Château Rauzan Ségla
Classification: Second Growth (2ème Cru)
Château Rauzan Ségla was once part of a much larger estate alongside its sibling Château Rauzan Gassies created by Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan in 1661 (he was the manager of Château Margaux and also Château Latour). The Château lies on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary. By the end of the 18th century, the wines of Château Rauzan Ségla had acquired an outstanding reputation and were considered amongst the greatest crus; a belief endorsed by Thomas Jefferson, later President of the USA. He ordered 10 cases of Rauzan in 1790 and recorded the Château as the finest of the Second Growths.
The Bordealise still tell the story of Marquis Jean de Rauzan who was convinced that the Bordeaux shippers were underpaying him for his wine. He chartered a vessel, filled it with his best vintages and crossed the English Channel to London to sell directly from the ship. Finding no takers, he announced he would toss his wine into the Thames until buyers stepped forward. He dumped a cask over the side; then another, then two more. Finally, unable to bear the waste of good wine, the crowd began to buy and, it is reported, at the Marquis's price.
Château Rauzan Ségla's wines were indisputably acknowledged as second only to those of Château Margaux and in 1855 their excellent reputation was officially recognised when it was placed at the top of a short list of the finest Médoc Second Growths – number two, right after Château Mouton Rothschild. The Château has been owned by the Wertheimer Group, best known as the owners of the perfume Chanel, since 1994. The Wertheimer family installed a wine making team led by David Orr from Château Latour and John Kolasa. Their renovation of the Château has lead to a full renaissance of this great estate.
The 120 acres of vineyards sit on deep, fine gravel over layers of clay and the average age of the vines is 27 years – though certain plots are over 50 years old. The grapes are 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 41% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. After an existence of three and a half centuries, Château Rauzan Ségla has now gained all the required assets to remain true to its reputation.
Château Rauzan Ségla is making wine with an impact - big, multi layered and multidimensional. The wines are very long lived and are usually at their best from 10 to 25 years after the vintage date. The best vintages can last decades longer. A youthful Château Rauzan Ségla can seem brawny and disconnected but patience is a virtue and they mature into heavyweights. Violets, blackberry, cherry and cedar can be found in the nose and taste of the younger wines and as the wine ages, cassis and spicy overtones appear.
Owner: The Wertheimer Group (also owns Château Canon)
Château website: www.rauzan-segla.com
Oenologist: J Boissenot/J Kolasa