2012 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion

Grapes Cab Franc, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Right Bank
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion
Classification 1er Grand Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Pretty nose - quite bright and lifted for these parts. Then some good gloss and nice weight, more on the stewy cherry style of fruit, quite intense and tightens up a little on the firmish finish. L&S (Apr 2013)

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The 2012 Canon just misses a little delineation on the nose, smudged red berry fruit, desiccated orange peel, camphor and fresh figs. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded tannins, a generous dab of white pepper sprinkled over the red fruit, clove and sage towards the balanced and focused finish. Perhaps just compromised by the aromatics at the moment, but I might leave this in bottle to see how it evolves. Tasted twice at Bordeaux Index's Ten Year-On tasting and blind at the Southwold Ten-Year On tasting. Drinking range: 2023 - 2035 Rating: 92 Neal Martin, (Sep 2022)

Majoring on saffron and tobacco leaf aromatics, this has a delicate delivery of minerality and power, a tightrope balance of soft leather, strawberry and rasberry, with layers of mandarin peel and white pepper spice. Lace-like delicacy to the tannins, enjoyable and ready to drink. 80% new oak, 35hl/h yield, 3.66ph. Harvest October 3 to 15. John Kolasa was director of both Canon and Rauzan Ségla for this vintage. Rating: 92 Jane Anson, (Mar 2022)

Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Serious meat-extract nose. Interesting top notes. A really complex wine (and there aren’t many 2012s you could think this of). Long and layered with great balance. This stands out. Luscious texture. VGV (relatively). Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Mar 2022)

Château Canon

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.

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