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Clos Petit-Corbin, Saint-Émilion Grand CruBordeaux, France 2018 (750mL)

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Clos Petit-Corbin, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Bordeaux, France 2018 (750mL)

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We nearly scratched our heads bald trying to figure out what this mystery red was last year and later discovered that it was the long-overdue US debut of Château Haut-Segottes’ second label. The authentic, time-honored wines from this venerated château have always provided some of the greatest pound-for-pound value in Bordeaux, but this “sub rosa” second label takes it to another level: It’s a small-batch, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru for just $39! 


Today’s highly limited 2018 marks their second US release and it’s a hedonistic bombshell, so I caution those seeking to be rewarded with savory, nuanced complexity right out of the gates. But, for anyone willing to employ a bit of patience, this is a bonafide deal. If you give this lush, “primary” Right Bank Merlot time to integrate and evolve in your cellar for six additional months, you’ll be handsomely rewarded, and if you uncork one every six months after that, you’ll be floating well beyond cloud nine by 2023. I cannot stress this enough: I’ve tasted just two vintages of Clos Petit-Corbin, but I already count it as one of my all-time favorite values in Saint-Émilion. It should be a required bucket list item for those who share my obsession with handmade, terroir-driven, Grand Cru reds. 




The contemporary mythology of Bordeaux often focuses on ‘garagiste’ winemakers and/or “vintage(s) of the century.” Still, the more we explore the heavily hyped new wines of Bordeaux, the more we find ourselves returning to the same proven short list of small family properties who have consistently delivered the goods for generations. Danielle Meunier and her tiny Château Haut-Segottes have consistently lurked near the top. Fabled Saint-Émilion Grand Cru real estate, which produces a singular wine of extraordinary quality and unbeatable value—what more could a Bordeaux lover want?


Danielle Meunier works the same modest farmstead her family has owned in Saint-Émilion since the early 1800s. She has a bold and direct manner, and the philosophy behind her property is similarly straightforward. Château Haut-Segottes is essentially a one-woman show with winemaking done in the basement and all grapes grown in the “backyard.” Of course, this is no ordinary backyard—the property is within a designated Grand Cru and its vineyard holdings practically neighbor Château Cheval Blanc. 


Danielle’s reds rely on the classic Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation marriage of Cabernet Franc and Merlot—except for Clos Petit-Corbin. With this, she focuses all of her energy into the supple Merlot grape and avoids any new oak during the élevage. Fermentation occurs slowly in steel tanks, followed by 18 patient months of aging in small oak barrels (with a small portion remaining in stainless steel) before bottling by hand without filtration. This simple, defiantly old-school approach produces wines that faithfully telegraph Bordeaux’s golden age. 


Today’s 2018 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru is an unapologetically lush, fruit-forward tour de force that oozes black cherry and raspberry liqueurs. It’s liquified opulence right now, and while that’s certainly going to appeal to many drinkers, the savory beginnings of this wine won’t emerge for another 2-3 years. If enjoying a bottle right now (absolutely nothing wrong with that), allow 30 minutes in a decanter and serve it in Bordeaux stems. There are no angles or harsh tannins here—it’s 100% Merlot from the generous 2018 vintage—instead, you’ll find plush layers of berry liqueur, plum, licorice, and boysenberry alongside delicate hints of cigar wrapper, iron, bay leaf, and spice. The palate is full, ample, and gracefully juicy, with the slightest rustic edge that gives Bordeaux its unique identity. As mentioned, the true fireworks won’t emerge for a few years’ time but there’s still one heck of a show to be had right now. Enjoy!






Clos Petit-Corbin, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Bordeaux, France 2018 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionSaint-Émilion Grand Cru
  • SoilSandy Clay & Iron
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendMerlot
  • Alcohol14%
  • OakNeutral French
  • Service Temp.60-65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkNow-2030+
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingBraised Short Ribs

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionSaint-Émilion Grand Cru
  • SoilSandy Clay & Iron
  • FarmingPracticing Organic
  • BlendMerlot
  • Alcohol14%
  • OakNeutral French
  • Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2030+
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingBraised Short Ribs