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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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13.5% ABV
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4.0 13 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#7 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

Blend: 55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Superripe fruits dominate this wine. It is generous and full in the mouth, the tannins and structure buried within the fruity richness. The finish shows ample freshness. Barrel Sample: 93-95
JS 93
James Suckling
This is a big, rich wine with masses of ripe black-fruit aromas and a lot of supple, dry tannins that support the full body very nicely. Drink in 2020 but delicious now.
WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2014 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière gets high marks for being an excellent wine and being made from certified organically grown grapes. Exhibiting loads of red and black fruits, but not overpowering the palate, this wine delivers one of it best efforts to date. (Tasted: January 27, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Canon la Gaffeliere has a fruit-driven, powerful bouquet with rounded raspberry, kirsch, mulberry and light honeyed scents that seem pure and seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated red plum and tart cherry fruit. There is a spicy residue on the back palate with fine structure and poise towards the finish. As ever, a well-crafted, quite delicious Canon la Gaffeliere that should age with style. If the 2014 Canon doesn't quite deliver the opulence for you, then this suits the bill.
D 90
Decanter
Organically certified. Zesty, dark fruit nose. Good vineyard expression. Fresh and vibrant on the palate. Tiny, textured tannins. Rating: 90+
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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
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 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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