Chateau Rauzan-Segla Margaux 2018
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Margaux|
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.