I’m traveling to France this year via Qatar, and flying Qatar Airways on Business class. Their amazing wine list on the in flight menu had a Bordeaux wine just screaming to be tasted!
This Haut-Médoc wine takes its name from the commune of Saint-Estèphe, the northernmost of the six communal appellations in Médoc. Since 2003 Château Phélan Ségur has been listed as one of the nine Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels. This wine is an 8 year old Bordeaux, with a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.
I chose to pair it with an in flight meal choice of lamb shanks and cheese for dessert. First off I had to try the wine up front without any food influencing the taste.
After a refreshing sparkling water, I took in the bouquet of a glass left sitting for 10mins and got an intense chocolate, cigar and tobacco highlight. This no doubt comes from the Cabernet Franc blended into this release. A second smell and I’m getting earthy boquet with hints of mint. A very complex nose!
Tasting this wine is a smooth almost dry/chalky sensation, however the smoothness of this wine is so apparent that one could drink this all day. Bitter chocolate and plum stand out as the main flavours, no doubt due to the merlot content.
Trying the qatar in flight lamb shank makes the palate much lighter and makes me think of a younger Shiraz. It’s amazing how matching this with a red meat changes the flavour of this left bank Bordeaux.
Moving on to the cheese, I had a platter of three cheeses as part of the in flight offerings. Blue, Brie and a semi hard cheese. The wine is overpowered by blue cheese and does nothing but intensify the moldy taste of the blue. I wouldn’t recommend to drink this with blue cheese.
Combining it with the Brie, and it makes for an acidic palate. Not really matching with soft cheeses. However the semi-hard cheese is much better. It highlights the original smoothness experienced when tasting this wine on it’s own. The fattiness of the cheese cuts through the previously experienced dryness of this wine on it’s own. The combination of the semi-hard cheese and this Bordeaux is recommended.
This wine would stand up in it’s own, match perfectly with red meat – particularly game (or even duck!) or go as a perfect accompaniment for a selection of hard and semi hard cheeses.
A great wine, and a very enjoyable tasting session was had with this single glass of Château Phélan Ségur. This 2006 vintage is perfectly placed to drink now, but will improve over another few years out to 2018.