About the Wine
Step back in time to 1661, when the noble house of Gassies found its new owner, Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan. Pierre was not only the manager of Chateau Margaux but also had the responsibility of Chateau Latour. As if that wasn't impressive enough, he later acquired the vineyards that would become Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron in Pauillac.
In 1692, after Pierre's passing, his three sons inherited the family holdings in Margaux, while the Pauillac properties went to his daughter Therese. This pivotal moment eventually led to the birth of the renowned Pichon Longueville Baron estate. The Rauzan Segla and Rauzan Gassies estates were later divided, but their shared legacy continued to grow.
Fast forward to the 18th century, and the wines of Rauzan Segla had become world-famous. Even Thomas Jefferson, the future President of the United States, couldn't resist their allure. After visiting Bordeaux in 1787, he promptly ordered 10 cases of Rauzan Segla, declaring it as one of the top Second Growths.
In 1866, a new chapter began for Chateau Rauzan-Segla when it was sold to Mr. Eugene Durand-Dassier. Frederic Cruse, Eugene's son-in-law, took charge of the estate in 1903 and embarked on a remarkable transformation. Under his visionary leadership, a majestic chateau replaced the old Chartreuse-styled building, and the name was changed to Chateau Rausan Segla.
Over the years, the vineyard faced challenges, like the devastating frost of 1956 that required extensive replanting and the flood damage that affected the cellars. However, every obstacle became an opportunity for improvement. Professor Emile Peynaud was enlisted as a consulting winemaker in 1983, and by 1986, a modern, state-of-the-art winery emerged from the renovations. The quality of the wines soared to new heights. Today, the winemaking is overseen by Nicolas Audebert, who's the Chief Winemaker at Chateau at Canon and Chateau Berliquet too.
In April 1984, Chateau Rauzan Segla was acquired by the Wertheimer brothers, owners of Chanel. The new owners initiated a full renovation, restoring the original spelling of the property and enlisting the expertise of renowned architect Peter Marino. The vineyard was replanted, incorporating the forgotten Petit Verdot grape, and the cellars were rebuilt to perfection. In 2012, Chateau Rauzan Segla embraced an organic approach.
Aging: 18 months in 60% new French oak barrels
Tasting Notes: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 36% Merlot 3% Petit Verdot 1% Cabernet Franc.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.
The 2020 Château Rauzan-Ségla is pure Margaux brilliance, and this beautifully elegant wine embodies the best of the vintage. Revealing a deep ruby/purple hue as well as a great bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, lead pencil, sandalwood, smoked tobacco, and hints of incense, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, integrated acidity, and a great finish. It offers pleasure today (although it closes down with extended air) but deserves 5-7 years of bottle age and will evolve for 30 years or more. This is clearly in the same league as the 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. Tasted on multiple occasions with consistent results. ~98 Jeb Dunnuck
Full-bodied and layered with velvety layers of tannins that are beautifully interspersed with ripe fruit and dark-chocolate notes. Silky and lightly chewy texture. Very long, solid finish. ~97-98 James Suckling
Deep purple-black colored, 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, licorice, 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 Wine Advocate
The 2020 Rauzan-Ségla is a huge, explosive wine. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice, 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. ~97 Vinous
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. ~96 Decanter
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