Chateau Canon (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Blend: 77% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Showing spectacularly, the 2017 Chateau Canon checks in as a final blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc that’s from one of the most exceptional terroirs in the appellation. Hitting 14% alcohol (the pH is 3.66), it reveals a ruby/purple hue as well as gorgeously sweet raspberries and cassis-like fruit interwoven with notes of spring flowers, rose petal, white chocolate, and spice. While it doesn’t have the massive opulence of the 2015 and 2016, it’s more classically styled as well flawlessly balanced, with a terrific sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, and a brilliant finish. Give bottles 5-7 years in the cellar, and it will evolve gracefully for 30-40 years. Hats off to Nicolas Audebert as well as the team of Thomas Duclos for one of the wines of the vintage!
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. Rating: 96+
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.
Dark and dense, this is a massive wine. Big tannins are paralleled by concentrated blackberry fruits to give a wine that is both juicy and impressively rich. Structure and power are likely to be tamed as the wine ages. Drink from 2024.
Canon remains pretty austere at this stage with the Cabernet Franc dominating. It's not as immediately seductive as some years, but you can feel the bedding down of the tannins, restraining the elegance and floral minerality but not hiding it completely. Sit with it in the glass and you start to feel a wine that rises above the vintage. This is one of the very few where you feel that in 10 years time it will clearly be better than it is today, most do not have that grace and confidence. I love the juicy finish here. 50% new oak. Drinking Window 2025 - 2040
A subtle savory note leads the way, backed by ample cassis, plum and black cherry fruit aromas and flavors. Tobacco and dark earth details fill in on the finish, which shows solid cut and drive. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.
Barrel Sample: 89-91
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, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards 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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.