2013 Chateau Phelan Segur, St Estephe
Medium ruby, tight, pinky rim. Bright and clear . Flowers and mixed fruit (vivid strawberry, blackcurrant, dark cherries) laced with tones of light vanilla/toast and expresso coffee. Very elegant, pure, accurate and restrained. Fine palate, with tannins that give consistency and harmony to the wine evolution of the flavours and richness in glass on aeration.
This 2013 Phelan Segur is slight more chunky and rigid than 2014, 2012, 2011, but clearly gives good interchange of red and black fruit. Plenty of substance in the finish with good tannic and aromatic length (with soft meat, leathery tones, iodine, mineral).
It is an understatement from St Estephe at near Cru level, for the following reasons:
First, the excellent terroir quality of Phelan Segur seemed too obvious when Montrose purchased 22 hectares of soil. It is close to Montrose and Meyney.
Second, soil diversity (mainly Gravel and then Clay) of 3 strips of land of 4 blocks with 70 parcels.
Third, vines are aged up to 70 years old and most are above 35 years of age; good economies of scale with 68 HA of land in total.
Fourthly, Michel Rolland consults.
Finally, 8500 vines in one hectare!
Discreet oak (50% new oak, 16 months ageing). Vintage 2013 uses 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot, so it is bold, definitive and precise on palate. It is ready by now.