Made head of the estate in 2013, Laurent Dufau is an exceptional, fine connoisseur of classified growth wines. Born and bred in the Médoc and the grandson of a vine-grower, he has a perfect understanding of the wine world’s inner workings and rules and has built up a relationship with the Bordeaux négociant market of hopefully mutual trust that has borne its fruit. Vincent Millet had cut short his science studies to take up oenology -his true passion.
Since 2006, he has been Calon Ségur’s estate manager, undertaking painstaking work geared towards long-term objectives, both in the vines and in the vat room and cellars, guided by his innate search for excellence and sense of rigour.
Both Laurent and Vincent took very little time to make their mark. Under their leadership, and with the close collaboration today of a 50-strong team working all year round at the estate, an ambitious vineyard restructuring programme has been undertaken. This will continue through till 2032 and will enable the Cabernet Sauvignon, the backbone of Calon Ségur, to eventually make up 70% of the vineyard.
This multi-dimensional, long-term project has perhaps also been made possible through our belief as owners in working for the long-term. Throughout their history, and at each stage of their development, the Arkéa group and its Suravenir subsidiary, which owns the property, have invested in long-term projects and cultivated a special relationship with time, which has made them into “patient investors”.
This particular way of working, which differs from certain economic models, resonates with a very special chord in the wine world, in which only time and its work enable the subtlety and richness of a terroir to shine through. After a period of almost six years of works, the estate will now open its doors to the world’s wine professionals. Wine lovers will be able to come and discover the three wines of the estate, each of which has its own individual personality.
Château Calon Ségur, the grand vin, is a mirror image of the estate. Rare and moving to taste, it embodies that delicate balance between gentleness and intensity. It concentrates all our attention.
Ready to drink sooner, the Marquis de Calon Ségur, the estate’s second wine, offers more immediate enjoyment and a silky mouth-feel, while at the same time recalling its illustrious superior.
The third wine, Le Saint-Estèphe de Calon Ségur, is mostly produced from the estate’s young vines and shows a fresh, fruity and dynamic character.
The family resemblance in these three wines is clear when tasting them on the palate, and it is articulated in a new set of labels redesigned in 2013. Displaying a variety of graphics that mirror the individual style of the wines, each of the labels now bears a heart. This heart, which has been the symbol of the Calon Ségur estate since the 18th century, echoes the famous words of the Marquis de Ségur, who said that he “made wine at Lafite and Latour” but considered “his heart was at Calon”.
This historic link between the heart and Calon takes on a special meaning for a Finistère man like me. In the Breton language, heart is “kalon”.