|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
This is a great property that made fabulous wines in the past, but dipped in form during the 1990's until the property was sold in 1996. Huge improvements and investments were then made - in vineyard and chai - by former manager John Kolasa and new owners Chanel. The Chateau itself has recently enjoyed a substantial make-over. It is now right back up there as one of the very best of all the Saint Emilion Chateaux. New director Nicolas Audebert came in from Krug via South America and had an amazing start to his career at Canon. His triumphant 100 point 2015 has been followed by a string of great vintages, yet release prices remain sensible. The vineyard is planted 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc.
Château Canon has been taking off over the past few years, and here you see why. Just so much complexity, depth, power, interest in the whole thing. This buzzes with life, rises above the palate, full of gunsmoke, truffle, raspberry, blueberry, so delicious. Needs time but already showing it will be worth the wait. 45hl/h, 3.5ph, Harvest September 11 to October 4, 50% new oak. Thomas Duclos consults
The 2019 Canon is a blend of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple, it offers subtle suggestions of redcurrants, Morello cherries, and fresh blackberries to begin, giving way to nuances of candied violets, star anise, wild sage, and cast-iron pan with a touch of wood smoke. Full-bodied, the palate delivers dense layers of black, blue, and red berries intertwined with earth and mineral accents, framed by firm yet velvety tannins and amazing tension, finishing with fantastic persistence.
The 2019 Canon has turned out brilliantly in bottle, wafting from the glass with complex aromas of raspberries and red plums mingled with notions of raw cocoa, dark chocolate, pencil shavings and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and multidimensional, it's one of the most refined, elegant right bank wines of the vintage, with a deep core of fruit, beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and a long, perfumed finish. This is a superb achievement for Nicolas Audebert and his team. Drink Date 2029 - 2065
74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby colour. The nose is highly aromatic and very complex already for such a young wine. Cherry blossom, violet, kirsch and roasted plum show a full array of ripeness to the fruit but there are too subtle notes from the oak - sweet vanilla, savoury cedar and something reminiscent of woody herbs. The palate is velveteen in structure, the tannins beautifully judged to offer a sleek background profile, propping up a generous core of fruit. Despite this, their persistence clearly demonstrates the potential for long-term ageing. Bright red cherry and wild flowers blend with luxuriant milk chocolate and darker notes of cassis. There is a graphite note throughout, keeping the sweeter elements in check. Intense and highly refined, this is another brilliant Canon that should have a long, open drinking window.
Blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate with bark, mushrooms and chalk. Lavender, too. Full-bodied with firm tannins that are polished and velvety. White pepper, gesso and crushed stone. It’s full-bodied and layered with tightness and focus and a long finish. It’s solid and stalwart, as usual. Reminds me of the very special 1955. One for the cellar. Give this until 2026 to see what it really has.
Tasted blind. This feels heavy in the glass. A bit more brutal and less sweet than some of its peers. Lots of chunky tannin. Quite extracted. Burly. 14.5%
Drink 2028– 2042
Nicolas Audebert told us that Canon 2019 tastes like a hypothetical blend of his already legendary 2015 and 2016 vintages. It has the charm, ripeness and softness of tannins of the 2015 with - at the same time - the juiciness, the blood, freshness and tension of the 2016. Two personalities in one bottle, but they are not fighting against each other - they just take the wine to a different level. Nicolas described Canon 2019 as a bomb and in his opinion it is best vintage that he has had produced in his five years at the Chateau. He describes it as being explosive, juicy, intense, with lots of density and volume but yet not losing, at any time, precision and freshness. The finish is long, mineral and very representative of the terroir. It’s very Canon. He likes the image of a kilo of feathers although, in the case of the 19, its many kilos! He says that there is a lot of wine here but it never lose the precision that he fights to achieve. Precision is his obsession while others look for power and structure. He likes the perfect definition of the tannins and the elegance of the balance. The challenge, he adds, is to go as far as he can in term of ripeness and density without losing the tension and that is what he feels he has achieved perfectly in 2019. He is convinced that Canon 2019 will become an iconic wine and the modern-day version of the famous 1955 produced here.
The blend in 2019 is 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, with 14.5% abv. The yield is a healthy 45hl/ha. The vatting period was extended to 30 days due to the quality of the tannins, to create a fuller structure. The wine will be aged in 50% new French oak for 18 months. Deep ruby colour with rich, slightly smoky red cherry fruit on the nose, layered with floral overtones and a hint of kirsch. Layered and fine, with subtle and integrated oak. The palate is multi-dimensional with initially fresh red fruits building sweetness and depth to reveal darker, riper cherries and forest fruit through the mid-palate. As always here, the tannins are ultra-refined, offering a round, creamy, cashmere texture. The Cabernet Franc adds herbal lift and a real graphite minerality that builds into a savoury and lightly smoky note on the finish. The predominant flavour that drives this however is still that pure, fresh red fruit. A fantastic and moreish, focused wine in 2019. Tasted in Bordeaux.
The 2019 Château Canon is another brilliant wine from this talented team that delivers everything you could want from this incredible terroir located on the upper limestone plateau. Based on 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, it has a pure, incredibly refined, yet still powerful profile that takes time to unwind. Offering up beautiful notes of black raspberries, wild strawberries, spring flowers, chalky minerality, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, multi-dimensional mouthfeel, ultra-fine tannins, and a finish that's something to behold. This isn't the massive style of the 2015 and reminds me slightly of the 2016. It's perfectly balanced and, again, the purity and finesse are off the charts. It needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and enjoyed over the following 2-3 decades. Hats off to Nicolas Audebert for another sensational wine.
74% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc. Barrel sample.
Refined, perfumed nose. Vibrant, juicy fruit with fine texture and tannins. Palate-cleansing finish. Total harmony. Another strong effort from this estate. (JL)
Drink 2027 – 2045
Sleek, elegant and appealing even before you get your nose near the glass. Aromatically it is deep and rich, and then it revs up and takes off. Dense, compact and intense, zingy limestone vibrancy and grip. Winemakers say they are looking for balance all the time, but here you feel it, with tiny pulses of electricity that appear from beginning to end of the palate. Salinity on the finish with gunsmoke and extremely moreish blueberry and blackberry fruit, with a creamy texture as things open up. 50% new oak. Thomas Duclos consults. Drinking Window 2028 - 2050