Canon 2019

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Emilion
ColourRed
TypeStill

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.


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Tasting Notes

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.

Score: 18Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, May 2020

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

Score: 98Jane Anson, Decanter.com, June 2020

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

Score: 17.5+James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2020

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.

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