We have never encountered a more meticulous wine producer. Madame Meunier’s cave is impeccably organized and clean as the proverbial “whistle”. The vineyards are tended with the utmost of care by Madame Meunier and her long-serving trio of master “gardeners”. Her obsession with, and dedication to her vineyards, enables Madame Meunier’s Haut Ségottes to produce exceptional quality year-in and year-out despite the vagaries of the weather. The wines of this estate capture the essence of the artisanal craftsperson.
|Chateau Haut-Ségottes Saint Emilion Grand Cru: Tradition reigns at Haut-Ségottes. Harvest is manual. Fermentation takes place in cuve. Wines are rotated into barrel for an “elevage” of approximately 18 months. Approximately 20% of the barrels are new. Wines are bottled unfiltered. Although the majority of the vineyards are planted to Merlot (see above), the ultimate cuvée bottled as Chateau Haut Segottes Saint Emilion Grand Cru features a majority of Cabernet Franc. This dominance of Cabernet Franc (frequently on the order of 65%) produces a wine of considerable structure and is exceptionally age-worthy. We purchase 10,000 bottles per annum for sale in the USA.|
|Chateau Haut-Ségottes Saint-Émilion Grand Cru “La Dame”: A new, special cuvée from Haut-Segottes, (first produced in 2015), “La Dame” is made from a selection of their very best grapes from the excellently situated “lieu-dits” of Fortin (across from La Dominique and 300 meters from Cheval Blanc). Composed of their typical, roughly 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the wine is fermented and aged in barrel (100 % new) for 18 months before being bottled. This cuvée has an extra degree of concentration and richness compared to the more delicate style of their classic Saint-Émilion. This wine is formidable and structured, ideally built for some cellaring, and will reward those who have the patience to set some aside. It is very limited; less than 3000 bottles were produced from this vaunted vintage.|
|2016 Clos Petit-Corbin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru: The estate’s second wine provides a supple, beguiling counterpoint to the flagship cuvée’s muscular classicism. Comprised entirely of Merlot—partly from a one-hectare plot in the dark-sand soils of Corbin, and partly from a hectare in Fortin—Clos Petit-Corbin displays the sheer elegance the variety can achieve in this appellation. Florent and Danielle employ no new wood here, and a small portion of the wine remains in tank during the élévage, thereby further emphasizing its purity and drinkability. What strikes the drinker about this wine is its sense of grace: this is not Merlot forced into some caricature of voluptuousness or gym-pumped into an awkward imitation of Cabernet; rather, it revels comfortably in its lip-smacking red-fruited prettiness. It’s the kind of wine that can only be produced here, and only by growers who are able to fully trust noble Merlot to be its truest self.|
We at Rosenthal Wine Merchant take great pride in the portfolio of small-grower Bordeaux we’ve assembled over the years. The inception of the company aligns closely with a drastic shift in the region toward modern technology and blockbuster-styled wines, but we have always sought vignerons here who prize balance and classicism over showiness. And it all began with Château Haut-Segottes… In 1980, at the very outset of his importing career, Neal made the acquaintance of Danielle Meunier, proprietor of this nine-hectare estate in the heart of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation.
We are drinking the last bottle in the cellar of 1980 Haut Segottes. It is magic! This wine stretches the bounds of believability: 36 years since the harvest in a vintage that is considered one of the least ripe in memory; yet, this wine is fine, elegant, still fresh with a silky texture, savory, actually
On November 23, 2013 Neal wrote: “Just wrapped up a lovely morning in Saint Emilion and am now on the train from Libourne to Bordeaux (to catch a connection to Montpellier this afternoon). I was delighted by what I tasted at both Haut Segottes and Belregard Figeac. First of all, I am happy to report
As you can see from the attached photo, we drank a bottle of 1980 Chateau Haut Segottes (Saturday Aug 31, 2013), one of the few older vintages that remain in stock from the collection that we purchased from Mme Meunier, the proprietor, several years ago. Of course, this vintage was left behind in our stock while
So, over the past several evenings, we have drunk Haut Segottes ’06 and Jaugaret ’04, an experience that stimulates a few thoughts about the two wines specifically and our Bordeaux selection in general. First, it becomes obvious after consuming these two wines that our work in Bordeaux is every bit as profound and important as