Wine Words & Video Tape

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Bordeaux 2014: Château Canon

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_6881St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Canon has magnificent walled terroir atop the famous limestone plateau to the south and south-west side of St Emilion. It has produced a very pure and harmonious 2014 with a floral, perfumed quality that is very attractive. Croix Canon is plummy and fresh with layered fruit and nice delicacy. John Kolasa’s long stint at the helm here, a period which has coincided with the renaissance of the property since it was bought by Maison Chanel, comes to an end with this vintage as Kolasa has announced his retirement. It marks the end of an era.

The second wine here, formerly Clos Canon, was replaced in 2011 by the label Croix Canon. This is more than a second wine but a mixture fruit from of younger vines on the Canon plots but also fruit sourced from the vineyards acquired in 2011 from the purchase of Château Matras, a property whose vineyard parcels neighbour those of Château Canon.

Budbreak at Canon was relatively early [1 April] due to a mild winter and rainy conditions, flowering began June 10 and the summer was wet and fresh. The beautiful Indian summer arriving at the end of August. Merlot was harvested on the property between 22 September and October 6, Cabernet Franc harvested between 6-9 October. The property compares the vintage with 2001 and 2008.


The following wines were tasted on Friday 3 April, 2015 at Château Canon. I also took the opportunity to taste the 2005 vintage on the visit. It has just started to enter its drinking window, showing beautifully ripe glossy black fruits, tobacco notes and chocolate. This brilliant wine still has a decade or more ahead of it.

Croix Canon, St Emilion, 2014

Mid depth; purple at rim; some fragrance; nice and pure; fresh; perfume; ripe plums; nice sweet entry; harmonious and layered; delicate; fine delicacy; stone fruit tones and good balance; freshness; delicacy. [91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc, 18 months of ageing in 30% new oak]. Drink 2019-2025. 89-91+

Château Canon, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2014

Mid depth; healthy looking; earthy purple at edge; purity; ripe fruit; deeper; some spicy notes from the oak and the fruit; perfume/floral qualities; blackcurrant and plum tones come through on the palate; nice clean pure fruit on the entry; just how I like it; elegance and harmony; extract not gritty or chewy; very complete; nice finish; spicy on the end; trace of alcohol on the finish. [72% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% alc, 70% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. 92-94+

Château Canon, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2005

Deep at centre; warm red at edge; tobacco; vanilla; spices; glossy; warm black fruits; sweet fruit on entry; Golden Virginia notes; chocolate; spices; black fruit tones again; blackcurrants; olive notes; nice chew and density; [this has just started its drinking window]; excellent length. Has a decade of further improvement ahead of it. Wonderful stuff already! [80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 60% new oak]. Drink 2015-2025. 96+

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