raspberries and fresh mulberries, plus suggestions of charcuterie, pencil shavings and cinnamon toast. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and refreshing, delivering a firm, grainy texture to support the crunchy red and black fruits, finishing with a peppery kick.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021)Score: 90-92+/100
Bright and perfumed with some chocolate, berry, sandalwood and cedar. Very elegant and fine, medium to full-bodied palate with very integrated tannins and refined, polished texture. The tannins melt into the wine. Long finish with serious structure. Vivid and refined. Class here. Very Bordeaux. 54% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.
James Suckling (April 2021)Score: 95-96/100
Full bottle 1,350 g. Cask sample taken 6 April. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. A St-Estèphe property with a relatively low proportion of Cabernet. Rather astringent at this point. I have been a fan of this property and the clays of this commune should have produced something quite special but I'm not convinced by this particular vintage. Stringy finish. No fun at all at this point!
Jancis Robinson MW (April 2021)Score: 15.5/20Drink 2028-2040
This offers aromas of dark plum, cassis, as well as some more delicate floral notes, yet overarchingly it’s dark and savoury in style – with an earthiness and iron richness. There’s a ripeness and smoothness to the firm tannins from the warmth of the vintage, yet a refreshing leathery, savoury, saline twist to the palate. There’s plenty of acidity and the alcohol doesn’t stand out at all in amongst the concentrated fruit. There’s a crunch of redcurrant fruit on the finish to complement the otherwise more bramble profile.
FINE+RARE (April 2021)