Chateau Rauzan-Segla Margaux 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Margaux|
This is one of the most structured and deep Rauzans I have tasted with a full body layers of fruit and a firm and polished tannin backbone. Compact and composed. Such depth and power. 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 40 per cent merlot.
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from September 27 to October 11; Merlot from September 13-27; Cabernet Franc on September 28; and Petit Verdot from September 28-29. The wine has 14% alcohol and aging is anticipated to be 18 months in barriques, 65% new. Deep purple-black in color, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of warm plums, crème de cassis, Black Forest cake and candied violets with hints of mocha, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, multilayered and sporting a lot of freshness and tension in the mouth in spite of all its decadent perfumed black fruits, it has a firm, finely grained frame and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Seduction in a glass.
Very concentrated, atypically so for Margaux, with sappy kirsch and plum reduction notes that are well-defined and luxurious in feel, draping beautifully over a graphite underpinning on the finish. Very long. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Unquestionably in the same class as the 2016, the 2018 Rauzan-Ségla is magical stuff and plays in the top tier of the vintage. A rough blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 2% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot brought up in 65% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by complex notes of sweet crème de cassis, cigar tobacco, crushed flowers, lead pencil shavings, and crushed rock-like minerality. Full-bodied, concentrated, and incredibly classic in style, it's made in a style similar to the 2016 yet is slightly more elegant (possibly not as concentrated), with building structure, beautiful purity, and a great, great finish. Like most vintages from this estate today, it will drink beautifully in its youth yet easily evolve for 30 years or more. For the data-driven people out there, this beauty hit 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.68. You probably couldn't have too much of this in the cellar.
The 2018 Rauzan-Ségla was picked starting on September 13 with the young Merlot vines and finishing on October 11 with the Cabernet Sauvignon, the yields at 32hl/ha, and aged in around 60-65% new oak. Inky black cherries, cassis, crushed violets and a hint of lavender blossom leap from the glass, and the oak is nicely integrated. The palate is medium-bodied and comparatively rich for this Margaux growth; sensual and velvety in texture, it offers layers of precocious black fruit laced with fig, menthol and spice toward the opulent finish. This is certainly a "big" Rauzan-Ségla, almost unrecognizable from the vintages of old, but certainly well crafted, and it should age with style.