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2015 Rauzan Segla

2015 Rauzan Segla

97-98 JS

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Critic Reviews

I underrated the 2015 Rauzan-Ségla on release. It’s a big, rich, incredibly sexy wine that’s certainly in the same ballpark as the 2016 (and 2018). Full-bodied, ripe, and concentrated, it has a wonderfully expansive, layered texture as well as an incredible sense of balance. Lots of cassis, leafy herbs, flowery incense, and tobacco notes all emerge from this beauty, which offers sweet tannins as well as a huge finish. This is magical stuff that’s going to keep for three decades or more. (Drink between 2019-2049)

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Rauzan-Ségla offers up an expressive nose of baked blackberries, kirsch, warm cassis and baked plums with hints of cigar box and tilled soil. Full-bodied, rich and expansive in the mouth, it has layer upon layer of bold red and black fruit preserves with earthy accents and a velvety texture, finishing long and lively.

The blend this year is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, harvested between September 10th and October 9th, at an average yield of 40 hectoliters per hectare. It was aged for 18 months in French oak, 65% new. The alcohol is 14%, and the pH is 3.7.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP
Extremely aromatic with dried flowers, perfumed and sandalwood and blackcurrants. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, a gorgeous core of ripe fruit and blackcurrants and blueberries. Racy and very long. So impressive. This needs four or five years to come around but already so fine.

James Suckling | 97 JS
The 2015 Rauzan-Ségla is every bit as impressive as it was from barrel. Rich, sumptuous and super-intense, the 2015 envelops the palate. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, licorice, leather, tobacco and menthol are all given an extra kick of richness in a dramatic, exceptionally beautiful Rauzan-Ségla that clearly swings for the fences. Although quite concentrated and sumptuous, the 2015 also retains considerable nuance. Readers lucky enough to own the 2015 can look forward to several decades of fine drinking. This is terrific effort from estate manager Nicolas Audebert, who wasted no time in sending a strong message about his ambitions in his first full-time vintage at Rauzan-Ségla. The 2015 is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.

Antonio Galloni | 96 AG
Dating back to 1661, Rauzan-Segla had under-performed for many years prior to its purchase in 1994 by Chanel owners, the Wertheimer family. With significant investment, the estate has regained its former glory. Highly successful in 2015, this is refined, elegant and precise with a bright red/black fruit character and lovely freshness on the palate. It will benefit from a few more years in bottle but undoubtedly has star-quality. (Drink between 2023-2045)

Decanter | 96 DEC
Structure is the watchword for this wine. With dark tannins and concentration, it obviously has long-term potential. At the same time, the black-currant fruits are ripe and full bodied, giving rich contrast to the tannins. These two elements will allow this wine to age. It will be ready to drink from 2025.

Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE
This takes a very fresh approach, with a seemingly open-knit feel to the mix of mulled raspberry and red currant fruit. Pretty lilac, incense and singed apple wood notes underscore the fruit, while silky but persistent tannins carry the finish. Delivers latent depth and precise balance, so don’t let this early charm fool you, as this should unfurl beautifully in the cellar. Best from 2022 through 2040.

Wine Spectator | 95 WS

Wine Details for 2015 Rauzan Segla

Type of Wine Bordeaux Red : Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend : The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.

Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.

For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.

Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Region Bordeaux : Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.

The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
Subregion Left Bank
Appellation Margaux
Cru Second Growth

Overview

Producer Chateau Rauzan Segla : At Chateau Rauzan Segla, each day is recognized as being unique. Nature and its whims will often shuffle the cards and there can be no expectations of what those cards may hold. Yet, the skills inherited from their forefathers and the learned human talent help to keep this Margaux, Second Growth estate on track.

The history of Rauzan Segla can be traced back to 1661, when Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan became the new owner of the Noble House of Gassies. He was already well versed in the Bordeaux wine world, being the manager of Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and owner of the vineyards that make up what we know today as Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron in Pauillac.

After his death in 1692, the property was divided between the sons, birthing the estates of Rauzan Segla and Rauzan Gassies. By the end of the 18th century, Rauzan Segla had become famous around the world. Thomas Jefferson, who was a major wine enthusiast at the time and would later become the third President of the United States, ordered ten cases of Rauzan Segla after visiting the Margaux appellation of Bordeaux in 1787. At that time, Jefferson declared that Rauzan Segla was truly at the top of the Second Growths.

Over the years, the Left Bank property has undergone extensive renovations, including a state-of-the-art winery and modernized cellars. The estate hired architects to design the renovations, sought professional consulting by Emile Peynaud, and engineered rigorous replanting of parcels in the vineyards. Each parcel was planted in perfect harmony between varietal and soil type.

Today, the focus is on the health of the vines, the intensity of flavor in the grapes, with a commitment to respecting nature. The entire vineyard is now organically farmed. The goal is to taste the grape, the terroir for which nurtures it and allow human talent to understand and respect nature, while remaining true to the heritage and style of wine for which Rauzan Segla is known. Each day brings either joy or hardship and all the hard work from the day prior can be ruined the next. The commitment to act with courage and allow nature to dictate the harvest, while human efforts work to make it successful.

The 74 hectares under vine dwell in a terroir of mostly gravel with clay soils, while the proximity to the Gironde Estuary allows a more temperate micro-climate which brings warmth to the vines during the harsh winters and cool breezes that cut the summer heat. The vineyard is planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. A second wine, Segla, is produced but is not offered as a future but sold once it is bottled. Between the flagship and the second wine, around 20,000 cases are produced annually.

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