This morning sees the release of Château Phélan Ségur, a Saint-Estèphe estate that has been improving steadily over recent years since its purchase by Philippe Van de Vyvere. As can be seen in Neal Martin’s note, there is an attention to winemaking detail that suggests this is likely to be a Château to watch, particularly given the relative value. Sadly, none of the Atlas team were able to taste this 2022. Please see the notes of Neal Martin, Antonio Galloni, Jane Anson and William Kelley below.
2022 Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe
£225 per 6 bottle case in bond
95-97 points, Neal Martin, Vinous
The 2022 Phélan Ségur was picked between 14 and 26 September, 9 out of 13 days with one plot immediately after another, using selected indigenous yeasts for around half the production. It was cropped at 28hL/ha with 14.2% alcohol at the moment, the pH is 3.8. This year contains higher Merlot (56%) due to its higher yield than Cabernet (frost and berry size). On June 20 at 8.15pm, three blocks were hit by hail that was horizontal accompanied by 25mm of rain within 10 minutes. This cost them 30% production overall. "We did less extraction at the end of the alcoholic fermentation and stopped the pumping over two days earlier at 1.010 [which without getting too technical is the Gravity of one liter of must relative to one liter of distilled water] and did more like an infusion." Aged in 55% new oak, it has an enticingly pure bouquet with blackberry and bilberry fruit, blackcurrant, iris flower and light iodine scents. Very intense and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannins, a liberal sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper laced over the black fruit. A quintessentially Saint-Estèphe with a structured and very persistent finish. Allowing the wine to open in the glass, it reveals impressive depth (more so than the 2019 and 2020) and precision. This will require several years in bottle, but it will certainly be worth the wait. Drink 2030-2065
91-94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2022 Phélan Ségur is shaping up to be a gem. A burst of dark red/purplish fruit makes a strong opening statement. Sweet floral, spice and pomegranate caress the palate. The 2022 is immediately sensual and engaging. There is a bit of graininess in the tannin that is the only question mark here. This will be a fascinating wine to follow. Tasted three times. Drink 2028-2047
95 points, Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
Elegant and well balanced, a ton of St Estèphe signature, this is really impressive, well controlled, inn purity and depth to the cassis fruits, sweetened by cherry pie, flaky pastry, innamon, a welcome bitter finish of aniseed and cocoa beans that gives balance to the overall richness of the palate. There are big tannins but also clean wet stone minerality, and things stretch out through the palate, giving grip and no let up in intensity. 55% new oak, 3.8ph, 28hl/h yield. Blend finished in March, 28l/h yield. Selected native yeasts.
91-93 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, crème de cassis, sweet berries and spices, framed by creamy new oak, the 2022 Phélan Ségur is medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, with plenty of sweet fruit and chewy structuring tannin. It's a persuasive Saint-Estèphe in a more modern, extracted style.
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All the best,