This morning we are thrilled to be able to offer what is certainly the most comprehensive Ex-Chateau vertical ever offered for sale of leading Second Growth Chateau Rauzan-Ségla. All wines are available in Magnum format. ‘Tis the season to celebrate and we can think of no better way to do so than with these incredibly rare large formats, all unmoved since bottling and packaged in single wooden cases by the Chateau itself. This unprecedented 22 vintage vertical spans from 1995 (the year following the purchase of the estate by the Wertheimer Family of Chanel) and culminating in two of their best modern vintages, the outstanding back to back 2015 and 2016. The fact that the entire set of 22 OWC 1x150cl Magnums can be purchased for less than the current market price of a single six-pack of Chateau Margaux 2015 aptly demonstrates the claim asserted by Neal Martin of Vinous of how this Margaux Second Growth, “occupies a sweet spot in terms of value: it can touch the quality of Château Margaux and Palmer and yet it remains affordable to most wine-lovers.”
Total Value – £4,440 IB
Discounted price for a Magnum of each – £4,200 IB
In case there is any doubt of how this nearly quarter of a century collection is currently faring, the Chateau opened their doors earlier this year to a select group of critics for a series of comprehensive vertical tastings dating back all the way back to 1900! A clear takeaway from these tastings was that Chanel’s purchase in 1994 marked an immediate reassertion of consistency as well as ultimately solidifying the modern era of Rauzan-Segla as, “a bona fide Second Growth.” Decisively kicking off this rapid ascent in quality is the 1996 vintage, which Jane Anson recently awarded 97 points, declaring it, “easily one of the most exciting wines here”, while Neal Martin of Vinous singled out the “superior” 1998 vintage as “a wine that wants to impress and that it certainly does.” Martin also fell for the epic 2010 vintage, which he found to be, “turning into a fabulous, benchmark wine” as well as the sensational 2015, which he described quite simply as, “a brilliant wine.” Finally of the final vintage in this prolific vertical, Anson asserted, “Right from the first nose it’s clear just how good this 2016 is.” Not to be overlooked is the special edition label featured on the 2009 vintage (per the attached photo), which was designed by Chanel’s Creative Director Karl Lagerfield (deceased earlier this year) in order to celebrate the 350th birthday of this historic estate.
We believe the global cachet of Rauzan-Ségla will continue to rise over the next decade. In fact, at the time of the 1855 classification the Estate was considered one of the truly great Second Growths. In 1994 the Estate was bought by the Wertheimer Family of Chanel, who have put in place a superb wine making team headed up by David Orr and John Kolasa of Chateau Latour, the later whom is largely credited with rejuvenating this great estate to the outstanding level it has reached today. Upon their purchase, the team at Chanel also made the decision to revert the spelling from Rausan-Ségla, as it had been since the 19th century, back to the original Rauzan-Ségla as it remains today.
The current plantings include 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, and cover 74.9 hectares in total, 72 of which are under vine, and 70 hectares, which are currently in production. The average vine age of the Grand Vin is around 40 years, with 60% of the vineyard planted at a density of 10,000 vines per hectares, and the remainder planted at 6,600 vines per hectare. When Nicolas Audebert took over as Director in 2015 (along with Chateau Canon), he instituted even further measures to enhance and define the subtle nuance of this great terroir by dividing the vineyards into 21 separate plots, and identifying the maturity of each plot the old-fashioned way; by tasting the berries. There are presently 60 vats, ranging from 10 to 150 hectolitres in size in order to practice a more precise parcel-by-parcel vinification.
*Both scores by Neal Martin of Vinous and Jane Anson of Decanter were published following a tasting in April 2019.