2011 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1091042 87-90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (50% cabernet sauvignon, 46% merlot and 4% petit verdot): Opaque inky-purple. Minty balsamic reduction on the nose. The palate leads with black cherry and dark berry cocktail flavors, then turns leaner and austere toward the back, finishing bright and peppery. I would have liked a touch more generosity but this is a potentially outstanding de Pez, especially if the tannins come into better harmony with the wine's fruit.  (5/ 2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 This has good stuffing, with engaging plum, cassis and blackberry coulis flavors at the core, holding steady through the anise-studded finish, accented by hints of charcoal and violet. Reveals a pebbly accent at the very end, keeping this grounded. Best from 2015 through 2022.  (3/ 2014)

James Suckling

 A wine with earthy and spicy character, a medium body and a fresh finish. A little lean. Needs time to soften. Better in 2017.  (2/ 2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another sleeper of the vintage, this excellent effort from the Gardinier family reveals a dense ruby/purple color along with a sweet perfume of mulberries, black cherries and black currants. An absence of herbaceousness gives the wine an attractive plump, fruit-driven mouthfeel with earth, light tannin and structure. Enjoy this excellent 2011 over the next 7-8 years.  (4/ 2014)

Wine Enthusiast

 Darkly hued with considerable wood flavor, this wine puts toast before fruit. The wine certainly needs time to soften and reveal its fruit profile. Drink from 2017.  (2/ 2014)

K&L Notes

Decent cherry cola fruit, spice, good balance and a fine finish.

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Price: $39.99

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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.