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Chateau Haut-Segottes, St Emilion Grand Cru 2012
Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2012 Chateau Haut-Segottes Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is garnet at the rim with an opaque crimson core. This vintage enjoys a touch more body than usual with layers of vivid blackberry, currant and plum fruits and as is typical for 2012, assertive youthful tannins provide a nicely delineated frame for the whole picture. Aromatically, Haut-Segottes is always a chameleon: currants and cedar one moment, pipe tobacco, violets and black truffles the next, then wet stone and graphite but in 2012, those aromas are a touch more raw and primal. We like this vintage's less restrained expression of Meunier's classic Saint Emilion and think it makes the wine especially enjoyable to drink at a younger age. When I first checked in on this wine in 2016, it needed 45 minutes in a decanter to really show its stuff. Now, it's bursting out of the gate as soon as the cork is pulled. Still, please decant the wine and enjoy slowly if you want to maximize the experience.
Château Haut-Segottes is essentially a one-woman show with winemaking done in the basement and all grapes grown in the “backyard.” Of course, this is no ordinary backyard—the property is within a designated Grand Cru and a mere 300 meters from Saint-Émilion's most famous estate, Château Cheval Blanc (MSRP ~$1,300 per bottle). This, Danielle’s only wine bottled under the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation, is predominantly Cabernet Franc, with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fermentation occurs in steel tank, followed by 18 months in small oak barrels (20% new) and bottling without filtration. This simple, old-school approach produces wines that are coarse in their youth, but blossom after a few years in the cellar.
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