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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • JS97
  • WS96
  • RP95
  • WE95
14% ABV
  • WS98
  • WE97
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • D93
  • JS97
  • V97
  • WS96
  • WE95
  • RP95
  • D93
  • WE95
  • WS95
  • WW93
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • D90
  • JS93
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS93
  • JS92
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WS96
  • JS95
  • RP95
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • WE94
  • RP94
  • W&S92
  • CG90
  • RP89
  • RP95
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#23 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
Porcini mushrooms, with dark and ripe fruits. Turns to licorice and violets. Full body, with round and soft tannins and a long delicious finish. The texture is gorgeous. So much going on in the glass. Try after 2018
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is well-cloaked for now in roasted vanilla and espresso notes, but there’s ample, fleshy fig sauce and mulled blackberry fruit in reserve. The finish sports a long melted licorice snap feel. Dense, but beautifully polished and pure. For the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2030.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
An intriguing blend of nearly 50% Merlot, a whopping 35% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon (a somewhat unusual combination for this region), the 2009 reminds me of the 1990. A big, inky/purple-tinged wine with just over 14% natural alcohol, it exhibits exotic, flamboyant aromas of espresso roast, incense, sweet black cherries, black currants, licorice, asphalt, barbecue smoke, Christmas fruitcake and herbs. Full-bodied with silky tannins, luscious fruit, a hedonistic yet complex personality, low acidity, noticeable tannin and enviable purity, this head-turning beauty can be enjoyed over the next 15-20 years.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
One of the peculiarities of St.-Emilion's classification is that Canon la Gaffeliere is not classed in the top rung. Because, as this wine shows, it produces superb wines. This is ripe while so elegant, with great intensity and sweet perfumes. Cellar Selection.
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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
2009
Château Canon La Gaffelière is located on the outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, at the southern foot of the slope.

The unusual proportion of grape varieties (55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) at Canon-La-Gaffelière is perfectly suited to the soil.

The average amount of Merlot is approximately 70% in Saint-Emilion. This variety contributes roundness and opulence. However, the high percentage of Cabernet Franc at Canon-La-Gaffelière is unquestionably well-adapted to the estate's warm soil. This variety accounts for an exquisite bouquet with spicy, floral overtones, as well as power and aromatic complexity. The old Cabernet Franc vines do especially well on soil with a high clay content. Seeing as the Cabernets are usually late-ripening, they take full advantage of the estate's warm soil. This means they mature much earlier than in most other parts of the appellation.

The vines, an average of 45 years old, are deeply rooted in the soil and absorb all the goodness in the terroir. They are mostly replaced individually rather than plot by plot (which maintains the average age). The last major replanting dates back to 1986. Mass selection is practised. This is especially useful in order to perpetuate the precious old Cabernet Franc vines. It not only maintains the vineyard's genetic heritage, but also its unique balance.

Remarkably well-structured, always elegant, and unfailingly long on the palate, Château Canon La Gaffelière eloquently illustrates Stephan von Neipperg's new orientation.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MSALVI04009R12750_2009 Item# 111751

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