1996 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe

SKU #110453 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby-red. Pure, highly perfumed aromas of black cherry, currant, plum, minerals, tobacco, leather and fresh herbs. Very ripe, suave and spicy; at once subtle and gripping. Lovely Cabernet character dominating today. Very firm, long finish is youthful but not hard-edged. Showing extremely well. 93+ (ST)  (8/2002)

92 points John Gilman

 Along with the 2001, the 1996 vintage at Calon-Ségur is one of my favorite from the merlot-centric era at the estate, probably because the vintage favored cabernet sauvignon so clearly in the Médoc and a bit more of this grape was included in the blend at Calon in this vintage. The bouquet is deep, vibrant and youthfully precise, wafting from the glass in a mix of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, dark soil tones, a touch of curry and a gentle framing of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impressively tangy, with a fine core of fruit, currently a quite tightly-knit personality, well-integrated tannins and very, very good length and grip on the focused and still quite youthful finish. This is going to be a lovely wine in another eight to ten years’ time and should prove to be quite long-lived. I love to imagine what the current team at Calon would have done with a vintage such as 1996 today! (Drink between 2020-2050)  (1/2014)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at the château, the 1996 Calon Segur is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. This was always a feted wine in its youth by Robert Parker and myself. Now at 20 years of age there is fine delineation on the nose with more detail than the 1986 tasted alongside. The oak is a little more present here (50% in this vintage) married with plenty of redcurrant, cedar, loam and undergrowth aromas. These aromatics can develop further. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin on the entry, perhaps one of the most youthful and backward of the 1996s that I tasted during my visits. It feels firm in the mouth, masculine, very Saint Estèphe. (NM)  (10/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Currant and fresh herbs. Full- to medium-bodied, with plum flavors and a medium finish. (JS, Web-2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Strongly mineral nose. Very fresh and sappy. Good integrity of fruit right through the beginning, middle and end of the tasting experience. Lots of tannin there still which is very slightly dusty. Correct St-Estèphe. Sweet start and then glossy.  (10/2006)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Estephe

- The northern-most of the Medoc communes, St. Estephe is quickly becoming one of the favorite areas for both high quality and great value Bordeaux reds. While it has fewer classified growths than the other communes, it also boasts some of the hottest up and coming chateaux of the last several. The most famous chateaux are the second growths Montrose and Cos d'Estournel with Calon Segur (3rd growth), Lafon Rochet (4th growth), and Cos Labory (5th growth) rounding out the cru classe wines. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the area, but plantings of Merlot are on the rise resulting in rounder, fatter, flashier wines than in years past.