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Chateau Rauzan-Segla LabelsChateau Rauzan - Segla

Chateau Rauzan - Segla

Location: Chateau Rauzan-Segla is in the commune of Margaux. Margaux is located in the Medoc on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary in Bordeaux.

Size: . There are 52 hectares under vines (128 acres). There are plans to slightly increase to 54 or 55 hectares by about 2010. Production is 8,000 cases per year of Chateau Rauzan-Segla out of a total estate production of about 15,000 cases of total wine.

Classification: Second Growth in the Medoc Classification of 1855.

Vineyard: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot The average age of the vines is about 30 years. The soil is a mixture of fine gravel and clay. The vines are planted to a density of 6,600 to 10,000 vines per hectare (2,670 to 4,050 per acre) depending on the variety and vineyard section. During the growing season, Chateau Rauzan-Segla regularly thins the foliage to allow better ripening of the fruit and also performs green harvesting. Green harvesting is a practice of going through the vineyards and cutting off some of the fruit clusters where there are too many present for the vine to bring them all to maturity.

Vinification: The grapes are harvested by hand as the law requires in Bordeaux. The grapes then go through a selection process on double sorting tables. This additional step is done to ensure that the grapes in the wine are of the highest level of quality. Fermentation and maceration take place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and last about 3 weeks depending on the vintage. During the period of fermentation, the wines in the tank are pumped over the cap (skins and grape pulp that have floated to the top of the tank) twice per day.

The wines are placed in oak barrels for 18 months of aging after fermentation. 50% to 60% of the barrels are replaced each year. The percentage of new barrels can vary slightly as the winemaker determines the amount of oak influence that is best for the particular vintage. The oak used by Chateau Rauzan-Segla comes from the Troncais forests of France. During the aging period, the wines are racked every 3 months to removes sediments. Once barrel aging is complete, the wines are fined with egg whites in the traditional manner before bottling.

History: The chateau takes its name from Pierre des Mesures de Rauzan who purchased it in 1661 and developed it into vineyards. The chateau remained in the family and maintained an excellent reputation until it was ravaged by phyloxera (as was all of Bordeaux) in the 1860s. It was accorded Second Growth status in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. In the original distribution of the 1855 Classification, Chateau Rauzan-Segla was listed 6th, just behind the four First Growths and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

Frederic Cruse, a very successful negociant, purchased Rauzan-Segla in 1903. He invested heavily and made many improvements. He is responsible for the building of the house and for the complete replanting of the vineyards and renovation of the facilities. The vineyards had never fully recovered from the damage caused by pholloxera until Cruse took ownership. During the period between 1957 when the Cruse family sold the chateau and the early 1980s, Chateau Rauzan-Segla was an underachiever and had several owners.

Since 1983, it has resumed its position as a premier producer and worthy of its rank. That was due to the involvement from that year by Jacques Theo who became involved with the chateau's operations and wine making. He brought in a new cellar master, built a new wine making facility (chai), and also made adjustments in all aspects of the wine production from vineyard, grape selection and barrel selection. Rauzan-Segla is owned by Château Rauzan-Ségla S.A. which is a subsidiary of the Chanel Group. This ownership change took place in 1994. This ownership has once again invested in the property and is keeping it in top shape.

The General Manager of Chateau Rauzan-Segla is John Kolasa. The winemaker is Henry de Ruffray and the vineyard manager is Jean-Claude Loubère.

Style: Chateau Rauzan-Segla makes wine that is big, multi layered and multidimensional. The wines often seem brawny and disconnected when very young but come together nicely with age. Violets, blackberry, cherry and cedar can be found in the nose and taste of the younger wines. As the wine ages, cassis and spicy overtones appear. These wines are very long lived and are usually at their best from 10 to 25 years after the vintage date if properly stored. The best vintages can last decades longer.

Food: Serve with full flavored foods when the wine is younger. Cuts of beef that are individually grilled and left a bit rarer than normal are a perfect choice if the wine is less than 15 years old. If the wine is more mature, serve it with lamb or beef that is cooked as a roast and not in individual servings. If serving beef, make it less rare than with a younger wine.

Second Wine:  Segla

Visits and Tours: Visitation to Chateau Rauzan-Segla is by appointment only. Tours can be arranged by contacting the Chateau via e-mail at (contact@rauzan-segla.com). Tours can be made Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to Noon and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The tours can be in French, English or Spanish.

This information was updated in March of 2008 with the assistance of Sandrine Begaud. She is the public relations manager of Chateau Rauzan-Segla. We greatly appreciate her help.

B.P. 56 - 33460 MARGAUX - FRANCE
Tel. : +33 (0) 557 88 82 10 - Fax : +33 (0) 557 88 34 54