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Chateau Calon-Segur 2009 SKU: 1053/09 Bordeaux - Saint-Estephe - Red
  • Parker : 94+
  • J. Robinson : 18

Robert Parker :
Raised in older barriques as well as tank and sourced primarily from the Les Caves, La Roche and Le Moulin-a-Vent lieux-dits, Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent's grand vin 2011 Moulin-a-Vent - which I last tasted from tank soon after its assemblage and just ahead of its end-of-year bottling - features richly ripe black raspberry with distilled framboise and holly berry overtones. A bite of black pepper and clove adds to the piquancy on a firm palate and reinforces the spicy influence of toasty (albeit here previously used) barrels. While less alluringly savory or floral (for now, at least) than its ostensibly lesser Les Terrasses du Chateau sibling, this undeniably musters more sheer intensity and persistence, its juiciness outlasting any oak influence. Look for fine performance through 2016. Jean-Jacques Parinet's team (see my extended introduction in Issue 196 for more on them) continues their ambitious revival of this venerable estate as well as the consolidation of its former vineyard surface. The Chateau now farms a total of 92 acres following acquisition of the formerly (and briefly) Girardin-owned Tour du Bief property, the wines from which will be issued under a separate label that I was not yet able to see, so for now I am reporting on them as part of and under the name of Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent. (For more about the effects of this new ownership, see my notes under Tour du Bief in this issue on the wine that Girardin continues to make from a portion of his former holdings.) Around half of the Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent vineyards are now farmed under an organic regimen, which will expand to soon encompass its entirety, and about half the fruit is sold off in bulk so as to retain only the best for estate production, a ratio that may or may not change much depending on how the vines and soils respond to their relatively new owner and the market responds to his wines. I have already expressed in Issue 196 my reservations about the way the new-ish 350- and (for Champ de Cour 50% new) 228-liter barrels have influenced some of these wines. I worry lest the frequent flattery directed toward them as Burgundy-like will over-influence the domaine's approach in the cellar and handicap its ability to reveal the unique distinction of Gamay on great granite soils. I certainly have no reservations, though, about the practice of relatively late-bottling and of late-release for wines intended to be cellared, and the 2011s are only now - in spring, 2013 - poised to enter the market. By any standards, the Chateau du Moulin-a-Vent wines are already impressive. (For notes on the sites they single-out for bottling, consult my notes on the 2010s both in Issue 196 and below.)

Alcohol 13.5°
Grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot
Decanter 18.5
J. Robinson 18
R. Gabriel 19
Parker 94+
Revue du Vin de France 19
Wine Spectator 93-96
Meadow 93
Appellation Saint-Estephe
Biological No
Classification Third Growth
Color Red
In-Stock In-Stock
Kasher No
Organic No
Country France
Producer Chateau Calon-Segur
Wine certification AOC
Area Bordeaux
Vineyard Medoc
$918.00
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