Classification: Second Growth (1855)
Vineyard area in production: 70 hectares
Grape varieties: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Total annual production: 220,000 bottles
The history of Rauzan Segla dates back to 1661, when the Domaine was founded by Pierre Desmezures de Rauzan. At the time, Pierre was managing Chateau Margaux and remained with the First Growth for another two years before moving to Rauzan Segla full time. He also managed Latour for a period of time.
In 1994, fashion label Chanel bought the estate and hired John Kolasa to rebuild the Chateau’s reputation. In honour of the estate’s 350th anniversary and to celebrate the exceptional 2009 vintage, Karl Lagerfeld designed a unique coloured version of the label.
Following Kolasa’s retirement in 2014, Nicolas Audebert took over as Technical Director. The 2015 vintage was Audebert’s first solo wine at the estate. Neal Martin wrote in his tasting note that “winemaker Nicolas Audebert has conspired with the benevolent growing season to produce a benchmark wine for the estate” and awarded it 96-98 points.
Rauzan Segla also produces a second wine, named Segla. The wine is not sold En Primeur and is only available once in bottle. It accounts for roughly 55% of Rauzan Segla’s annual production, depending on the vintage.
The Rauzan Segla index – which tracks the price movements of the last ten physical vintages – is up 20.5% year-on-year. It has outperformed both the Bordeaux 500 and the Liv-ex 100 indices, which are up 14.6% and 14.2% respectively over the same period.
Over the past twelve months, Rauzan Segla’s best-performing vintages have been the 2006 and the recently physical 2014, up 42.9% and 40.5% respectively. The 2008 followed close behind with a 32.6% increase.
The 2007 was the only vintage to fall in value; it dropped 11.4%.
The chart below compares Rauzan Segla Market Prices to their Wine Advocate scores. There is a very clear difference in price between ‘on-vintages’ of Rauzan Segla – 2005, 2009 and 2010 – and those from ‘off’ years. These ‘on’ vintages are priced in the range of £920-£950, while all other physical vintages are below £650.
Buyers looking for value might consider the 2012 vintage (94 RP). It is currently trading at a discount of 39.8% to the lower-scored 2009.
The recently released 2015 and 2016 vintages sit between the ‘great’ and ‘off’ years in terms of price. Two impressive growing seasons, along with Nicolas Audebert’s takeover as Technical Director has pushed up the prices of the two vintages. This is in no small part the result of John Kolasa’s hard work over many years. Both wines were the highest-scoring of the last eleven vintages, perhaps marking a significant change in direction for the estate.
Rauzan Segla ranked 52nd in the 2016 Power 100, up 28 places from 80th place.