It makes a lot of hearts beat faster, starting with those of its owners. The Marquis of Ségur, who also made wine at Lafite, liked to say: "My heart is at Calon". Today Jean-Pierre Denis, President of Calon's principal shareholder, Arkéa, takes this one step further: his roots are in Brittany, and heart in the Breton language is "kalon".
Since this banking group appeared on the scene, the pace of change has accelerated. There has been some reconceptualising of the vineyards, with more close planting and an increasing proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. With two or three hectares planted each year, this star variety should reach a proportion of 70% of the property's holdings by 2028. The remaining task was to rescue the old Ségur family residence, which had become extremely dilapidated. Its reopening this year, after a comprehensive renovation, brings to a close six years of wide-ranging works. The spirit of this place has been kept intact, thanks to the skill and devotion of two architects, Anne Derasse and Alain de La Ville, for whom restoration is a passion.
For Laurent Duffau, it is 2018's "magnificent expression of this terroir" that holds the secret to the year's remarkable Calon Ségur.
Appellation : Saint-Estèphe. Third classified Growth in 1855.
Vineyard area : 55 ha (136 acres). Area in production : 45 ha (50 ha planted)
Soil : A thick layer of gravel laid down during the Quaternary Period. Predominantly clay sub-soil from the Tertiary Period. At the summit of the gravel deposits, there is also a fine layer of clay of lacustrine origin.
Grape varieties : 53% Cabernet sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 7% Cabernet franc, 2% petit Verdot.
Average age of the vines : 22 years
Training method : Double Guyot
Planting density : 8.000 vines/ha
Yield : 45 hl/ha
Harvest : Hand picking. A first selection of grapes on the vine. Mechanical sorting of the grapes by vibration, followed by hand sorting.
Vinification : Temperature-controlled conical stainless-steel tanks. Maceration for 18 to 21 days. Pumping over twice a day. Fermentation at 26°C. Malolactic fermentation (indigenous lactic bacteria) in stainless steel at 20°C.
Ageing : 18 to 20 months, 100% new barrels. Fining with egg white.
Average annual production : Around 80,000 bottles.