2017 Saint Estèphe


One of the wines of the day. Excellent crunch and robust feel to the dark, ripe fruit. Lovely grip and chew. Fruit is certainly ripe but there is a firmness and scratch to the texture. A hint of cedar in the background adds complexity. Bright and lively zip keeps this flowing. It is smart and has a great purity. A classic St Estephe feel. Good, bright fun. Ends clean and pure — but with that ripe note hauntingly present. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2018)

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The 2017 Capbern is soft, pliant and inviting. This pretty, gracious Saint-Estèphe has plenty to offer, especially over the near and medium term. Floral notes give lift to the bright red cherry fruit. Soft contours and mid-weight structure add to the wine's immediacy. Tasted two times. Rating: 88-90 Antonio Galloni, (May 2018)

The 2017 Capbern was cropped at 43.5hl/ha and matured in 60% new oak. It has a fresh, lively cranberry and blackcurrant-scented bouquet, a little savory in style with hints of Japanese nori (seaweed). The palate is nicely structured with a keen thread of acidity. There is a little compactness on the entry but it gently unfolds towards the finish that exerts subtle grip. It is the precision rather than the power that defines this Capbern and if released at similar prices to previous vintages, could be one of the must-buys of 2017. Drinking range: 2021 - 2032 Rating: 89-91 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

Tasted both at Ulysse Cazabonne and at Calon Ségur. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. They are still restructuring the vineyard, apparently – the youngest Merlot vines are now 20 years old and the Cabernets 15. Deep crimson with purple rim. Fresh and delicious bramble and cassis fruit. Firm, finely grained, super-fresh. Slightly chewy but with plenty of dark fruit in the middle. Full but balanced. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, (Apr 2018)

The tentative blend for the 2017 Capbern is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives exuberant red cherries, blackberries and black raspberries on the nose with touches of bay leaves and dusty soil. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and fresh with chewy tannins and an earthy finish. Rating: 85-87 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, (Apr 2018)

The Merlots and Cabernet Francs suffered a little from the rains of September, but the early season and lack of frost damage helped overcome this, with a normal yield of 43.5hl/ha. Capbern has an ample mid-palate with savoury but fleshy blueberry and blackberry fruits, and mint-edged charcoal - it's well put together. 3% Petit Verdot makes up the blend given here. Ageing for 18 months in 60% new oak. 3.8pH. Drinking range: 2024 - 2036 Rating: 89 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

This large estate has turned out a classic wine in 2017 that just screams of Saint-Estèphe. Checking in as a rough blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it will spend 18 months in 60% new French oak. Textbook Saint Estèphe dark fruits, damp earth, and tobacco leaf all flow to a medium-bodied, rounded, nicely textured wine that has the cooler, perfumed, aromatics style of the vintage, good mid-palate depth, and gorgeous purity of fruit. Classic Bordeaux lovers will dig this. Rating: 90-92 Jeb Dunnuck, (Apr 2018)

Dark berries and crushed stones. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Tightness. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, (Apr 2018)

Fresh and juicy, with pomegranate and damson plum fruit laced liberally with lilac, savory and pebble hints Rating: 88-91 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

The fruit was picked on the same dates as Calon-Ségur, so the Merlot harvest was between September 15th and the 21st, followed by the two Cabernets between September 25th and the 29th, finishing with the Petit Verdot on the 29th. The blend here is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot, with 3% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There was no frost damage of note here, and the yield is the same as 2016, at 44 hl/ha. The analyses are as follows; alcohol 13.3% and total acidity 3.35 g/l. The maceration was for 20 days, the élevage will be for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels. I get dusty plum skin and cherry fruit on the nose. This has a very cool style on the palate, quite tense, with dark cherry stone and mulberry fruit, elegantly drawn rather than plush. The tannins are really quite precise, finely grained, and they sit well with the palate's fresh acidity. A medium-bodied style, with nice depth and some grippy length. A nice potential here. 91-93/100 Rating: 91-93 Chris Kissack, (Apr 2018)

The Gasqueton family of Calon Segur also own this excellent estate situated south of the town of St Estephe, between the vineyards of Montrose and Phelan Segur.


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