2023 Château Canon, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2023 Château Canon, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20238008831
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2023 Château Canon, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Description

Blend: 71% Merlot; 29% Cabernet Franc.

Canon is now in its third year of organic conversion, and the focus on gentle extractions in the winery continues. Winemaker Nicolas Audebert has produced another stunning expression of St Emilion’s limestone côtes. The palate is layered with vibrant red fruits, violets and spice. Thanks to the limestone influence, the wine possesses a zippy tension and is framed by fine, chalky tannins. The finish is long and saline, with a mineral grip. This is another outstanding wine from Canon.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Our score: 18.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100

Finesse and saline limestone character on full display, spiced plum, textural as ever, with finely boned architecture, in the line of great Canon vintages, with density to the black fruits and the mouthwateringly precise tannic grip and oyster shell salinity. 50% new oak for ageing, harvest September 6 through to October 4 (with Merlot going right through until the end, unlike many places, here they really waited). 45hl/ha yield, in organic conversion. Tasted twice.

Drink 2030 - 2048

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous94-96/100

The 2023 Canon was picked from around 6 September to 6 October at 45hL/ha and matured in 50% new oak. It has a perfumed bouquet with pure black cherries and touches of cassis and violet. The oak is beautifully integrated. Perhaps if I have to quibble, it is not quite as complex as the very best recent vintages, but that's a high bar nowadays. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black cherry fruit laced with iodine, and veins of blue fruit. There is a sorbet-like freshness embroidered throughout this Canon, and it delivers a lovely cracked black pepper note on the finish. Excellent. Again.

Drink 2029 - 2060

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous94-96/100

A wine of classicism and reserve, the 2023 Canon is less overtly expressive than most recent vintages, keeping much of its personality in reserve. Nevertheless, I watched it grow considerably over the two weeks I spent in Bordeaux. Bright red-toned fruit, blood orange, mint and spice are some of the many notes that open in the glass. It is a wine that marries generous fruit with classical rigor. I won't be surprised if it shows even better with time. Tasted four times.

Drink 2033 - 2063

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW98-100/100

A blend of 71% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc, the 2023 Canon has a pH of 3.42 and it will age in barriques for 16-18 months, of which 50% are new. It is deep garnet-purple in color and sails out of the glass with bold notions of juicy blueberries, fresh plums, and Bing cherries, giving way to hints of black pepper, fragrant soil, and violets. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with energetic black and blue fruits, framed by super-satiny tannins and compelling tension, finishing long and fragrant. Absolutely ethereal!

Drink 2030 - 2060

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2024)

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Jancis Robinson MW17+/20

71% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.

Crimson hue. Energy and complexity on the nose. Supple, layered fruit on the palate. Fine tannins with some persistence. Elegant and true to its limestone-plateau origin.

Drink 2030 - 2045

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate96-98/100

Wafting from the glass with aromas of mulberries and raspberries mingled with spices, rose petals, licorice and violets, the 2023 Canon is another brilliant wine from a property whose excellence can almost be taken for granted. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's seamless and concentrated, its vibrant core of fruit framed by sweet, powdery tannins and girdled by lively acids, concluding with a long, mineral finish.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling99-100/100

This is so elegant and sophisticated already, with a really electric presence and length that goes on and on. It's medium- to full-bodied with an intensity of tannins. It remains weightless and energetic. The pH is 3.41, making this a vivid and lively wine. Currant, orange and stone. Sea salt, too. The limestone soils created a unique wine here in 2023. A blend of 71% merlot and 29% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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Decanter98/100

Another excellent wine from the team at Canon benefitting from its position on the limestone plateau. Deep florals, violets, black fruits, some purple fruits too with cocoa powder and cool fresh blueberries. Smooth and so refined, this has a comfort in the mouth that few others have - a certain weight that defies the vintage - almost fleshy but more thick juice rather than lean, with a sweet core as well as biting acidity that provides a great contrast. This is a serious wine, it has structure and movement, supple tannins, so fine with a touch of chalk, strawberry, cranberry and red cherry fruit with liquorice spice on the finish. Assured winemaking, ripe fruit, great acidity and body, ending clean and pure with wet stones and graphite touches. Just delicious, a wine that tastes great now and feels like it’ll always be that way. Expansive in the best way. Ageing 16-18 months in 50% new oak as well as foudre. 3.42pH.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck94-96/100

The 2023 Château Canon is an ultra-classic wine from this terroir offering textbook limestone-driven, black raspberry, floral, chalky, and spicy aromas and flavors. As always, it's not massive and is more medium-bodied, with a balanced, elegant mouthfeel, ripe, polished tannins, and no hard edges. It actually reminds me a little of the 2001 from this estate. It's a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 25+ years, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it drink nicely in its youth as well. Tasted multiple times.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Chateau Canon

Chateau Canon

Château Canon, a famous St.Emilion property is named after Jacques Kanon who bought the estate in 1760. Since 1996 it has been owned by Chanel, who also owns Château Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux.

Located in the centre of the St.Emilion appellation, to the south-west of St-Emilion town, Canon has 18 hectares of vineyards split between the limestone plateau and the clay/loam côtes. They are planted with 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc. Vinification is traditional: up to 20 days in temperature-controlled wooden vats followed by 18 months' maturation in oak barrels (70% new).

This wine needs cellaring to show at its best and mature Canon reeks of the soft, buttery Merlot grape as only the very top St-Emilions and Pomerols can. It is classified as a 1er Grand Cru Classé (B).

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St Émilion

St Émilion

St Émilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Émilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Émilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Émilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

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