Friday, February 5, 2010

Chateau Phelan Segur Saint-Estephe 2004

Can it really be? Have I been writing this blog for seven months now without reviewing a single wine from Bordeaux? Bordeaux is not my favorite region, but I have no awful grudge against the region. I’m not pretending it doesn’t exist or intentionally ignoring what is arguably the most famous wine region in the world. The truth is that as a lover of Cabernet Sauvignon , I resolved a few months ago to try to find some Bordeaux wines that I love. I’ve been mixing a few into the rotation, but up until tonight, I’ve been drinking these on social occasions when I didn’t have the opportunity to take good notes. So tonight, here it is. My first official Bordeaux review. I’m not entirely sure that I’m head over heels in love with the Chateau Phelan Segur Saint-Estephe 2004, but I’m certain that I’d like to take her out on a couple more dates.

Chateau Phelan Segur in Saint-Estephe has been around for a long time, but in the 1970’s and 1980’s it saw some rough times with poor quality wines. Ownership changed hands in 1985 and the Gardinier family who took it over immediately worked to improve quality. They took the drastic step of recalling and/or refusing to sell the 1983, 1984, and 1985 vintages, and since then they have continuously improved the quality of the wine, which brings us to the 2004 vintage.

The Chateau Phelan Segur Saint-Estephe 2004 is a deep garnet red in your glass. The nose brings cassis, cherry, & plum with notes of herbs and leather. On the palate you get cassis, blackberry, plum, and just a hint of cherry. The wine has very nice acidity and mild, stony tannins that are in a really good place now in 2010. There is no one element of this wine that will knock your socks off, but it also doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. In fact it has some very impressive structure, and it is a very well balanced, food friendly wine.

Overall, this wine is a nice value at a price point that ranges from the high $20’s to the mid $30’s. It paired really well with the porterhouse steak I grilled tonight, and it would also go very nicely with a beef or lamb stew.


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