CHÂTEAU CANON

2017 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion

Grapes Merlot, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion
Classification 1er Grand Cru Classé
ABV 14%

77% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc. No frost. Some lovely plummy and black currant flavours on the nose. Smooth entry. The mouth feel is intriguing, tiny tannins, lots of weight and power, uplifting acidity that adds tension. The flavour is slightly muted but you can see where this wine is going. Hints of toasty oak, mineral stone and dark fruit. Showing all the right signs at this stage. Rating: 92 L&S (Apr 2018)

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The 2017 Canon was picked 4 to 21 September and 22 to 27 September for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc at 42hl/ha and matured in 56% new oak. There is 14.0° alcohol this year and the pH comes in at 3.66. This takes a little time to open, eventually revealing blackberry, briary, crushed stone and light iris scents. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and good backbone. Strangely, it reminds me a little of modern-day Figeac, that Cabernet component smaller here but very expressive with touches of graphite and flint towards the linear but beguilingly fresh finish. I like the manner in which the limestone shines through the wine here, something noticeable in recent vintages. Whilst not the sensational 2015 or 2016, it is a damn fine Saint-Émilion that will settle at the top of my banded score. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, vinous.com(May 2018)

The deep purple-black colored 2017 Canon offers-up intense notes of crushed blackberries, black cherries and warm cassis with touches of fertile loam, yeast extract, beef drippings and iron ore plus a waft of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied with great freshness and firm, rounded tannins, it's very earthy in the mouth, finishing long and mineral-laced. A very serious wine, it is also fun, bright and vivacious and should age impressively. Rating: 94-96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com(Apr 2018)

One of the gems in the vintage is the 2017 Château Canon, which checks in at 73% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. Sensational notes of black cherries, blueberries, liquid violets, awesome graphite, and scorched earth-like minerality all give way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, incredibly pure, yet masculine beauty that has building tannin, beautiful purity of fruit, and a great finish. It's not going to match the 2015 on sheer size and scale, but it's a sensational wine. It’s going to need 3-4 years of bottle age to be drinkable and will keep for two decades or more. Tasted twice. Rating: 94-97 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Apr 2018)

Deep crimson. Sweet dark plums and a touch of vanilla. Lovely pure black fruit that sings, if quietly for now. Silky and elegant. Refined and just slides over the palate to a very long finish. Subtle beauty. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2018)

Another successful year for Canon; not as voluptuous as in 2016 or 2015, but it has a wonderful salinity and a crisp, fresh curl to the fruit. They aim for crystalline flavours, vibrant fruit and a sense of forward motion, and for me it has that again this year. The flavours of blueberries, blackberries and soft, smoky almonds are drawn out through the palate, and by the time it has finished you are ready to go again. It has an austerity that is overridden by the juice, not quite overriding the vintage, but it's a delicious wine that again showcases the beauty of limestone. 50% new oak. Thomas Duclot is consultant here, and it really is a great year for the estates that he works with. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)

A very pretty, slightly high-pitched version, featuring sleek cherry, cassis and damson plum fruit racing through, picking up light savory and mineral notes. The minerality blooms through the finish, with a floral gilding adding a sparkly effect on the long, unencumbered finish. Rating: 93-96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2018)

This is very focused and fresh with limestone and crushed-stone character. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a salty finish. Shows lots of minerality already. Umami licorice undertones. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2018)

This has scents of black cherry and violets on the nose, showing a plush presence of fruit, wrapped in complex nuances of black bean, melted tar and liquorice, the whole exceptionally enticing. The palate feels very upright, expressive and correct thereafter, with plenty of fresh substance and a ripe seam of slightly chalky, limestone-influenced tannins, set in a medium body with a beautifully full and correct wrapping of cherry and toasted coffee-bean fruit. A full grip to it, but real balance and poise here, with evident energy and freshness in the definition. Overall this seems succulent and stylish, with lovely balance and fine future potential. Very good indeed. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2018)

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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