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 came in from Krug via South America and had an amazing start to his career at Canon, conjuring up the near-perfect 2015 vintage and an outstanding 2016. One of the hottest properties in Bordeaux right now thanks to fantastic quality and reasonable en primeur pricing.
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Nicolas Audebert and his team have done it again. The 2017 Canon is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Rich and vertical in construction, the 2017 possesses off-the-charts richness and intensity in all of its dimensions. In the glass, the 2017 is sumptuous and layered, with superb detail and tons of sheer pedigree. In 20 years, readers will have a fabulous time tasting the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 together and debating their respective merits. Dark plum fruit, striking Franc aromatics and the clean, focused energy of Saint-Émilion's limestone plateau make for a ravishing, exquisite wine of the highest level. In a word: breathtaking. 2027 - 2057
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Canon bursts from the glass with expressive notions of baked black cherries, kirsch, plum preserves and black raspberries plus hints of red roses, Ceylon tea, black olives and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, the palate is wonderfully elegant and refined, with a soft, finely grained texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend is 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc and it was aged for 18 months in French oak, 50% new. 2021 - 2045
The 2017 Canon was bottled on 15 May, 2019. This needs time to settle in the glass, the oak rather vocal at this early stage and overshadowing the blackberry and briary aromas. It only takes a couple of minutes for this Saint-Émilion to settle and reveal more limestone-infused fruit that really shows its terroir. The palate is very well defined with crunchy black fruit. I appreciate the chalky texture and freshness of this Canon, almost brittle, with blackberry and brine-like notes on the finish. Whilst not up there with the superlative 2016, the follow-up is still very fine. Note that over multiple tasting this Canon improved between September and December. Drink 2022-2045.
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. Drink 2022-2045.
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.
Extremely perfumed with blackcurrants, flowers, gunmetal, gunpowder and blackberries. Full-bodied, tight and reserved. The tannins are so tightly knit and just run through the center. Needs at least three or four years to open. A blend of 77% merlot and 23% cabernet franc. Better after 2023.
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.
A rich, explosive wine, the 2017 Canon exudes class from the very first taste. Huge aromatics resonate through to the palate, where the wine is deep, fleshy and beautifully layered. Effortless and gracious, Canon is a wine of real pedigree. I don't think the 2017 will reach the dizzying heights of the 2015 or 2016, but it will be interesting to see how close it gets.
Pretty dark crimson. Lightly toasty nose with some floral notes – pretty ! Not forced but with some rigour. There’s a little note of sweet oak here but it should dissipate. Good balance. A more serious, complete 2017 than many.
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.
No frost here on the plateau of Saint Emilion so the yield was a healthy 42 hl/ha. The encepagement this year will be 77% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc with 18 months in 56% new oak. The harvest took place from September 4th to 21st. A deep ruby colour, with enticing black plum and morello cherry supported by subtle fresh vanilla and a light smokiness. Most impressive on the palate is the cashmere texture from impossibly refined and supple tannins. The fruit glides over this velvet support, with glistening ripe cherries and fresh blackcurrants. Acidity cuts through the ripe fruits and adds a savouriness to the sweet smoke from measured use of new oak. Elegant, poised and precise, with a lingering finish.
The nose is sweet with brooding black fruits the palate has the fleshy richness of ripe black cherries and cassis. Bramble underpins and balances slightly lighter at the back with ripe sweet black fruits giving richness and depth on the finish. 2024-33
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 Window 2025 - 2040
Lovely and relaxed on the nose, with oak and fruit in harmony, this is a good wine, but it is slightly spoilt by a green edge on the finish and overly austere tannins. I would like it to be so much more refreshing and silky but the attack of dryness and grainy tannins rather shuts it all down. Given the reputation of this Château I am confident that it will even out, but this will always be a wine with a bitter edge.