Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Château Rauzan-Ségla, MARGAUX, 2ème Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot.

The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is a huge, explosive wine. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, liquorice, smoke and incense are some of the many notes that infuse the 2020 with tremendous richness. With élevage, the 2020 has grown into a huge, brooding wine endowed with notable presence. There's great purity and class here. The 2020 is a powerful, brooding Rauzan-Ségla for readers who can be patient. Very patient. Tasted two times. 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2022). 

The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is more open on the nose than when I tasted it from barrel. Quite intense with blackberry, crushed violet, oyster shell and just a touch of pencil box. It actually pulls back a little with aeration, almost as if it is (to quote The Specials) showing too much, too young. The palate is pixelated on the entry, perfectly proportioned with seamlessly integrated oak, a silver bead of acidity. Not ostentatious in any way, but streamlined and holding something back on the finish, which bodes well for the future. This is deeply impressive. 96 Neal Martin, Vinous (2022).

The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is showing brilliantly in bottle. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis and minty blackberries mingled with violets and liquorice, it's medium to full-bodied, suave and seamless, with a deep core of vibrant fruit, beautifully refined tannins and a harmonious, integrated profile that exudes elegance. A wine of immense character and refinement, it's the best vintage from this estate in recent times. 98 William Kelley, Wine Advocate (2023). 

Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is aging for 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an alcohol of 13.5% and a pH of 3.74. Deep purple-black coloured, aromas of blackcurrant cordial, stewed red and black plums, chocolate-covered cherries and raspberry coulis erupt from the glass, leading to an undercurrent of tar, liquorice, red roses and menthol, plus a hint of unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and yet manages seriously impressive intensity, which is well-sustained throughout the mid-palate and finish. Refined and refreshing, delivering beautifully soft, silt-like tannins and bags of bright red and black fruits, it finishes with amazing length and a stunning perfume. Between this and Château Canon, Nicolas Audebert and his team have knocked it out of the park this vintage. 96-98 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (2021). 

Tumeric and cumin spices alongside concentrated cassis and bilberry fruits, this has a powerful structure where the tannins layer up through the palate. There is no question that this is intense, and a reflection of the low yields of the vintage, but Rauzan Segla manages what it always does, which is to take the foot off the pedal at exactly the right moment, and allow the juice to come rushing in. The push and pull of muscular tannins and deft supple acidity gives an extra layer of success. Should be ready to drink a little earlier than the biggest years such as 2016 or 2019, but this will still age for decades. 1% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Harvest began September 8, a yield of 30hl/ha. 60% new oak. Tasted twice. 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (2021). 

Juicy and lively fragrance on the nose - so perfumed and alluring. Delicate and pure on the palate, crystalline yet with such intensity. A rush of creamy tangy strawberries, herbal-edged raspberries and plum fruit lined with salty minerality gives the nuance and detail. It?s lightly framed with well integrated tannins that are fine and firm, tense just giving some tightness on the mid-palate, a sense of compactness, but then it opens again towards the finish. Cool and ethereal, this exudes charm and confidence. Extremely well made and totally seductive. I love the juiciness and sense of joyfulness, but it's also beguiling as it deepens and grows in layers of chalk, slate, bramble fruits, perfume and florality. Another excellent wine from Rauzan with delicacy, detall and drinkability. Stunning. 98 Georgina Hindle, Decanter (2023).

Drinking Window: 2030 - 2060

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