Learn everything about Chateau Phelan Segur, St. Estephe with wine tasting notes and wine-with-food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, vineyards, a history of the property, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Phelan Segur History and Overview
The official history of Chateau Phelan Segur began when two previous Bordeaux vineyards were brought together, Clos de Garramey and Segur. Those properties also located in the Saint Estephe appellation were combined by Bernard Phelan, who using the traditional custom of the time, combined the existing Segur name with his own and Chateau Phelan Segur was born.
By 1860, Bernard Phelan had created the largest vineyard in the entire Saint Estephe appellation. The beautiful, stately chateau was built by Frank Phelan, the son of Bernard Phelan in the late 1860s.
Before Bernard Phelan purchased Segur, it was previously owned by Nicolas Alexandre de Segur who was known by the well-earned nickname, “The Prince of Vines”.
de Segur owned numerous, famed, Bordeaux chateaux in the Medoc during his life including Brane Mouton, which later became Chateau Mouton Rothschild, as well as Lafite, which eventually morphed into Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Latour! When you think about it, it’s truly amazing that one family owned 3 First Growth estates at the same time!
Chateau Phelan Segur, The Modern Era
In 1883, Chateau Phelan Segur passed to new owners. Jumping ahead, in 1946, the property was purchased by the Delon family, the current owners of Chateau Leoville Las Cases in St. Julien and Nenin in Pomerol. The Delon family, headed by Michel Delon eventually sold the vineyard to the former head of Pommery Champagne, Xavier Gardinier in 1985.
As there is a harvest in Bordeaux every year, with very few exceptions, chateaux produce wine in every vintage. That was not the case in the early days of ownership by the Gardinier family here. They refused to sell their first three vintages in a row of Chateau Phelan Segur, 1983, 1984, and 1985!
The 1983 Phelan Segur was produced and released, but the wine was recalled from the marketplace by the new owner, Xavier Gardinier. Xavier Gardinier eventually sued to claim that herbicides used by the estate contaminated and ruined the wines of Chateau Phelan Segur making them unsaleable.
The Gardinier family won their suit and from that time forward, they have continued improving the wines of Pelan Segur and for a time, expanding the estate as well. In 2002, they purchased 25 hectares of vines from Chateau Houissant, which is located not far from Chateau Montrose.
Today, the Left Bank property in Saint Estephe is managed by another member of the family, Thierry Gardinier. Thierry Gardinier is also responsible for several other Bordeaux vineyards including Chateau Meyney in Saint Estephe and Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse in Pauillac.
In August 2017, Chateau Phelan Segur was sold for more than 90 million Euros! A record-setting price for a Crus Bourgeois. The vineyard was sold to the wealthy Belgian investor, Philippe Van de Vyvere, who is best known for owning Sea-Invest, one of the world’s largest shipping companies.
Chateau Phelan Segur, Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The large 70-hectare vineyard of Chateau Phelan Segur is planted to 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Petit Verdot. The vineyard has a terroir of gravel, sand, and clay-based soils. The vines are primarily in three locations. 8 hectares of vines are planted close to the chateau.
A larger portion of vines is located not far from Chateau Calon Segur. However, their best terroir, which is also their largest holding is situated quite close to Chateau Montrose. They have slopes and hills that reach 30 meters in elevation. The vineyard can be divided into 4 large blocks, and those can be further subdivided into close to 70 different parcels.
On average the vines are close to 35 years of age. However, they have old vines, some of which are at least 70 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a density of 8,500 vines per hectare.
A major portion of the Phelan Segur vineyards is located not that far from Chateau Montrose. In fact, in 2010, Chateau Phelan Segur sold 22 hectares of their vineyards to their neighbor, Chateau Montrose. That purchase decreased their vineyards from 90 hectares to 68 hectares. At the time, the price of 900,000 Euros per hectare was the highest price paid for vineyard land in St. Estephe.
Chateau Phelan Segur underwent extensive renovations in their wine-making facilities and cellars that were completed in 2011. At the time, they moved to newer, smaller, 115-hectoliter, stainless steel fermentation vats that allow for more precise vinification on a parcel-by-parcel basis. Michel Rolland is the consultant.
To produce the wine of Phelan Segur, vinification takes place in 48, stainless steel vats that range in size from 40 hectoliters, up to 220 hectoliters.
Malolactic fermentation takes place in 50%, new, French oak barrels most of the time, but portions of the wine can also undergo malolactic fermentation in vats. Phelan Segur is aged in about 50% new, French oak barrels for 16 to 18 months.
One of the recent changes at Phelan Segur was to begin using French oak barrels that have lighter toasting. That has been a positive move as you now find less strong, smoke or espresso notes in the wine when it’s young. Another change took place with the 2020 vintage when they added Petit Verdot to the blend for the first wine. In addition, starting with the 2022 vintage, the estate began vinifying a portion of its harvest in neutral, glass wine globes.
There is a second wine, Frank Phelan, which made its debut in 1986. Frank Phelan was named after a previous owner that built the chateau. There is also a third wine, La Croix Bonis.
20,000 cases per year are produced of Phelan Segur on average, while the production of the second wine hovers at close to 12,000 cases per vintage. The estate recently added a third wine, which is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, La Croix Bonis.
The Best Vintages of Chateau Phelan Segur are: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005 and 2003. It should be noted that starting with the 2016 vintage, Phelan Segur has been on a roll making the best vintages in the history of the estate with 2020, 2019 and 2018!
When to Drink Chateau Phelan Segur, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Phelan Segur can be enjoyed early. However, the wine is often better with at least a few years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage.
Chateau Phelan Segur is usually best enjoyed in the first 10-20 after the vintage. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Serving Chateau Phelan Segur with the Best Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Phelan Segur is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Chateau Phelan Segur is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, stewed, and grilled dishes. Chateau Phelan Segur also makes a good match with several different Asian courses.
Château Phélan Ségur Wine Tasting Notes
25 Vintages 241,456 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
Deep in color, the wine is smoky, with chocolate covered plums, black raspberries, spices, violets, and cinnamon coming through in the nose. The wine is rich, lush and polished. The fruits are dark, ripe, sweet, and fresh, leaving you with a finish packed with powdered chocolate, black cherries, turmeric, black currants, plums, licorice, and espresso. This should be quite enjoyable on release. The wine blends 56% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. 14.2% ABV, 3.8 pH. Harvesting took place September 14, - September 26. Yields were only 28 hectoliters per hectare. 2025-2045. 94-96 Pts.
2,802 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
Flowers, licorice, and red fruits create the nose. The medium-bodied wine is soft, polished, round, and fruity with sweet red berries and licorice in the finish. You should enjoy this on release for all its sweet, upfront fruits. The wine blends 80% Merlot, with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% ABV. Drink from 2025-2032. 89-91 Pts.
1,863 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
Smoke, dark chocolate, flowers and espresso tinged black cherry notes are in the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, forward, soft, round and fruity, with cocoa overtones to accompany the black cherry and espresso oriented finish. This should be quite enjoyable on release. The wine blends 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. This interesting blend represents the highest percentage of Cabernet ever placed into Phelan Segur. They have been a non-stop roll here and the 2021 continues that streak! Drink from 2023-2037. 92-94
2,619 Views Tasted May 20, 2022
Chocolate, espresso, cedar, spice, currants and incense aromatics are all over the place here. On the palate, the concentrated, deep wine offers, lift, lush, sensuously-textured., multiple layers of sweet, ripe, dark red fruits with a touch of polish to the tannins. The wine lingers and expands on your palate, which only makes you want to taste it again for the pleasure of it. This is the finest vintage ever produced by Phelan Segur. Fans of the estate should be all over this gem! Drink from 2025-2045.
4,107 Views Tasted Mar 21, 2023
Bright, fresh, spicy and a bit peppery, there is great lift and energy here. Flowers, cigar wrapper, cedar, red currants, raspberries and red plums are all over the place in the nose and on the palate. The wine is long, balanced and refined. There is freshness, length and a crispy, silky quality to the texture on the palate and in the finish. Rich and balanced with the oak being already close to fully integrated. The wine blends 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, 13.5% ABV. 2020 marks the first vintage to feature Petit Verdot in the blend. 93-95 Pts
4,397 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
Flowers, smoke, black fruit, red fruit, and blue fruit along with cedar and spice work well here. The wine has a solid depth of flavor packed with dark currants, polished, round textures, and a blast of chocolate-coated currants with mint and espresso in the rich finish. This could be the best vintage of Phelan Segur yet. Give it a few years in the cellar and it will be just great for 15 or more years after that. Drink from 2025-2042.
5,696 Views Tasted Mar 29, 2022
The nose grabs you with its cedar chest, forest floor, earth, herb, tobacco, spice, cigar box, and smoke aromas coupled with a load of just-picked blackberries. Round and smooth, with finesse, a big juicy blast of fruit and roasted coffee beans, this could be the best vintage of Phelan Segur yet. The wine blends 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5 ABV, with no sensation of heat or overripe sensations. 93-95 Pts
7,958 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
A success for the second here, the wine exudes ripe fruits and tobacco. There is ample volume and character to make all the deep black fruits fun to taste. Drink this on release. 89-91 Pts
3,565 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
Let's start off by saying this is the best vintage of Phelan Segur ever produced. The wine is ripe, lush, supple and juicy. There is volume, length and character galore to all the layers of sweet, rich, ripe, black and red fruits. There is lift, complexity and staying power in the finish.
5,017 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
The tobacco, spice, cigar box, smoke and cedar aromas along with a basket filled with fresh berries lets you know this is a loveliness in a glass. The wine is round, soft, polished, ripe, clean and juicy, leaving you with a bolt of black currant, licorice and espresso in the finish. 93-95 Pts
4,605 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
Youthful as you would expect, the wine is soft, bright, fresh, and shows a bit of a minty, forest edge to the sweet red fruits, espresso and cocoa topped, red fruits. You should let this rest for a few years before popping a cork. Drink from 2025-2040.
3,353 Views Tasted Jul 8, 2022
Medium-bodied with a nice opening note of cassis, cherries, forest leaf and espresso, there is a touch of herbs and oak accompanying the red fruit in the. soft, round finish.
4,550 Views Tasted May 14, 2020
Ready, succulent, dark red fruits and spice are what you find initially. On the palate, the wine has baby soft tannins, ripe, deep red fruits and gentle tones of licorice, espresso, spice and earth. This wine is sweet, juicy and fresh in the finish.
2,759 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
Coming along nicely, still youthful, the wine is packed with ripe, sweet fruits, soft, polished tannins, and roundness in the finish. The fruits are polished, fresh, and taste as good as they feel. The wine needs a few more years before it is fully ready to go. This is a steal in today's marketplace! Drink from 2024 - 2043.
6,802 Views Tasted Jul 8, 2022
Deep in color, the wine is earthy, meaty, intense and deep. You find layers of fruit with freshness and complexity that really fills your mouth. The finish, with its earthy, truffled fruits and spice keeps on going! This is the best vintage ever for Phelan Segur and will age with ease for 2 decades or more!
5,721 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Volume, depth of flavor, fresh, ripe, sweet, spicy fruits and accents of licorice, espresso, wet earth and a softness to the texture, make this full bodied, concentrated, rich, lush wine a turn on. The best vintage ever for Phelan Segur will glide through at least 2 decades of aging and evolution. Bravo!
5,947 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
Lushly textured, the fruit is perfectly ripe with good volume, length, and energy. The dark fruits are accompanied by a wealth of black cherries, licorice, earth, smoke and soft round tannins.
5,483 Views Tasted May 13, 2018
Using 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, Phelan Segur produced a wine with plushness, ripe, dark red berries, silky tannins and length. The plummy fruits are soft, fresh and sweet with hints of espresso and licorice in the finish. The wine is 13.8% ABV and the harvest took place from September 29 to October 21, making this the longest and the latest harvest in the history of the estate.
4,898 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
Espresso, tobacco leaf, blackberry, cigar box, and underbrush notes shine through on the nose. On the palate, the wine is lush, round, polished and a bit show. The fruit is soft, supple, creamy, and sweet, with staying power in the finish. Drink from 2023-2036.
3,845 Views Tasted Jul 8, 2022
Medium-bodied, forward, with a spicy, earthy leaning to the soft textured, sweet, juicy, ripe, red fruits. There is a nice finesse to the red fruits in the finish.
3,628 Views Tasted May 21, 2018
Medium-bodied, forward in style, with more, freshness and red berries than black, the wine keeps you interested with its smoke, tobacco, cedar and cassis filled, elegant character. This should charm you early in its life. This is much better in bottle, than it was in barrel. The wine was made from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Merlot.
3,906 Views Tasted Mar 12, 2018
Medium-bodied, softly textured, showing fresh, elegant cassis and spicy, crisp, black raspberries in an approachable, user friendly style. 86 - 88 Pts
3,512 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2016
Already starting to show its secondary development, as now you find tobacco leaf, blackberry, roasted coffee bean, spice, and wet earth on the nose. Medium-bodied, soft, round, and savory with hints of spice, underbrush, and red plums in the finish. You can enjoy this now with pleasure. Drink from 2022-2034.
4,001 Views Tasted Jul 8, 2022
Ripe, dark and red fruits, a touch of oak, spice, wet earth and round, tannins open nicely. The round, medium bodied, ripe, fruit filled finish is easy to like as well. In time, with some bottle age, this could be an even better wine.
3,868 Views Tasted Jan 31, 2017
Crème de Cassis, fennel and freshly ground espresso on the nose, this wine was produced in an approachable, fleshy style. There is an easy softness to the tannins and a smack of blackberries in the finish. 88-91 Pts
3,005 Views Tasted Apr 13, 2015
Better on the nose, with its floral, oak and sweet cherry fragrance, than on the medium bodied, slightly tart, red berry palate. Drink this on the young side.
3,400 Views Tasted Feb 7, 2016
Herb, olive and cherry aromas make up the initial start of the wine, followed by the palate, which is medium bodied, and show cases cranberry with bright red berries and a lot of sharpness in the mouth. The wine was made blending 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with 40% Merlot, which yielded a 12.7% ABV. The wine will be aged in 50% new, French oak barrels. The Grand Vin represents 60% of the properties crop, with yields of 26.38 hectoliters per hectare. 86-89 Pts
1,906 Views Tasted Apr 20, 2014
From a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, the medium bodied wine shows ripe dark plum, earth, espresso and cassis characteristics that seems to be just bit short in the finish.
2,346 Views Tasted Mar 11, 2015
This earthy, cassis-filled, medium-bodied wine has an oaky, fleshy core of dark fruit that ends with fresh blackberries and dark chocolate. 88-90 Pts
2,850 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2013
Vanilla bean, chocolate, black cherry and coffee scents create the perfume. The fruit is crsip, peppery, medium bodied and dominated by dark red cherry and plum. Drink this young to retain its fruit.
3,555 Views Tasted Feb 16, 2014
2011 Phelan Segur 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, which is the same as the plantings found in vineyards, produce the blend. The wine reached 13.5% ABV. 15% of the vineyards were damaged by the September hail storms. Fortunately for the property, most of the damage occurred to vineyards which were not planted. The worst of the damage was to the Merlot. Yields were down about 10% from the previous vintage. Oak, leaf, pepper, mineral and cassis aromas open to a medium-bodied, round, chocolate- and cassis-filled finish. 89-91 Pts
3,013 Views Tasted Apr 8, 2012
I really like how this wine turned out. Packed with fresh ripe, juicy blackberries, licorice, earth, coffee and spice, there is a quality of softness to the tannins in the long, fresh, round finish that make this Merlot dominated blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Sauvignon worth seeking out. This is the best vintage of Phelan Segur produced yet!
6,151 Views Tasted Feb 6, 2013
Cassis, stone, spice, juicy plum and smoky aromatics open to a deeply colored, expressive, Medium/full bodied St. Estephe that wants to rest for at least 5-7 years before being opened.
6,271 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
From a blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine offered scents of blackberry, cassis and espresso bean, Medium/full bodied, the wine ends with a round, ripe. cassis filled finish. 89-91 Pts
6,223 Views Tasted Apr 20, 2011
Ready for prime time drinking for the next 15 or more years, the wine is round, medium/full-bodied, earthy, plush and packed with dark black cherries, coffee bean smoke, spice box, cigar wrapper and thyme. The polish does not detract from the natural earthyness found in the wine.
3,995 Views Tasted Sep 20, 2019
Expressive notes of fresh black cherries, plums, lead pencil and vanilla open to a round, plummy wine that will offer its ample charms fairly early in life. Form a blend of 58% Caberent Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this is first vintage showing the influence of Michel Rolland.
7,242 Views Tasted May 7, 2014
With scents of forest floor, cassis, tobacco, black raspberry and earth, this medium/full bodied wine ends with spice, fresh, dark berries and a slight drying sensation. Give it 3-5 years and it should add some nice complexity and softer textures.
7,775 Views Tasted Jan 26, 2012
Dark jammy berries, licorice, spice, earth and chocolate scents lead to a supple, round, ripe wine that finishes with ripe, black raspberry and jammy flavors. This should drink well early.
7,629 Views Tasted Jul 20, 2011
Spicy blackberry, cassis, earth and herbal scents, medium bodied and soft textured finish. This will drink well young.
3,430 Views Tasted May 25, 2012
Close to fully mature, the wine is medium bodied, soft, easy to drink, with light, red fruits, a touch of spice and dusty tannins in the finish.
4,409 Views Tasted Jun 23, 2017
Close to fully mature, the wine is medium bodied, soft, easy to drink, with light, red fruits, a touch of spice and dusty tannins in the finish.
4,251 Views Tasted Mar 30, 2017
At 10 years of age, this is turning out nicely. Medium bodied and showing secondary development with its tobacco, wet earth, cigar, thyme and black cherry character, there is good freshness to the fruit in the finish.
4,320 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
The first vintage consulted by Michel Rolland starts with a smoke filled perfume that includes stone, wet earth, cassis and spice. In the mouth the wine feels soft, with round tannins. Fresh, bright cassis and kirsch are found in the finish.
5,179 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
Espresso bean, stone, cassis, truffle make up the perfume. Round in texture, with spicy cassis and chocolate, fleshy and fresh for Phelan Segur, this delicious vintage of Phelan Segur already offers a lot early drinking charm.
7,518 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
With good color, scents of blackberries, wet earth,black cherries, stone and cassis, this medium/full bodied wine finishes with dollop of creme de cassis and blackberry jam. A few more years add more complexity to the wine, but as it's already starting to drink well at 6, do not expect this to make old bones. I'd finish any bottles you have by the time this Bordeaux wine hits its 18th birthday, if not sooner.
9,179 Views Tasted Jul 23, 2011
Leafy, forest aromas, with tobacco and dried fruit, the wine is medium bodied and a bit dry and dusty in the red berry finish. This is probably drinking at peak and requires consumption over the next 3-5 years.
4,462 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2015
Blackberry, stone and herb aromas open to medium bodied, lighter style of Phelan Segur. This is already drinking well and is on the fast track for evolution. I’d drink this over the next several years.
4,208 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
Light, soft, open and ready for prime time with its tobacco, earth and cassis character. This is not a wine for long term aging.
4,179 Views Tasted Dec 18, 2013
Minerality, fresh herbs, cedar wood and blackberry scents open to a fleshy, round, plum and black cherry finish. This is drinking well today.
4,790 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
Minerality, cedar wood and damp forest aromas, medium body and a an herbal, cherry tinged finish.
3,584 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
Ruby with lightening at the edges, earth, strawberry jam and cassis in nose, medium bodied with a touch of green in the cherry filled finish. This is probably close to fully mature. I’d opt for dinking over the in the moderate future to maintain the freshness and fruit.
3,033 Views Tasted May 7, 2012
Slightly past fully mature, this requires drinking. The fruit has started to fade. There is much more earth and tobacco going on here. The small amount of bright, red fruits in this medium bodied wine that are barely poking through are not enough to keep you interested.
4,446 Views Tasted Oct 9, 2016
This is probably just slightly ever so slightly past full maturity. So if you are sitting on any bottles, you should pop a cork to experience, the soft, textures, ripe dark, red fruits, cassis, tobacco, spice, smoke, wet earth, cedar and leaf like charms that are still present.
4,205 Views Tasted Dec 3, 2016