Canon la Gaffelière 2012

SubregionSt Emilion

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Tasting Notes

Proprietor Comtes von Neipperg has done an incredible job with this estate, turning things around from a vegetal, diluted and undernourished wine in the 1970s and 1980s to something that has gotten stronger and strong ever since 1988. The dense ruby/purple 2012 offers pure blackcurrant and black cherry fruit along with some notes of Christmas spices and earth. It is full-bodied and opulent, with light tannins in the finish. This is a beauty of impeccable balance, great purity and texture. Kudos to von Neipperg, who rarely ever seems to make a mistake. Anticipated maturity: now-2030. The final blend tips the scales at 13.5% from an equal-part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Drink: 2015 - 2030

Score: 93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

Exotic notes of Christmas fruitcake, cedar wood, cassis, espresso roast and chocolate soar from the glass of this sensual, impressively well-endowed 2012. Full-bodied with silky tannin and well-integrated wood, this beauty is a tribute to the impeccable viticulture and fermentation techniques of Neipperg and his head consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt. This wine will be drinkable upon release and should evolve for 15 years.

From brilliant proprietor Stephan von Neipperg, this nearly 50-acre vineyard on the foothills of the limestone plateau of St.-Emilion enjoyed low yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend consisted of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The natural alcohol is 13.5%, about average on the Right Bank in this vintage.

Score: 92/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

The Canon-la-Gaffeliere is an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc picked between 3rd and 11th October and aged in 80% new oak. It has a perfumed floral bouquet with creamy new oak, succulent dark cherry fruit and crème de cassis emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and then it just dips a little on the mid palate. It remains balanced with fine acidity and a subtle saline touch on the finish. Fine - this might improve further in barrel. Tasted April 2013.

Score: 91/93Neal Martin,, May 2013

Beautiful nose of strawberries, cherries and cedar notes. Shaved chocolate, too. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a juicy and fruity finish. Persistent on the palate. Drink from 2017.

Score: 93James Suckling,, February 2015

This is very intense with beautiful dried flowers and dark fruits and and lovely finish. Lovely depth too. Goes on for minutes. Medium-to-full body.

Score: 92/93James Suckling,, April 2013

50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc - more than usual. Deeply coloured with purple rim. Strong Cabernet Franc character comes through: really zesty fruit with graphite layers. Attractive combination of fruit and dark savour, with the oak showing firmly on the finish at the moment (80% new). But it is fresh too, the tannins fully ripe and compact but not heavy. (JH)

Score: 17Julia Harding MW,, April 2013

Stefan Von Neipperg's Canon la Gaffeliere was one of the first vineyards where winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt made his mark. Modern in style but not overblown or jammy. 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc. The vines here are old and the yield was only 28 hl/ha. An intense, smoky nose with cassis, strawberry and sweet cherry fruit. Creamy, toasty and smooth on the palate with soft tannins and a velvety texture. Rounded with a good, long finish. This is a fine, smooth and supple Saint Emilion.

Score: 15.5+Farr Vintners, March 2013

The fruit is ripe the palate has richness of flavour and sweetness with a mix of red and black fruits. Ripe tannins help the mid suppleness but under all the ripe fruit there is the freshness of red cherry and raspberry that gives a slightly lighter feel on the finish. 2017-26

Score: 89/92Derek Smedley MW, May 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.