My Article: A Few Thoughts on Rauzan-Ségla

June 23rd, 2011

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld designed a special label for the 2009 Bordeaux from the second growth Château Rauzan-Ségla to celebrate the estate’s 350th anniversary. I think it’s chilled and fun!

As strange as Lagerfeld is with his white hair, tight skin, dark glasses and stiff white shirt collars, he is a genius designer and creates beautiful lines for the Chanel fashion house. I am not sure he drinks wine though.

It doesn’t matter. I like the new label, which appears to be a simple drawing of the chateau in crayon and watercolor. And the cool pink capsule is fun too. Rauzan-Ségla’s 2009 is excellent. It’s balanced and refined with a beautiful purity of fruit. I rate it 95-96 points. I think that the 2010 is a step up in quality with more structure and even more purity. It’s a distinguished young wine – 97-98 points.

It’s fun to see Rauzan-Ségla letting its “hair down” a bit with the new one-off label after 350 years of tradition and a rather checkered history of winemaking. It was making great wines in the 1800s but proceeded to only make a few excellent years, if I remember correctly, in the 1900s, such as 1929, 1945, 1947, 1961, 1983, and 1990. It missed many excellent vintages due to poor winemaking and no investment in the property.

The Wertheimer family, owners of Chanel, bought Rauzan-Ségla in 1994 and invested millions in the property, from upgrading vineyards to renovating wineries and other buildings. (It bought St-Emilion’s Canon the year before, after failing to buy Latour.) And the quality of the wines from Rauzan has improved just about every year. It’s since 2000 that the wines have regained their 1800s glory.


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June 24, 2011

I love it and plan on buying a ton of bottles.....Really cool of them to go in a fun direction like this to celebrate 350 years...Just returned from visiting this Chateau in May and must say that both Chanel properties are very special.....


June 24, 2011

I was recently at a Rauzan-Segla tasting, hosted by John Kolasa. The '05 and '90 were the wines of the night. The '83 was outstanding with a lot of wonderful truffle qualities. John is passionate about what he does and a nice guy as well.

I look forward to the 2009! Thanks James.


June 24, 2011

I like Karl Lagerfield, I do not like this label.
Now it looks like a California wine.
There is something to be said for tradition?
Lagerfield, could of made a classy label for them,
this is not it.

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