CHÂTEAU RAUZAN-SÉGLA

2017 2ème Cru Classé Margaux

EN PRIMEUR

The 2017 Rauzan-Ségla is matured in 50% new oak with 14% vin de presse, which was apparently from the high quality Cabernet this year. It has a fascinating bouquet with pure blackberry, iris, crushed stone and a light estuarine influence that becomes stronger with aeration, just a faint touch of oyster shell developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, crisp acidity, very elegant and refined, possibly the most feminine Rauzan-Ségla in recent years with a silky smooth finish. It is not the instant showstopper like the 2015 – this is more understated and needs time for its quality to be fully appreciated. Tasted on three occasions. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)

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Inky core and purple rim. Not much on the nose, a touch of black olive as well as black fruit and a woody oak note. Relatively subdued on the palate but juicy and with more energy than some. Juicy fruit right through to the sustained finish. Drinking range: 2023 - 2037 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)

Composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2017 Rauzan-Segla (Rausan-Segla) has a profound nose of cassis, warm blackberries and black plums with touches of baking spices, violets, mocha and smoke plus a waft of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied with a great core of sustained, energetic black fruit, a frame of fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, it finishes with great length. Rating: 94-96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (Apr 2018)

Rich, tight and deep, this wine has been extremely well handled in a vintage that suits this elegant style. There isn't the depth and complexity of expression that was seen in the previous two vintages, but it gets across the signature of the estate in an earlier drinking form - the absolute essence of what you want in a trickier vintage. If priced well, it's a buy. Drinking range: 2026 - 2038 Rating: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

The elegantly styled 2017 Château Rauzan-Ségla is another charming, incredibly well-balanced Margaux that offers up a great perfume of raspberries, violets, incense and spice. It has moderate tannin, a silky, lightly textured profile, and a great finish. A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot still aging in 60% new French oak, this is one of the 2017s that grows on you with time in the glass and should evolve beautifully after release. Tasted twice. Rating: 91-94 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Apr 2018)

This is tight and focused with a super precise palate of blackberries, blackcurrants and hints of flowers. Full body, linear tannins and a long finish. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2018)

Fresh, showing damson plum and bitter cherry fruit laced with a savory streak and boasting a bright iron note, this has a mouthwatering edge thanks to the acidity, which creates a very refined structure for this elegant red. Rating: 91-94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

The aromatic profile of this barrel sample commences with some rather dusty and lightly grained blackcurrant fruit on the nose, with a little chalky freshness. The palate has a little substance and concentration at the start, a touch of polish to the texture, although it turns more juicy and open through the middle. It feels a little more composed than some of its peers in this appellation in 2017, with a fresh blackcurrant character which lends it a sense of conviction, a medium-bodied texture which holds up though the middle and finish, and an appropriate central core of grippy tannins. There is a decent savoury character to the fruit on the finish too. A nice effort. Rating: 91-93 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2018)

Margaux Deuxième cru 1855 During the late 17th Century Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan gradually accumulated a sizable portfolio of vineyard property in Pauillac and Margaux. The Pauillac properties ended up, through his daughter's marriage into the Pichon family, as the two great Pichon châteaux (and a small parcel even ended up as part of Château Latour). The Margaux vineyards continued with the family name until 1792 when the Rauzan estate was split between two daughters, one who married Pierre Louis de Ségla and the other who was married to the Seigneur de Gassies. Both Rauzans were awarded 2nd Growth status in 1855, and for the remainder of the 19th Century Château Rauzan-Ségla was regarded as one of the leading Deuxième cru. Frédéric Cruse bought Rauzan-Ségla in 1903 and had the present château built, although the 54 years of Cruse family ownership saw the estate go into slow decline. Through the 1970's and into the 80's, however, much needed investment and renewal put Château Rauzan-Ségla back on the map. There are just over 50ha of vines spread between Margaux and Cantenac - 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and just 1% Cabernet Franc. The hand-harvested grapes are fremented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel before spending up to 20 months in oak (50%-60% new). For a long time the estate was spelt "Rausan-Ségla" but, in 1994, they reverted to the historical spelling with a "z".