There are a few Bordeaux gems that we do not release during en primeur, rather keeping them back so they can get full attention later in the year. Foremost among these is the stunning red, Marquis de Calon, the hugely undervalued second wine of Calon Segur, as well as Talbot Blanc, the superb white Bordeaux secret that few manage to secure.
In 2016 Calon Segur has perhaps produced their greatest ever vintage, receiving 95-97 points from Neal Martin and 98-99 from James Suckling; this immense quality is apparent in Marquis de Calon. Marquis de Calon is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and is matured in 30% new oak for 17 months before it is bottled: Calon Segur is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. As such, most of the Merlot is from the very finest plots on the Estate, while the draconian selection means the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit in Marquis is of Grand Cru levels.
Calon Segur is classified as a Third Growth and is one of the leading lights of St.Estephe. In fact, Montrose was a forest-land belonging to the Calon Segur Estate, so vast that it once contained Mouton and Lafite Rothschild. Calon eventually passed into the hands of the Segur family and the Marquis de Segur, who also owned Lafite and Latour. He famously is quoted as saying, ‘I make my wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is in Calon’, which became the basis for the widely-recognized label: a heart encompassing the Estate’s name in bold red letters. The second wine also has this heart, so it is always a favourite for a romantic dinner.
The superb Second wine Marquis de Calon at £18.33 per bottle offers incredible value for a wine of its quality. It is perennially dense, inky, with intense cassis, sweet spice and chocolate. In 2016, James Suckling awarded it 92-93 points and Neil Martin 89-91 Points.
Caillou Blanc, or as it is otherwise known, Talbot Blanc, is one of Medoc’s oldest dry white wines. The red wine is one of the most recognisable in the UK market, a leading Fourth Growth. Where the red embodies the classic Bordeaux style and flavour profiles, the white is a synthesis of Bordeaux and Burgundy: this makes it special. Stylistically it combines the best of these two great regions. It has plenty of integrated oak, rich, creamy flavour, with excellent acidity, harmony and crisp flavour profiles. It is blended from 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, delivering a backbone of acidity, structure and weight. This provides excellent ageing potential, yet the ripeness of the 2016 vintage means that this will drink beautifully as soon as it is bottled.
We can offer an allocation of the 2016 today for £240 per case of 12. It is somewhere between an excellent 1er Cru Burgundy and a leading Pessac Bordeaux Blanc. At £20 a bottle it shows immense value for a wine of this quality and from a superb Grand Cru Estate. Very little is produced and it is rarely scored by critics. However, Talbot Blanc displays smoke, toast and even some sweet spice, along with delicate butter, rich baked apple, citrus and melon. Yet adds herbaceous nuance displaying sage and dill. The finish is crisp, rich and very appealing.
These are two wines to buy every year, have delivered once in bottle and enjoy right away and over a decade. We are pleased to offer a special deal today, £450 IB for a case of each.
Marquis de Calon 2016, 12×75 – £220 IB
92-93 Points, James Suckling
“Dark berry, tar and stone character. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Balance and intensity. Very pretty density. Pretty fruit. Second wine of Calon.”
89-91 Points, Neil Martin, The Wine Advocate
“The 2016 Marquis de Calon-Segur is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, picked at 42 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 30% new oak. It has an opulent bouquet with blackberry and a smudge of boysenberry jam, perhaps not with the delineation of let’s say, the La Dame de Montrose, yet undeniably pure. The palate is medium-bodied with a surprisingly firm structure given the dominance of the Merlot, with grainy tannin and superb freshness. I have a sneaky feeling that this Deuxième Vin might last a lot longer than people will allow it.”
Talbot Blanc 2016, 12×75 – £240 EP
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