An intriguing blend of nearly 50% Merlot, a whopping 35% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon (a somewhat unusual combination for this region), the 2009 reminds me of the 1990. A big, inky/purple-tinged wine with just over 14% natural alcohol, it exhibits exotic, flamboyant aromas of espresso roast, incense, sweet black cherries, black currants, licorice, asphalt, barbecue smoke, Christmas fruitcake and herbs. Full-bodied with silky tannins, luscious fruit, a hedonistic yet complex personality, low acidity, noticeable tannin and enviable purity, this head-turning beauty can be enjoyed over the next 15-20 years.
This has been one of my favorite St.-Emilions since the late 1980s, when proprietor Stefan Neipperg began to resurrect this once moribund estate that made so many mediocre wines in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s (the 1982 was shameful). It is one of hundreds of examples of properties that have been returned to life, providing Bordeaux with greater quality, diversity and recognition than it has ever had in its long history.
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012|
Proprietor Stephan von Neipperg has made so many terrific wines at this estate since the late 1980s, it's hard to say that the 2009 is going to turn out to be the finest, but did it show well on the four separate times I tasted it! A final blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, and a whopping 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (somewhat unusual for this area of St.-Emilion), the natural alcohol was 14%. Stephane Derenoncourt is the long-time wine consultant at all of Stephan von Neipperg's estates. Yields were shockingly low here, 28 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine is a beauty of both elegance and power. Dark ruby/purple, with notes of incense, sweet cedar, black cherry jam, cassis, and blackberry as well as licorice and subtle smoke, this wine has superb texture, a full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning concentration, and not a hard edge to be found. It is one of those remarkable 2009s with amazing power and density, but also tremendous finesse, precision, and freshness, an anomaly in itself. This wine should drink well for 15-20 years, based on the fact that the 1990, a vintage far lower in acidity and not nearly as concentrated, is still at the top of its game. Bravo! (Tasted four times.) Drink 2010-2030.
|Score: 94/96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010|
The 2009 Canon-la-Gaffelière has a very attractive bouquet with truffle and smoke infused black fruit, hints of roasted chestnut, secondary aromas beginning to come through nicely. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, very well balanced with hints of black toast and white pepper filtering through. This is well defined and more persistent than some of its peers, likewise it has become more classic in style in recent years. Superb. 2019 - 2040
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019|
Tasted at Canon-la-Gaffeliere, cropped between 1st and 10th October at 34hl/ha, this is a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in 90% new oak, the bouquet takes a great deal of coaxing from the glass, reluctantly offereing blackberry, raspberry coulis, a scent of wet clay and mulberry. The palate is full-bodied with firm tannins, off-dry, good weight in the mouth and fine definition, perhaps a little more austere than I anticipated but I like that (the coolness of the sample accentuating the tannins here.) A touch of savoury fruit towards the grainy finish, very good length and harmony, the pH plays a fundamental role in balancing the finish and engendering such freshness. Excellent. Tasted March 2010.
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010|
Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2009 Canon la Gaffeliere leaps from the glass with bold baked blackberries, plum preserves and blueberry compote notes with nuances of licorice, sweaty leather, tapenade and garrigue. It is quite mature and open in the medium-bodied mouth, with a firm, chewy frame and lively backbone, finishing with loads of savory/meaty layers. 2019 - 2030
|Score: 94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2019), March 2019|
Porcini mushrooms, with dark and ripe fruits. Turns to licorice and violets. Full body, with round and soft tannins and a long delicious finish. The texture is gorgeous. So much going on in the glass. Try after 2018.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012|
The Cabernet Franc really comes out here, with roasted berry, coffee bean and citrus following through to blackberry. Full-bodied, with fabulous concentration of fruit and supersoft tannins, a long, long finish. This is so juicy and wonderful. No dry tannins here.
|Score: 94/97||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010|
Blackish crimson. Fragrant, even lightly soapy. Well integrated and relaxed. Fine boned. More acidity on the finish than one might expect so not super-stunning but pretty good. Some might find this eviscerated. I think it's quite elegant. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2015-2025.
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010|
Stefan Von Neipperg's Canon la Gaffeliere was one of the first vineyards where winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt made his mark. Modern in style but not overblown or jammy. 55% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Cabernet Franc. The vines here are old and the yields are low. Impressively stacked, seems quite late-picked, lots of fruit, mouth-coating, slightly dry at the finish from the tannins. The biggest Canon La Gaffeliere that we have ever tasted,.
|Score: 16||Farr Vintners, November 2009|
This is well-cloaked for now in roasted vanilla and espresso notes, but there's ample, fleshy fig sauce and mulled blackberry fruit in reserve. The finish sports a long melted licorice snap feel. Dense, but beautifully polished and pure. For the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2030.-J.M.
|Score: 96||James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider (Vol 8, 3), January 2012|
The brightness of raspberry is very much in evidence on the nose. Fresh fruits show on the palate with towards the middle the richer, sweeter black asserting themselves giving flesh, richness on the back palate. Drink 2020-2035.
|Score: 90/93||Derek Smedley MW, April 2010|
This is one of the most impressive wines yet from Stephan von Neipperg's revitalised estate. Unlike many St Emilions in 2009, it is harmonious and poised with enough acidity to balance the ripe, textured fruit. This is restrained and elegant, with lovely use of oak, considerable grace and beautifully integrated tannins. Likely to be reasonably priced, too. 10+ years.
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, April 2010|
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, April 2010|
As always, beautifully constructed. Perfect pitch of ripeness, fresh, satisfying with a fine tannic frame. Elegant and harmonious. Drink 2016-2030.
|Score: 17.5||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010|
The freshness on the nose is striking and you could easily mistake this for a 4-5 year old wine. Ripe elderberry and wild blackberry notes are married to elegant tannins and a lively acidity, making this leap and bound across the palate. Long mineral finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)
|Score: 96||Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, March 2019|