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 others were scooped up because it was considered a meager one in terms of quality … underripe, overly acidic, green. Tonight’s experience tells a different story. Now, 33 years after harvest, this “meager” wine proves the talent of Danielle Meunier and attests to the exceptional terroir of Haut Segottes.
The robe is still deep, not brilliant but lively all the same. The nose yields memories of damp, earthy cellars and the last flowers of autumn. In the mouth, the wine is elegant and graceful, still able to do a slow waltz on the dance floor of lips, tongue, palate, cheeks. And, it delivers its ultimate pleasure as it descends leaving a trail of ever-so-slightly dusty tannins, sensual and stimulating. By the way, If the alcohol level is even 12 percent, I would be surprised.
This wine is the true “old-style” Bordeaux, the quintessence of all that earned Bordeaux its place in the hierarchy of great wine regions. It stands in stark contrast to all the bloated, over-extracted caricatures that speak of today’s classified growth Bordeaux. The Haut Segottes 1980 is elemental, pure and quietly reveals its breed making a statement in this lean vintage of the glories of its tilt towards Cabernet Franc rather than Merlot and the worth of its vineyard placement within the lieux-dits of Fortin and Corbin, tucked into that corner not-too-distant from the greats of Figeac and Cheval Blanc.
NIR – 03 Sept 2013