Canon la Gaffelière 2017

SubregionSt Emilion

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.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Canon-la-Gaffelière was picked 18 September to 10 October at 16hl/ha, matured in 55% new oak. It has a fairly straightforward bouquet with high-toned black cherry and cassis fruit, the second-generation fruit lending freshness, though it does not have the complexity or depth of a great Canon-la-Gaffelière and there are a number of those in recent years. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, fleshy in the mouth and well balanced with notes of raspberry preserve, blackberry and light tea-leaves; smoky notes emerging towards the finish. This was sampled several times during my tastings, the final two showings undoubtedly superior. Yet despite the Herculean efforts I still feel that the second-generation fruit discombobulates what could have been a better wine. It should still offer a decade’s worth of drinking pleasure and in any case, it will be fascinating to see how it evolves. Drink 2021-2034.

Score: 87/89Neal Martin,, May 2018

Composed of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Canon la Gaffeliere contains a large part of second-generation fruit because 65% of the crop was affected by frost. Deep garnet-purple in color, it has pronounced crème de cassis, blueberry pie, red currants and red plums notes with touches of Chinese five spice, fragrant earth, tapenade and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with nice firm tannins giving a sturdy frame along with plenty of freshness supporting great mid-palate density, finishing long and earthy.

Score: 91/93+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

A linear, tight red with currant and fresh-herb aromas and flavors. Medium body. Fine tannins and a bright finish. Clean and lively. Drink in 2021 and onwards.

Score: 93James Suckling,, January 2020

This is really excellent for the vintage with wonderful density of fruit in terms of plum liqueur and creme de cassis. The palate’s plush but velvety with round tannins and a long finish. Should drink fabulously when young. So generous but silky and dialed-in.

Score: 94/95James Suckling,, April 2018

The 2017 Canon La Gaffelière is superb. Compelling in its aromatics and overall balance, the 2017 has so much to offer. All the elements simply fall into place. As is the case with all of Stephan von Neipperg's wines, the 2017 is wonderfully fresh and nuanced, with less muscle than in the past and noticeably more finesse. Bright floral and mocha notes add lift to the dark red stone fruits. What a gorgeous wine this is. Tasted two times.

Score: 92/95Antonio Galloni,, May 2018

Pretty similar dark crimson to the 2016. Very sweet start, and polished tannins. Not trying to be a blockbuster. This will be an extremely satisfactory lunchtime claret. Fast maturing. Good balance.
Drink 2022-2030

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW,, May 2018

Very dark, black core. Lightly minty black fruit, suggesting ripeness, and a touch of oak char. Sweet and juicy on the palate, surprisingly light overall but harmonious and mouth-wateringly fresh.
Drink 2023-2030

Score: 16.5Julia Harding MW,, April 2018

Dark plum in colour, with some tight dark chocolate and tar. It's tightly extracted and has a silky texture and tons of impact, but a lot of the weight comes from its non-fruit elements. It stays true to its signature, which is to be applauded, but the oak notes are extremely dominant. Certified organic since 2014.
Drinking Window 2025 - 2038

Score: 90Jane Anson,, April 2018

The harvest took place between 18th September and 10th October. 65% production was affected by frost. Smoky, rich and wild, this is a nose I have not yet encountered this year and there is dense concentration here with swarming tannins throughout the palate. Very mouth-watering and combative with powdery astringency in every molecule, this is a tough wine and it struggling to gain control of itself. The oak is fairly strong and this manages to add another layer of difficulty to the game.

Score: 17.5+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

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.