Farr Vintners Logo

Canon 2020

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

This is a great property that made fabulous wines in the past, but dipped in form during the 1990s 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 château 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 châteaux. 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. There is also a very good second wine called Croix Canon (not sold en primeur).

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Canon


Tasting Notes

The brilliant 2020 Canon looks set to surpass both the 2019 and 2016 as this estate's finest wine since the post-war period, though like many of the best 2020s, it will require more patience than its 2019 counterpart. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries and raspberries mingled with notions of exotic spices and iris, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with vibrant acids and beautifully polished, chalky tannins. Pure and precise, it concludes with a long, mouthwatering finish. This beautifully constructed wine communicates the essence of this superb limestone terroir, and it will be worth a special effort to track down and cellar. Drink 2030 - 2065.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, April 2023

The 2020 Canon is a wine of mind-blowing purity and nuance. It has been nothing less than thrilling on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. Intensely saline and chalky, the 2020 possesses spellbinding finesse and nuance. Red-toned fruit, crushed rocks, white pepper, rose petal and mint all come alive in the glass, buttressed by clean saline notes that extend the mid-palate into the finish. There is simply nothing like great Canon. And the 2020 is unquestionably a great Canon. 2030-2070

Antonio Galloni, February 2023

Stunning, grab-a-friend, insanely good wine. The structure and tannic grip manage to be both barely there and tightly controlling, giving form and space for the raspberry, blueberry and pomegrante fruits to crowd in the palate, followed by oyster shell salinity, pummice stone scrape and electic points of mandarin peel and lemon grass. Finished with pure no messing about juiciness. 50% new barrels, 3.53ph. Harvest 4 September to 23 September. 50% new oak, 40hl/ha yield. Thomas Duclos consultant, Nicolas Audebert director.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, February 2023

The 2020 Canon is composed of 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc. Deep purple-black colored, it leaps with gregarious notions of red currant jelly, fresh, crunchy plums, and wild blueberries, leading to suggestions of cedar chest, violets, clove oil, and licorice with a waft of truffles. The full-bodied palate is chock-full of vibrant black and red berry layers, supported by super-plush tannins and fantastic tension, finishing long and energetic. Gorgeous!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, March 2023

The 2020 Canon, bottled in May 2022, has an exquisite bouquet that stops you in your tracks. Breathtaking delineation and focus, taut and linear, yet with ample fruit, this unabashedly exudes its propitious terroir. The palate is delectably creamy on the entry with fine salinity, vibrant and tensile, with a very persistent finish. This Canon ranks amongst the finest overseen by the team in recent years. Chapeau. Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drink 2026-2065.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2023

Deep purple in colour. Tightly wound but enticing on the nose, supremely focused with notes of black cherry, violet and dark chocolate. The palate is similarly coiled but has deceptive power and intensity. The tannins are very refined but mouthcoating, cloaking the dark fruit with a gentle grip. Saline, tense and full of potential. This needs time, but the precision here is very exciting. Impressive.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, October 2023

Black cherries, fresh herbs, lemon rind, and violets on the nose. Crushed stone, too. Medium to full body with super fine tannins that run the length of the wine. It goes on for minutes. A great wine. Try after 2027, but already thoroughly gorgeous. A classical Canon.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2023

The 2020 is 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc that will be aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak. Deep ruby colour. Expansive and richly aromatic, with high tones of violets and plums giving way to milk chocolate, cream and swollen red cherries. The palate bursts through with great intensity but airy freshness. This is a vibrant, chalky and fleet-footed style. The silky, supremely refined tannins offer a cashmere texture that allows the core of red fruit to shine through. Floral accents pair superbly with toasted spices on the complex and long finish. An excellent 2020.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2021

Another brilliant Saint-Emilion, the 2020 Château Canon actually reminds me of the 2019 with its pure, elegant, yet concentrated profile. Based on 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc, it reveals a deep ruby hue as well as classic upper plateau notes of perfumed red and black fruits (black raspberries, darker cherries), wildflowers, graphite, and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a seamless, elegant mouthfeel, perfectly integrated tannins and acidity, and flawless overall balance. As with the 2019, it's not the blockbuster style of the 2015, but it’s lively, elegant, and pure class. It needs 7-8 years of bottle age to hit maturity and will have 2-3 decades of overall longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2023

68% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Refined and discreet. Delicately perfumed, berry-fruit aromas. Gentle attack then builds and persists, the tannins so fine as to be inconspicuous. No exaggeration but a depth and presence that reflects the potential. (JL)
Drink 2028 – 2045

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

(68% M, 32% CF; 40hl/ha; 14.5% ABV; 50% new)
Soft black-cherry ripe to smell; rich and powerful, vital, and fine in tannin; deep and rich and long and close-grained, clearly from a hot year and, as regularly recently, always with a touch of alcohol warmth, but an elegant, graceful, sweet-cored, fleshy wine, with an absolutely effortless tannin texture and great length to finish. The Right Bank year’s ample proportions, but with the plateau’s limestone grace and restraint. 2028–48+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
Read more tasting notes...

The 2020 Canon nailed it this year, the best since the benchmark 2015/2016 vintages. It has one of those bouquets that stops the clock thanks to its breathtaking delineation and focus, fragrant black cherries, bilberry, shucked oyster shell and crushed rock aromas. It is cool, calm and collected. The palate possesses exquisite definition, armed with simply crystalline red fruit matched with a perfect silver bead of acidity. There is tangible tension from the start and it fans out gloriously toward the pixelated finish. This brilliant Canon should offer 20–30 years of drinking pleasure, probably more. Chapeau! 2026 - 2055.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2021

Wow. This is really exceptional with super density of fruit that remains clear and agile. Blackberries, currants, violets and spice, as well as some chalk and salt. It really goes on for minutes. Best of the trilogy?

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2021

The 2020 Canon is a blend of 68% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc, aging for 18 months in French oak, 50% new. It weighs in with 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.53. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts from the glass with vivacious notes of Morello cherries, redcurrant jelly, wild blueberries and black raspberries, plus hints of powdered cinnamon, clove oil, star anise and dusty red soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is an exercise in grace, delivering exquisitely ripe, finely pixilated tannins and bold freshness to support the tight-knit black, red and blue fruit layers, finishing long with loads of exotic spices and mineral sparks. An exhilarating triumph!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, May 2021

This is intense, structured and concentrated yet with an abundance of violet and peony notes that curl up through the tannins, combining halfway through the palate with blueberry, raspberry, tobacco, gunsmoke and sculpted, precise pulses of chalk minerality. There is just so much to talk about with this wine, but the overall impression is of dozens of carefully crafted elements that steal up on you. It's hard not to be convinced by its success - and as ever with Canon you are in no doubt as to how well it will age. Gorgeous. 50% new barrels. 3.53pH. Harvest 4 September to 23 September. 50% new oak. A yield of 40hl/ha. Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points. 98-100.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021
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.