The heritage An air of eternity permeates Calon Ségur. Perhaps because it is one of the oldest estates in the Médoc, or perhaps because its most emblematic owner, the Origins, Time and Complexity, tome 2 PDF de Ségur, built an absolute legend around Calon. Historians date the origins of Calon back to the Gallo-Roman era.
Wine growing at the estate can be traced back to the 12th century, but it was in the 18th century, at the time of Nicolas-Alexandre the Marquis de Ségur, who also owned Latour, Lafite and Mouton, that the finest chapter of the property’s history was written. The estate acquired the rank of Third Classified Growth in the famous 1855 classification. From 1894 to 2012, Calon’s owners, the Gasqueton family, preserved the estate’s identity with sobriety and elegance. Today, Château Calon Ségur and Château Capbern Gasqueton, are owned by the Suravenir company, subsidiary of the banking group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa headed by Jean-Pierre Denis. The insurance company joined forces with the Videlot group. Together, they are leading an extensive programme of renovation, which will at the same time carefully preserve the estate’s historic values.
Château Calon Ségur’s wonderful heritage is in safe hands. Make no mistake, Jean-Pierre Denis’s succumbing to the charms of Calon Ségur was, above all, the carefully thought-through decision of a bank that operates in the real economy and chooses to invest for the long term. This businessman, however, is no stranger to the world of wine. He first developed an interest in wine at the age of 35. As much a collector as a winelover, he has a preference for the wines of Bordeaux. To manage the estate, he has chosen Laurent Dufau, a Médocain born and bred, and the grandson of a wine-grower.
For Laurent Dufau, it is an exciting challenge both on a technical and a human level, and he is supported at the estate by a committed team, loyal to the spirit of Calon. The technical management remains in the hands of Vincent Millet, who was recruited by Denise Gasqueton in 2006. When first taking up his new post, he set about defining an ambitious restructuring of the vineyard. His professional mission is to bring out the quintessential character of this historic terroir. 1855 classification, fifty-five hectares today: the estate is a rare example of consistency of terroir over the centuries.
The vineyard is made up of one single block adjacent to the village of Saint-Estèphe. Unique in the Médoc, it is completely surrounded by a stone wall. There are very few geological models that can be compared with the terroir of Calon Ségur. The vines delve down into a deep gravel layer that was deposited there by the river.
This layer covers another which is predominantly clay. This combination of clay and gravel soils is one of the main reasons for the power and finesse displayed in the wines of Calon Ségur. Cabernet Sauvignon is the backbone of Calon Ségur. No great wines can ever be made without constant and meticulous care of the vines.
The soils are ploughed in the time-honoured tradition. From spring to autumn, vine canopy management tasks are done by large numbers of vineyard personnel. The crop is picked by hand at perfect ripeness. On this superb Saint-Estèphe terroir, power is a given.