"I make wine at Lafite and Latour but my heart belongs to Calon."
Such were the words of Nicolas-Alexandre, the Marquis de Ségur, who owned not only Château Calon-Ségur but also Châteaux Latour, Lafite and Margaux in the 18th century. His devotion to Calon inspired him to wear his heart on his sleeve as well as his wine label, which is famous for its iconic, heart-shaped design. He also added his name to the Château, which had been called Calon after its earlier owner, the Monseigneur de Calon, an important bishop in the community.
Château Calon-Ségur is located on the Left Bank of the Gironde River in Saint-Estèphe, and, dating back to the 12th century if not earlier, was one of the commune’s first planted vineyards. Nearby Château Montrose was, at the time, a forest-dense plot which was part of the Calon-Ségur expanse. Ranked as a Third Growth at the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, and the northernmost growth in the Médoc, the property is distinctive for its plot of vineyards which is encompassed by stone walls. The soil, a blend of gravel and clay, provides the perfect terrain to grow the mighty Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Its incredibly robust, concentrated Grand Vin showcases the Cabernet Sauvignon, with a blend that, during some vintages, can reach as high as 90%. Aged in new oak, the production of this wine, which is fined with egg whites, remains relatively low at 80,000 bottles per annum.
The Château also produces a second wine called Marquis de Calon, which has the distinction from the Grand Vin as being predominantly Merlot-forward. It, too, is aged in barrels, but not in totally new oak. The wine, overall, is youthful in nature, as it is not only released younger but is made from the fruit of younger vines.
Modern times brought the Capbern-Gasqueton family to the Château, and they held ownership until 2012 when, upon the death of its last Gasqueton, Madame Denise Gasqueton, in 2011, it was acquired by Suravenir Assurances, a large French insurance company. Jean-Pierre Moueix, the owner of Château Pétrus and the impressive negociant company, Duclot, took a minority stake as well. The new owners immediately put renovation plans into action, with a focus on the winemaking facilities as well as raising the vine density from less than 6,000 per hectare to over 8,000. They also began to temper the highly masculine wine, with the 2014 vintage being the first to offer a more lush, smooth and fruity product.