Renowned among connoisseurs for its great elegance, suppleness and typical cedar aromas, Château Phélan Ségur, in Saint-Estèphe, has a well-established reputation. Vintage after vintage, the wines are meticulously looked after at every step of the winemaking process, from the vines in the vineyard to the work in the cellar, and they never stop gaining precision and excellence. A major Saint-Estèphe domain, the château is a true ambassador of the Médoc.
Vintage after vintage, the wines are meticulously looked after at every step of the winemaking process, from the vines in the vineyard to the work in the cellar, and they never stop gaining precision and excellence. A major Saint-Estèphe domain, the château is a true ambassador of the Médoc.
The origins of Phélan Ségur go back to the start of the 19th century when Bernard O’Phelan, a young Irishman, settled in Bordeaux and married one of the daughters of Daniel Guestier, a famous Bordeaux merchant. With the help of his father-in-law, he began to trade wine. In 1805, he acquired Clos de Garramey in Saint-Estèphe and Domaine Ségur de Cabanac in 1810. He died in 1841, leaving behind a vast property named Château Ségur de Garramey (merging both the names). Frank Ségur, his son, inherited the château. The latter devoted his life to improving the domain, and he also became the mayor of Saint-Estèphe, a position he held thirty years.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the domain acquired its current name, Phélan Ségur. After being owned by the Delon family (who also owned Château Léoville-Las Cases), the Gardinier family bought the property in 1985. Xavier Gardinier also managed the champagne houses Lanson and Pommery. The new owner renovated the château, equipping it with modern facilities. He also restructured the vineyard and replanted the vines. In the 1990s, he started moving the château towards sustainable agriculture. Since then, Xavier Gardinier passed the torch on to his sons; Thierry Gardinier, the eldest, took over the domain with his brothers Stéphane and Laurent. Véronique Dausse has been managing the château since 2010. The Gardinier brothers have also branched out into the hotel and restaurant trade with Domaine Les Crayères in Champagne and Taillevent Paris, and more recently, the Comptoir du Caviar. After the death of Xavier Gardinier, in 2013, the Gardinier family decided to sell the château to Philippe Van de Vyvere, owner of one of the largest European transport companies, Sea-Invest, which is a major player in Belgium. Philippe Van de Vyvere and his sons have been running the château since 2018.
Saint-Estèphe: an exceptional terroir
The vineyard at Phélan Ségur, which neighbours Château Montrose and Château Calon Ségur, covers 70 hectares. The vines are composed of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 1,5% Cabernet Franc and 1,5% Petit Verdot. The soil is made of a thick layer of gravel which came from the river. Luc Peyronnet, vineyard manager, uses responsible agriculture practices which includes ploughing the land. This means that no weed killers are needed. In some places, the grass is left around the vines and biotechnological controls are used here instead. The team uses state-of-the-art technology to take care of the vineyard throughout the year. It measures the physiological activity of the plants, rendering it a useful decision-making tool (it alerts the team when fertilisers are need, when to start pruning, thinning out the leaves, or separating the plots, etc.).
At the winery, Fabrice Bacquey is responsible for making sure the wines retain the style of the property. The grapes are harvested by hand and placed in small crates. They are then brought to sorting tables where they are sorted by hand and with the help of vibrations before being checked visually one last time. The grapes are delicately pressed, before being fermented with regular pumping over, rack and return and punching down. These steps are all completed according to the needs of each lot. Maceration takes place afterwards and lasts for about twenty days. During this time, the wine is tasted every day to decide when it will be drained from the tank. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels and half of the wine is aged in new barrels for 18 months. Oenologist Michel Rolland oversees the blending.
Managed by the talented and dynamic Véronique Dausse, Château Phélan Ségur is undeniably one of the most beautiful properties in Saint-Estèphe. It regularly produces high-quality wines, which stand out thanks to their nuances, elegance, and suppleness. It is undeniably a valuable asset of the Medoc region.
Château Phélan-Ségur currently for sale
The Château Phélan-Ségur wines are purple and ruby in colour and contain blackcurrant and blackberry and floral flavours. The wines feel opulent and fleshy on the palate, and they have great ageing potential.
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