Finally, the first traditional racking of our 2019 wines was just completed. These wines are now resting for at least 3 months.
Talking about 2019, and in order to soften the blow a bit of what is currently happening, I cannot resist my strong desire to share my memories of last year’s growing season and my first impressions of our blend. Reading this will not replace meeting you in person and tasting together, but hopefully it will give you a little idea of what to look forward to when we are finally able to do it.
An early spring and flowering
With a rainy and moderately cool spring, the 2019 vintage began its growth cycle with early bud burst from the first week of April. It was therefore only natural that we saw the first flowers appear from 23 May. Flowering took place under excellent weather conditions, suggesting encouraging potential for the harvest at this stage. An important first step in shaping the profile of the 2019 vintage had just been completed.
A mighty summer!
After a radiant month of July, the first reports of mid-veraison turned up around 10 August, and the head start seen in the spring had disappeared (several summer heatwaves).
At the very beginning of September, the vineyard was a picture of rare beauty. Despite the summer heatwaves, the foliage remained green and the bunches were thriving incredibly: the sight was stunning! The vineyard called for a stroll. We never tire of the generosity of nature and the great clay-gravel terroirs of Saint-Estèphe speak for themselves!
The benefits of an Indian summer
Someone who hasn’t experienced the famous Indian summers in Bordeaux cannot understand the magic that takes place in the days before the start of harvest! These hot and sunny days alternate with cool nights, allowing our grapes to reach perfect phenolic ripeness. Under these conditions, the Saint-Estèphe terroir provides optimum water supply to our vines. The vineyard team noted perfect sanitary conditions, with a total absence of the risk of rot. The gentle rains of mid-September that preceded the start of our harvest, far from being worrying delighted us by bringing freshness and good balance to our grapes. The tannins of our Cabernet Sauvignon are refined while our Merlots have turned out juicy and expressive.
The harvest of love...
The first snip of the secateurs took place on 24 September in our Merlot plots. Without interruption, the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked until 10 October, in complete calm. In the meantime, the Petit Verdot was picked on 26 September and the Cabernet Franc on 2 October. In 17 days, the entire 2019 harvest from the 70 hectares of Phélan Ségur was brought into our vat room!
All the panache of a great vintage to come!
The vineyard team was proud to entrust such beautiful grapes to the cellar team which, contented, was already listening to this new vintage whose quality it could only transcend. At the end of the first fermentations, the quantitative and qualitative potential was confirmed, and we were writing one of the finest pages in the history of Phélan Ségur!
A promise kept: power and freshness!
The vintage has been blended and it has kept its promises.
The colour is a deep red with purple reflections. On the nose, aromas of ripe fruit (black cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry...) are made more complex by toasty and liquorice notes.
On the palate, the impressive attack leads on to fleshy and crunchy fruit. This delicious taste comes from our Merlots. Some of the old vines (“Peymoulin” and “Bénéteau”) near to the river even behaved like real Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 5 g of tannin and 980 mg of anthocyanins!
This harmonious blend is kept taut by nice freshness at the end of the palate and great aromatic length. Here we find the breeding of the great Cabernet Sauvignons that makes up the backbone of the 2019, at 56% of the final blend; thanks to a good level of acidity, they help to balance this vintage with its high degrees. Our Cabernet Francs, though planted in 2013, were selected for their floral notes and a very fine texture on the palate, synonymous with elegance.
Combining the qualities of concentration, tannic power, structure, ripeness and length, 2019 also has the freshness necessary for the balance of great Bordeaux wines. It joins the club of 2009, 2010 and 2018 with brio.
Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
TA: 3.1 g/L
Total polyphenol index: 81