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Chateau Canon 2012

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750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted from several bottles in recent months, the 2012 Canon is a stupendous wine for the vintage and if anything, it appears to be improving with each encounter. It clearly serves up more than enough volume and fruit intensity on the nose compared to the impressive 2011 Canon: it is very pure with black cherries, wild strawberry, asphalt and blood orange. This is very well defined and beautifully focused. The palate is medium-bodied, silky smooth and with that thrilling sense of frisson. There is so much vivacity wound up inside this Saint Emilion that it would not surprise me if it turns out to be one of the very best in 2012. Tasted January 2017.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This dense, extracted wine has dark coffee and bitter chocolate flavors that are followed by wood and tannins. The fruit is still obscured, and may need many years for its dark character to emerge.
Barrel Sample:92-94 Points
JS 93
James Suckling
A red with blueberry, blackberry and walnut character. Chocolate too. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. This is tight and dense. Extremely polished tannins and a long finish. Another 2001. Better in 2018.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2012 Canon is a rich, smoky, meaty 2012 that checks in as blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Ripe black cherries, melted licorice, chocolate, and a touch of scorched earth all emerge from this classic, structured effort that has terrific concentration, a pure, backward style, ripe tannin, and a great finish. It’s nowhere near ready for primetime (this wine didn’t start to open up until the second day after opening) and needs a solid 5-7 years of cellaring but will see its 30th birthday in fine form.
Rating: 93+
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Displays a rather firm coating of chalk dust and vanilla notes, with a core of subdued plum and blackberry fruit. Verges on an extracted feel, but comes out solid and sculpted in the end.
Barrel Sample:88-91 Points
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Chateau Canon

Chateau Canon

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Chateau Canon, France
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The different plots of vines total 54 acres of very uniform soil types, which is the first hint that Chateau Caonon is unusual with respect to the rest of the Saint Emilion area. The Subltle combination of limestone containing fossilized starfish covered by a thin layer of clay left behind by a prehistoric lake, constitute an ideal environment for the grape varieties, highlighting the expression of their characteristics. Fresh, yet not very rich, this type of soil is a perfectly balanced medium for the vines that keeps yields down while enhancing quality. The different steps in the vineyard management calendar are scrupulously respected throughout the year. Chateau Canon manages its plots sustainably, ensuring perfect ripeness and making it easier to identify the best batches of fruit, which are vinified separately. The policy is clearly to foster environmental preservation.
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St-Émilion

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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, 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.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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