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Marquis de Calon
When a second wine is described by no other than Jed Dunnuk as “tasting more like a grand vin” and “being one for the hedonists” by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, then chances are you are in for a good thing. And Marquis de Calon by Calon Segur is most definitely a good thing.
An expression of terroir
The estate’s second wine describes itself as having “a different interpretation of the Calon terroir”. This means that the Bordeaux red blend is predominantly Merlot (up to 75% in some vintages), very different from the 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot blend that makes up Calon Segur proper. Yet, in accordance with French Philosophy that “wine should be an expression of the soil and climate”, Marquis de Calon manages to portray the very essence of the gravelly-clay soil. The result? A warm and velvety wine, that is as good for drinking as it is for storing.
Marquis de Calon more approachable than Calon-Segur
Marquis de Calon comes from good stock. It’s alma mater is of course the celebrated Château Calon-Ségur, a firm favourite among French wine buffs. Despite Calon-Ségur “only” being a third growth in the 1855 classification, it is considered one of the best in Bordeaux wines, with many believing it one of the best in the world. The first wine ages extremely well, and from an investment point of view, offer steady returns to the French wine collector. While the first wine is expensive, (market value is currently (Q4 2020) averaging around €1,161 per bottle), Marquis de Calon comes in at a much more reasonable €22 for the 2016 vintage, €19.50 for 2014s offering and €21 for 2012. These last prices are considered as fairly average for red wines from Saint-Estephe, and have not shown much movement over the past 12-months. However, indicators point that with Marquis de Calon’s easy drinkability, approachable price tag and famous sibling, demand will far outsrip supply in the future.
Sale of the century
Calon Segur’s sale to Suravenir, a large French insurance company in 2012 gave a much needed cash injection to the centuries old estate. Improvements have been steadily put into place over the last decade. This has so far included a restructuring of the vineyard, and the construction of a new vat-house and ageing cellar, including the addition of 30% new oak barrels. Superstar oenologist Éric Boissenot is also on board, and under his streerage he has allowed Calon Ségur, and by extension Le Marquis de Calon, to better express the secrets of its unique terroir.
Notable facts and vintages
  • Earning a very respectable 90/100 from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, and 16.5 from Jancis Robinson, the 2016 Marqui de Calon is considered one of the better years. Blended of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruity wine is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with a good core of layered black fruits and a perfumed finish.
  • The famous heart on the label is there for a reason. The property was once owned by Nicolas Alexandre, Marquis de Ségur, who also owned first growth Château Latour and Château Lafite (along with Mouton-Rothschild, Pontet-Canet, d’Armailhac and Montrose). “I make wine at Lafite and Latour” he says, “but my heart belongs to Calon”.
  • The wine has scored consistently well over the past decade, with scores averaging 90/100 on aggregate scoring. Average yield is 120,000 bottles per year. Internet searches for “Maquis de Calon Segur” amounted for almost 5% of all Bordeaux Blend Red from Saint-Estephe between October 2019 and July 2020, making it one of the most sought after wines in the region.