Canon 2016

SubregionSt Emilion

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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Canon makes it a double slam-dunk for head winemaker Nicolas Audebert and his team, as it is the second of two ethereal wines that will put the estate right at the top of the Saint Emilion tree. This year is a blend of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc picked from 22 September until 10 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare. It delivers 14.02% alcohol and an IPT of 65. Matured in 65% new oak, it has a compelling bouquet with intense black cherry and blueberry fruit, a tincture of oyster shell, all with exquisite definition. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, and again, there is stunning, almost ineffable precision. It is attired in a seamless texture with real density yet weightlessness on the finish. The persistence on the aftertaste is extraordinary. I composed this entire tasting note after spitting out the wine, but I can still feel my mouth tingling now. The 2015 was magnificent, but could this 2016 surpass that? "The 2016 is more Canon in style, more classic," commented Nicolas, and he could be right, although intuition tells me that the 2015 might be a hair's breadth better. I would not refuse either if they were opened before me. Drink 2026 - 2060

Score: 97/99Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

Very intense aromas already of pure berry, mineral and spice. Full body yet refined and tight with gorgeous linear and refined character. Beautiful and classic beauty.

Score: 96/97James Suckling,, March 2017

The 2016 Canon is a wine of pure sophistication and polish. A rush of red cherry, plum, mint, rose petal and blood orange gives the 2016 its sexy, racy personality. Underlying veins of minerality and salinity provide finesse and persistence. In 2016, Canon is pure class. It doesn't reach the stratospheric level of the 2015, but that is too much to ask in a vintage that presented significant challenges in the vineyard. Tasted four times.

Score: 91/94Antonio Galloni,, April 2017

Lively dark crimson. Very smart and complex on the nose - distinctively different. Really focused and rich but not sweet. Real lift and drive. So complete! Opulent on the nose but nothing remotely simple and sweet. Throbs with excitement.
Drink 2025-2048

Score: 18.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2017

There have been huge improvements and investment here recently in the vineyard (which is planted 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc) and chai by former manager John Kolasa and owners Chanel. The Chateau itself has recently enjoyed a substantial make-over. This is a great property that made fabulous wines in the past but dipped in form during the 1990's until the new regime took over. It is now right back up there as one of the very best of all the Saint Emilion Chateaux. New director Nicolas Audebert has come in from Krug via South America and had an amazing start to his career at Canon, conjuring up the near-perfect 2015 vintage. 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc in 2016, with 65% new oak for 18 months. The nose here is all about purity. Cherries, plums, light vanilla and spice with a little incense. The palate is silky and extremely refined - the precision of the fine-grained, ripe, yet persistent tannins is second to none and should give both approachability and ageability to the wine. Sweet and savoury in equal measure, the cherries, savoury spices, smoke and cedar are all layered wonderfully through to a creamy, yet floral and lifted finish. Another fantastic performance from this Chateau that is the very definition of the fresh and harmonious style of St Emilion that has become rare in the race for extraction and power over balance.

Score: 17.5+Farr Vintners, April 2017

The nose has a fragrant charm spring violets the palate has a balance of fresh fruits bramble and richer sweeter cassis and black cherry. The tannins are ripe silky integrated the back palate has depth rich fruit the finish is lighter with fresh fruit long and stylish. 2025-38

Score: 92/95Derek Smedley MW,, April 2017

“A real terroir wine that I prefer to the 2015 is how maître de chai, Stéphane Bonnasse, describes his majestic 2016. You’d expect a wine owned by Chanel to be perfumed and that’s the case here on this scented, refined, beautifully balanced cuvée, showing refined oak, velvety tannins and flavours and texture that are as close as St Emilion gets to great Burgundy. 2024-36

Score: 98Tim Atkin MW,, April 2017

This vintage delivers a beautiful, classic style of Canon that is right at the top of what St-Émilion can offer. Compact and dense without being hard, it is finely structured both in terms of the texture of the cassis and blackberry fruits and in the shape of the tannins. It demonstrates a clear minerality and a feather-brushing of violet notes. This is less obviously sexy than 2015, but is a wine that offers a masterclass in what limestone terroir can convey - salinity, succulence, hints of austerity and reserves of power. I retasted it a few times, and the main take away of what to expect is layers of flavour and huge persistency. The details of how they worked the vintage are an added bonus to understanding how they achieved this result. When it started getting hot and dry, they left all green cover on the vines, and did no green harvesting except tidying up in September. The result was loading the vines to avoid over-concentration. 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, with the final blend aged in 70% new oak. 3.6pH.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Score: 98Jane Anson,, April 2017

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