Château-Canon

Château Canon

France, Bordeaux

Atop the limestone plateau of St Emilion, and just west of the village, is Château Canon. Originally named Clos St Martin, the vineyard was bought by privateer and naval man Jacques Kanon in 1760. He expanded the vineyard beyond the original clos walls and built the château, but sold up after 10 years of tenure to the Fontémoing family. At some point, they also owned Château Canon in Fronsac which may account for the current name for the St Emilion estate, but it is more likely named for the dashing Jacques Kanon – either way, the owners of the Fronsac estate were not best pleased when Clos St Martin morphed into Château Canon in 1853. For most of the 20th Century, Château Canon was owned by the Fournier family but their tenure was one of gradual and sad decline. In 1996, they sold up to Alain and Gerard Wertheimer who had not long purchased Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux. Fortunately, the Wertheimers, owners of Chanel, had the wherewithal to attend to Canon’s many problems. A long term programme of complete replanting of the vineyards was started and the winery was completely renewed. The vineyard area has been expanded by the purchase of a couple of near-by plots. The, now, 34ha are planted with 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. Opinions on Château Canon’s wines can be mixed, although tasters views may be tainted by memories of disappointing wines from the recent past. There is little denying that quality has improved considerably under the Wertheimers. In the 1996 St Emilion classification, Château Canon was granted Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) status, something re-affirmed by the 2006 and 2012 revisions. The second wine of Château Canon, first produced in 2000, was Clos Canon but will be known as Croix Canon from the 2011 vintage.