Phélan Ségur is regarded as one of the finest estates in the Saint-Estèphe region, despite being omitted from the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The Chateau’s history dates back to 18th Century, when a young Irish wine merchant Bernard O’Phelan arrived in Bordeaux from his home town of Tipperary. After marrying into the renowned Guestier family, he purchased the Saint-Estèphe properties Clos de Garramey and Ségur de Cabanac in 1805 and 1810, creating Château Ségur de Garramey and built the Palladian Chateau which remains there today. In 1841, this vast Estate was passed on to Bernard’s son Frank. The latter dedicated his life to developing the family business and improving the quality of the wines. Moreover, he became mayor of Saint-Estèphe and remained in that post for thirty years. The property took on its current name at the start of the 20th century. Following a century of ownership by the Delon family of Léoville-Las-Cases fame, in 1985 Phélan Ségur was bought by Xavier Gardiner, the owner of Lanson and Pommery Champagne houses. In August 2017, Chateau Phélan Ségur was sold to a Belgian investor, Philippe Van de Vyvere, for more than 90 million Euros, a record setting price for a Crus Bourgeois.
The Chateau’s 70 hectares of vineyards are well-sited near the Gironde estuary, bordered by holdings of Château Montrose and Château Calon-Ségur. The soil here is made up of a thick layer of gravel deposited by the river a few hundred thousand years ago. The pebbles and the gravels coated with clay sands shape the rolling landscape of a large part of Saint-Estèphe.
The grapes are harvested manually and are initially sorted using a vibrating sorting tables before an advanced optical sorting machine makes the final selection. 39 tanks allow the fermentation of fruit according to different vineyard parcels. The grand vin is aged for around 12 months in French oak barriques, with new wood never exceeding 50 percent.
Chateau Phélan Ségur vin is typically composed of 50-65% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder made up from Merlot, as well as small proportions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It is a classic St. Estèphe, meaty and powerful, displaying the purity of fruit, an accurate structure, and a natural freshness. It is typically capable of ageing for decades, developing complex aromas of spices and leather with the time.