Classification: Third Growth
Vineyard area: 95 hectares
Average annual production: 240,000 bottles
Standard blend: Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Merlot (30%)
Other wines: Marquis de Calon (2nd wine, 40,000 bottles p/a)
Chateau Calon Segur dates back to the twelfth century, when the estate sat in the Calones area of St Estephe; a ‘calon’ was a small river skiff once used to ferry timber in the Gironde estuary. It was originally one of three vineyards in Saint-Estephe and was owned by Monseignour de Calon, a Bishop in the community. Eventually the property came in to the hands of Marquis Nicolas de Ségur: the ‘Prince of Vines’, and owner of Lafite and Latour. The Marquis’ famous 18th century proclamation – “I make my wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is in Calon” – is eternalised in the trademark heart motif on the wine’s label.
From the late 1890s until recently the chateau was owned by the Gasqueton family. Madame Denise Capbern Gasqueton died in September 2011, and the estate was sold to the French insurance firm Suravenir in June 2012. Petrus owner Jean-Francois Moueix was also confirmed as a minority shareholder in the purchase, prompting speculation that prices for Calon would rise.
Calon climbingAs shown in the chart below, Calon Segur was outperforming its parent index (the Left Bank 200) even before the late June 2012 sale, and was already showing a one-year growth of 8.1%. Fuelled by expectations that prices for future vintages would rise under the new owners, prices for back vintages then leapt. While the Left Bank 200 has flat-lined for the last 18 months, and the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 has dipped, Calon has climbed. Over a two year period it has risen 20.2%.
Since its sale, Calon's recent vintages have seen solid price rises. The 2004 has risen 47.1% and the 2007 is up 32.6%. Yet with many recent vintages available for under £600 per 12x75, Calon remains relatively affordable. The 2008 has scores of 93/100 from James Suckling and 17.5/20 from Jancis Robinson, and is described as ‘full and dense, […] superb for the appellation’ by the former. With a market price of £510 per 12x75, it looks good value.