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Château Canon-la-Gaffelière


Address: 33330 St Emilion

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 24 71 33



Château Canon-la-Gaffelière produces deeply coloured, rich wines. They work very well in a rather spectacular, attention grabbing way. More recent vintages seem held in check more. The estate was bought in 1971 by Count von Neipperg. His son Stephan is now in charge. Overall very enjoyable wine from the stable that also produces Clos de l’Oratoire and La Mondotte in St Emilion and Château d’Aiguilhe in Castillon.

Vineyard/Terroir: 19.5 hectares planted on clay limestone soil with a mix of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Classified St Emilion Grand Cru Classé.

Winemaking/Elévage: Wine aged in 80-100% new barrels.

Tasting notes:

  • 2015 Deep colour; more solid and substantive than L’Oratoire; layers; ripe black fruits; very nicely judged; some Cab influence here on the palate with the spicy characters; very supple and approachable; nice depth; soft finish. [55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, Certified organic, 39hl/ha, 55% new oak, 30 day cuvasion, 13.7% alc]. Drink 2020-2030. 93-95+ [second tasting at UGC 6/4/16]: Deep colour; substantial aromas; quite a lot of fruit here; sweet ripe plums; spicy note from the Cab Franc; satin fruit to begin with but plenty of guts in the middle and a little chew on the finish; nicely textured; structure here under the satin fruit canopy. Depth. Drink 2020-2035. 93-95+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; lovely fat seam of fruit; bold, dense and concentrated; some chocolate; glossy ripe entry once again; this is polished and creamy St Emilion; wonderful texture to the palate; very harmonious; good concentration on the finish. Very good length. Palate very impressive. Very good wine indeed. [55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.5% alc, 24 hl/ha, 70% new oak, harvested 25/9-09/10]. Tasted Canon-la-Gaffelière 1st April ’15. Drink 2020-2030. 92-94+ [second note at UGC] Deep and saturated look; very deep core; ripe; glossy and polished; voluptuous on the nose; black cherry; some spice; velvety palate; plenty of extract and chew but structured nicely; some grip; nice fruit and texture overall. Mineral and wet rock tones too. Substantial and long St Emilion. [55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5%, 24 hl/ha, picked 25/9-9/10]. Drink 2019-2035. 5. Tasted UGC 1st April ’15. 92-94.
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; vibrant edge; legs; cake and spices, ripe and attractive in a lifted way; creamy entry; nice sap and flavour; plenty of material but not extracted or puckering; chew on the finish but has freshness. Length here. Very good effort. [70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 70% new oak]. Tasted Canon-La-Gaffelière. Drink 2018-2028. 89-91+ [earlier note] Deep and saturated look; vibrant purple at edge; some menthol, spice, pretty intense; sweet and round with black fruit tones; palate has some oak and glossy fruit but overall the palate has a little compact quality to it with a little hardness on the finish. Tasted April 2, 2014 UGC. 87-89+
  • 2012 Deep; earthy red at the rim; menthol, spice and attractive depth to the aromatics; ripe fruit with seductive qualities; plums, red fruits and spices; nice depth and good finish. Drink now-2025. 92 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Vibrant purple at edge; saturated look; black fruits, deep aromas; black cherry; lots of layers here; some oak to integrate further on the palate but very attractive wine. Chewy finish. 92-94+ Tasted at Chateau Canon-la-Gaffelière Friday April, 12, 2013 [Earlier note] Deep and dark looking; freshness here; some red fruits, some lift; not OTT; lots of oak tannin on the palate but flesh; chew and density. Dense and deep. 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc. 90-92+ UGC Weds 10 April 2013
  • 2011 Deep and dark looking; ripe and seductive nose; lovely plumy, spicy fruit; nicely handled palate – sweet and ripe fruit with a spicy accent [Cab Franc]. Very good length. Tannin ripe and extraction nicely handled. Open already. Great success. Drink now-2026. 93+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deepish colour; lifted red fruits and oak; coffee and mocha notes too; lots of sublimated fruit tones; open and full palate; not over extracted in actual fact and tannins held in check. Almost subdued for this estate but better for it. Nice grip on the finish. Almost elegant. Tasted UGC 4/4/12. 90-92
  • 2010 Deep and dark at the core; ripe red fruits; full and glossy as ever; spicy lifted aromatics; full and similarly glossy palate; with texture and weight; nicely round and harmonious and some development. Attractive already. Defines ‘glossy.’ Drink now-2030. 94 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; lifted red fruit aromas, saturated style; spice and liquorice notes; thick and rich palate; red fruits; deep and dense. Earthy note. Usual full style here but it works. 91+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and dense; ripe and creamy nose, very plush, lots of extract it would seem; ripe but nicely handled palate, good density, sweet and sexy with layers of flavour; density yes but doesn’t feel pushed too far; chalky minerality here to; grip and density but nicely done. Rich and attractive wine. 92-94+/100 [55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 14.5 alc] Tasted 6 April 2011 at UGC
  • 2009 Deep and saturated look – glossy; ripe and lifted with developing notes, liqourice, spice and menthol; very ripe fruit; full palate, spicy and full – very packed with ripe flavours with some leaf and spicy tones and lots of chew at the end. Drink now-2030. 91+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier Note] Dark and saturated look; ripe red fruits, lifted strawberry tones; lots of red fruits again on the palate; strawberry tones; opulent and flashy; very sexy, open palate; but this has depth and there is plenty of tannin too, albeit extremely ripe, which gives it chew and density at the back. Chalk and cheese versus the Canon but both styles do work extremely well. 94/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Black and inky; very ripe nose; some jam here and red fruits, strawberry and raspberry; open. Luscious palate, big and bold; lots of extract and tannin, quite a hardness to the tannins [could be the oak]. Lots of extract here. Very different to Canon. [Later] Super ripe jammy note; feels alcoholic; attractive and sweet entry; lots of tannin and material. Good grip. Classically extracted la-Gaffeliere style. 92+/100 Primeurs April ’10.
  • 2008 Deep and saturated; black at centre; very ripe and late picked in feel; saturated with black fruits and molasses; unctuous and fat; palate very thick indeed; lots of extracted tannin feels a bit OTT. 89 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Black red; lots of figgy ripeness to the nose, dark chocolate and strawberry, some lift; sweet entry on the palate with lots of ripe flavours – molasses and figs – lots of chewy extract here. A very extracted style but still with freshness. Very good if you like this style. 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 90+/100 UGC Oct ‘10
  • 2007 Mid red-black; ripe more upfront fruit; some meat and almost new world notes here; some resinous nose from the oak; almost in Napa Valley on the palate; big and ripe; this wine is seemingly from a different region [or country]. Bold 90+/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Deep and arterial; super ripe strawberry and red fruits and oak; very sublimated and concentrated feel; a silky quality to the palate and a lot of fruit. This is a more open style than the Pavie stable and the palate feels a lot better for it. Still not quite me but this is much better balanced than many here. 90-92+/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10

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