Château-Phélan-Ségur Saint Estèphe 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe|
The flagship 2018 Château Phélan Ségur is a beauty based on 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot. This was a great vintage for the Médoc, and the 2018 reveals a dense purple hue to go with powerful notes of blackcurrants, iron, smoked tobacco, chocolate, and earth. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, it has beautiful tannins, remarkable purity of fruit, and just does everything right. It has some up-front appeal today (no doubt due to the high Merlot content), yet it builds with time in the glass and shows more and more structure with air. It deserves 5-6 years of bottle age and will keep for 20-25. It's every bit as good as the 2016, if not better.
The 2018 Phélan Ségur is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot, harvested from September 14 to October 4. The wine comes in at 14% alcohol, 3.8 pH and has an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 77. Deep purple-black in color, it springs from the glass with bright, vibrant notes of raspberry preserves, kirsch and ripe blackcurrants with hints of rose petals, tilled black soil, spice cake and warm plums plus a waft of star anise. Medium to full-bodied with a solid backbone of grainy tannins and seamless freshness, the palate sports a taut, muscular fruit profile with loads of bright red fruit sparks and a long, earthy finish.
Now on a roll, this estate is producing some fine wines. This latest release shows plenty of wood at this stage, but the bold black fruits are more than a match, giving the wine sumptuous richness. The wine needs time, so wait until 2026.
This is really well-built, with a core of dark currant and blackberry paste flavors supported by racy charcoal and bay notes while flashes of savory and singed sandalwood dot the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2024 through 2035.
The 2018 Phélan Ségur appears to have lost the green edge that I observed from barrel, now coming across fresh with blackberry, seaweed and light sea spray scents. It gently unfurls with aeration, though never slips into fifth gear. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, just a touch of dark chocolate infusing the black fruit and a cohesive, slightly peppery finish. This is a deftly crafted Phélan Ségur that will benefit from 3-4 years in bottle.