June 5, 2020
2015 Is "The Year of Margaux" and the Region’s Finest Vintage Since 1983! Historic 2nd Growth Delivers Its Highest-Rated Release Since 1847. Wine of the Day: 2015 Château Rauzan Segla — Final Allocation Has Arrived with the Best Pricing for 48 Hours Only. (Just 10 Cases)
“When was the last vintage that Margaux showed what it could do? I guess it is 1983...Well, in 2015 I can finally claim that the appellation of Margaux produced some of the finest wines of the Left Bank and of Bordeaux as a whole…This is a brilliant Rauzan-Ségla…a benchmark wine for the estate….
“Rauzan-Ségla is a crucial Cru Classé within the Margaux appellation. For me, it occupies a sweet spot in terms of value: it can touch the quality of Château Margaux and Palmer and yet it remains affordable to most wine-lovers, a virtue too often lost within the pecuniary mindset of the Bordelais, where price is the barometer of success” - Neal Martin, Vinous
Many eyes are on the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign, but in this time of uncertainty, I find more comfort in offering a Bordeaux that I've tasted. Today's wine has arrived in IWM's cellars, and it has knocked me off my feet several times, from barrel to bottle. I couldn't agree more with this quote from Neal Martin about the quiet, historic rising star of Margaux, Château Rauzan Segla. For the next 48 hours, IWM is presenting a special six-pack offering of the highest-rated release from this historic Second-Growth estate since 1847. That’s right — there are reviews dating back more than 170 years before Parker for this prized château that's located just across from Palmer. With Nicolas Audebert building on the foundation formed by John Kolasa, Château Rauzan Segla is an estate to watch closely. Today's wine often commands $179 a bottle, and at $139.99 per bottle, the 2015 Chateau Rauzan Segla is among one of the great collector values from the ripe benchmark vintage. These last ten cases that have just arrived in New York and, part of a library release, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, we are including the critically acclaimed 2010.
If you are new to this sleeper estate, Rauzan Segla's history goes back more than 350 years, and when Thomas Jefferson visited Bordeaux in 1787, the château was already the top of the Second Growths, thanks to the initial efforts laid out by Pierre de Rauzan, the former manager of Château Margaux and Château Latour. Fast-forward to 1994 and 2015, and Chanel has taken ownership, Nicolas Audebert is the managing director, and the estate is making its finest wines since the Jefferson era. The 2015 and 2010 are easily among the greatest wines this château has ever produced. And while there is Margaux elegance at this historic address, there is also purity, precision, and persistence that separates these wines from other vintages and from their heavier-set, extracted neighbors down the road.
If you are looking for true value from the 2015 “Year of Margaux,” the deuxième vin, 2015 Segla should not be ignored. This second wine is one of Margaux’s best kept secrets, and you will not often find this bottling, a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Neal Martin said it best when he said, “On a budget? Thinking of a second wine? Look no further.”
Featured Wines: New Arrivals from the Fabled Second Growth from the “Year of Margaux” and Beyond
We can go on with superlatives and quotes from the media like Antonio Galloni, who said that “Bordeaux enjoyed its strongest vintage in a number of years in 2015. The warm, dry summer yielded opulent wines built on intense fruit and voluptuous textures. At their best, the 2015s are spectacularly rich, racy wines loaded with personality. Margaux and Saint-Julien are the clear winners on the Left Bank, followed by Pessac-Léognan.” However, we best appreciate the quote from Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux: “2015 has the strength of 2005, the charm of 2009, and the subtlety of 2010.” And if you enjoy the silky elegance that is often associated with the Margaux appellation, 2015 is certainly a vintage to look at. For this appellation, it can be fair to draw a hybrid comparison to 2005 and 2009 because there is great concentration and balancing pH. Margaux is the most consistent performing region in 2015 and offers quality at all price points, for 2015 is simply one of the region's greatest modern-day vintages. It's true that Château Margaux (100JS/100JD/100WE/100De) delivered a masterpiece that is one of the most sought-after collector wines of the critically acclaimed year. However, as Neal Martin has pointed out, there are others that demand attention and that begins with the historic Second Growth, 2015 Chateau Rauzan Segla (97JS/97WA/97NM/96VM).
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
2015 SEGLA BY RAUZAN SEGLA, MARGAUX
92 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2015 Segla is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and a "seasoning" of 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, representing just over half the total crop, matured in 25% new wood. It has a fragrant, very precise bouquet with mineral-rich, very pure blackberry, blueberry and cold flint-like aromas. There is wonderful tension here for a deuxième vin. The palate is medium-bodied with a juicy opening, just a tingle of spice on the tip of the tongue. There is very fine tension here, moderate weight but great persistence and sense of energy on the finish. On a budget? Thinking of a second wine? Look no further.”
2015 RAUZAN SEGLA, MARGAUX
97 Points, Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: “The 2015 Rauzan-Segla (Rausan-Segla) was a magnificent wine out of barrel, but what matters, of course, is how you and I find this Margaux in bottle. Well, it has a disarmingly beautiful, almost haunting bouquet with pure black fruit laced with cedar, orange blossom and violet aromas that blossom in the glass. I cannot recollect a Rauzan-Segla as delineated as this. The palate is medium-bodied but with ripe, quite bold tannin that lends this wine much more volume than in previous vintages. This just fills the mouth and satiates the senses. There is a fine line of acidity here and tints of black truffle. There is a wondrous mineral tension on the finish and yet this is a Margaux that is determined and succeeds in satiating all the senses...apart from sound. So put your favorite musician on and savor this exceptional wine over the coming years. A benchmark."
96 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “The 2015 Rauzan-Ségla is every bit as impressive as it was from barrel. Rich, sumptuous and super-intense, the 2015 envelops the palate. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, licorice, leather, tobacco and menthol are all given an extra kick of richness in a dramatic, exceptionally beautiful Rauzan-Ségla that clearly swings for the fences. Although quite concentrated and sumptuous, the 2015 also retains considerable nuance. Readers lucky enough to own the 2015 can look forward to several decades of fine drinking. This is a terrific effort from estate manager Nicolas Audebert, who wasted no time in sending a strong message about his ambitions in his first full-time vintage at Rauzan-Ségla. The 2015 is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.”
2010 RAUZAN SEGLA, MARGAUX
98 Points, Jeb Dunnuck:"A wine that could easily be mistaken for a First Growth, the 2010 Rauzan-Ségla is an incredibly powerful, full-bodied wine by this estate’s standards, yet it nevertheless holds onto a terrific sense of elegance as well as perfect balance. A huge nose of blackcurrants, smoked earth, tobacco, lead pencil, and spice give way to a concentrated, blockbuster styled Margaux that has thrilling depth of fruit, masses of ripe tannins, and great length and finesse on the finish. This brilliant wine is just now seemingly on the edge of its drink window and offers immense pleasure, yet it has another 30-40 years of life ahead of it. Along with the 2015 and 2016, it’s the greatest wine made at this estate in the past two decades.”
95 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous: “The 2010 Rauzan-Ségla is extraordinary deep, almost opaque in colour compared to the other vintages at this vertical. It was picked from September 23 to October 7. The bouquet is incredibly intense: potent blackberry and boysenberry fruit, a little richer than I recall, perhaps borrowing some of the luxuriance of the 2009 Rauzan-Ségla. With time, there are touches of pencil lead that become more conspicuous. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin and a fine line of acidity. This is the most masculine Rauzan-Ségla in recent years, a little drier and more serious. The palate is very closed at the moment, a Margaux with a large sign declaring that it is unwise to approach for another few years. Brooding and introspective, you can admire its balance and breeding, though it does not go out of its way to give pleasure at the moment, so I would recommend the previous vintage for that. Outstanding, but don’t touch for now. Tasted at the Rauzan-Ségla vertical at the château.”
2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Because IWM is the leading boutique wine merchant dedicated to the fine wines of Italy, enthusiasts often forget that we also represent the artisanal and fine wines of the world. And that same biodynamic or redefining spirit we love about Gravner in Fruili or Bodega Chacra in Patagonia, we appreciate in Alfred Tesseron’s game-changing Pontet Canet. The overachieving Fifth Growth of Pauillac, located in the fields of neighboring giants, marches to its own beat and sets a path for many to follow. But the real surprise was having Noe Tesseron drop by the store and let us taste the approachable 2010 alongside the 2016. Right from the pull of the cork, this wine grabbed us by nostrils and dragged us across the table. The transporting aromatics alone were well worth the price of admission, but on the palate, the wine explodes with cassis, black cherry, kirsch, graphite, cedar box and herbs.The wine has soul and is made with the same passion of our favorite Italian producers. The best wine I have tasted this year from Bordeaux.”
100 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate: "An absolutely amazing wine…blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It comes from one of the few biodynamic vineyards in Bordeaux, but you are likely to see many more, given the success that Tesseron seems to be having at all levels, both in his vineyards and in his fermentation/winemaking. An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience. It is very easy, to become jaded tasting such great wines from a great vintage, but it is really a privilege to taste something as amazing as this. This is a 50- to 75-year wine from one of the half-dozen or so most compulsive and obsessive proprietors in all of Bordeaux. Talk about an estate that is on top of its game! Pontet-Canet's 2010 is a more structured, tannic and restrained version of their most recent perfect wine, the 2009. Kudos to Pontet-Canet!"
2010 Chateau Léoville Poyferré
99 Points, Jeb Dunnuck: “Another massive, incredible release from this estate is the 2010 Léoville Poyferré. Based on 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and the balance Petit Verdot, its inky purple color is followed by a massive, full-bodied, incredibly concentrated 2010 that has awesome notes of pure crème de cassis, licorice, graphite, and spring flowers. As with the 2009, it has incredible depth of fruit, yet a slightly more focused, classic style, which is very much in the style of the 2010 vintage. With its new oak completely absorbed by its wealth of fruit, perfect balance, and sweet tannin, it’s a sensational, monumental effort to drink over the coming 3-4 decades.”
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