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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#2 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018

The wines of Château Canon La Gaffelière have been certified organic. They are classy, remarkably well-structured, complex, pure, and always elegant.

Blend: 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 97
Vinous
The 2015 Canon La Gaffelière is deep, powerful and explosive. Seamless and captivating in the glass, it possesses magnificent richness, volume and intensity in every dimension. The Cabernet Franc, usually such a strong signature, is nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the Merlot fruit. Espresso, mocha, licorice and plum infuse the racy finish. The 2015 is going to need the better part of a decade to be expressive. Tasted two times.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in French oak, 55% new, for 17 months, the 2015 Canon la Gaffeliere features a deep garnet-purple color and a cedar-laced nose to begin, giving way to fragrant underlying scents of roses and violets with a core of crushed black currants, blackberries and Bing cherries plus hints of fallen leaves and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, the seductively perfumed red and black fruit fills the mouth, framed with plush tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing very long and minerally.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There’s a lot here. Built for the cellar. Best from 2025 through 2040.
JS 96
James Suckling
The aromas of violets and rose petals are prevalent here with blue fruits as well. Full body, integrated and firm tannins and a long finish. Structured yet fine and shows such finesse. Give it five or six years to come together.
WW 96
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
After tasting this wine over the past two decades, I have grown to see it as one of Saint-Émilion's most powerful wines. The wine always offers excellent black fruit and oak aromas and flavors, but its tannins have also been strong. The 2015 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière has all of its parts in check, and the wine is stunning. The wine is quite substantial on the palate and exhibits bright blackcurrants, with a hint of violets. Pair its balanced richness with a crown roast of lamb. (Tasted: January 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
From an incredible terroir just outside the village of Saint-Emilion and a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 Canon-La-Gaffeliere is a beautiful, elegant, complex beauty readers should snatch up. Blueberries, violets/spring flowers, Asian spices, and a salty minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, yet elegant 2015 that has sweet tannin, a big mid-palate, and a great, great finish. Still tight and reserved, give bottle 3-5 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following two decades or more.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This structured wine also offers juicy, elegant fruit. Full of black plums, spice from judicious wood aging and acidity, its core remains to develop. The wine needs to age so drink after 2024.
D 93
Decanter
Pure and fragrant with a delightfully perfumed nose. The palate is harmonious and poised with a velvety texture showing maturity and freshness. Fruit very much to the fore backed by fine-grained tannins and a persistent finish. Now organically certified.
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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere

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Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Located on the famous slope (and the foot of the slope) south of the medieval village of Saint-Emilion, Château Canon La Gaffelière has belonged to the Counts von Neipperg since 1971. Representing some eight centuries of family winegrowing tradition, Count Stephan von Neipperg has succeeded in placing Château Canon La Gaffelière among the top Grands Crus Classés of Saint-Emilion thanks to a winegrowing philosophy that gives priority not only to quality, but also respect for the environment.

Château Canon La Gaffelière is located on the outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, at the southern foot of the slope. The 19.5 hectare (48 acres) vineyard has a complex, outstanding terroir of clay-limestone and clay-sand soil. The topsoil is primarily sandy, increasingly so as one moves away from 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.

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 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.

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.

JOB157711_2015 Item# 157711