This is rich, with fresh blueberry and cassis notes. The fruit is on the elegant side, and this should be earlier to drink than the 2016 and even the 2014. Technical director Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen and the team took an interesting approach to building the mid-palate, increasing the persistency by re-integrating the press wine immediately after vinification, so having both free run and press wine together during maceration. Blending the press wine at such an early stage took a leap of faith, as did using so much of the young, nine-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon in the first blend. But it works - this is precise, balanced and appealing, building slowly over the palate. Yield of 43.5hl/ha, 40% of production into the grand vin. 3.7pH.
This is very delicate on the attack but it grows on the palate with firm and silky tannins that turn lightly chewy. Builds consistently. Compacted and tight.
The 2017 Calon-Ségur is tentatively blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with pronounced black currants, crushed blackberries and fresh black plums with hints of cigar box, sandalwood and cinnamon stick plus a waft of mossy bark. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant, energetic and fresh with layers of black fruit, perfumed incense and fragrant earth notions, lingering nicely with exotic spices coming through on the finish.
The 2017 Calon-Ségur was cropped at 43.5hl/ha and underwent a 20-day cuvaison after which it is matured entirely in new oak for 20 months. It contains 13.2° alcohol. At the moment the aromatics convey the 100% new oak but there is sufficient fruit underneath. There is a palpable sense of coolness imbuing the aromatics and like other Saint-Estèphe barrel samples, it conveys a subtle estuary-like tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, beautifully integrated new oak that lends this a silky texture. Perhaps this is the smoothest of all the 2017s I encountered within this appellation, a classy and sophisticated Calon-Ségur in the making and heightened by the thrilling tension towards the finish and the latent energy that lingers in the mouth. Excellent.