The 2015 Canon is going to be a benchmark for this historic estate. A blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, it was cropped at 42 hl/ha between 14-25 September and 30 September until 2 October respectively. The alcohol level is an average 14.5% with a pH 3.78, matured for 18 months in 70% new barrels (except for one barrel of Cabernet Franc that they will bottle separately - just to see). Lucid in color, it has an intense bouquet that exudes extraordinary purity with scents of raspberry, wild strawberry, limestone and violets. It makes a huge impression. The palate is medium-bodied and multilayered with vivacious red and black fruit infused with minerals. The acidity lends the tension here from start to finish, but what this Canon possesses unlike the dozens of other vintages that I have tasted, is an overarching structure that will see it age in similar fashion to past classics such as the 1929, 1947 and 1964. It lingers very long in the mouth, the oak just surfacing a little on the aftertaste, although that will be subsumed with time. This estate has been in the ascendant in recent vintages under winemaker John Kolasa and now Nicolas Audebert, together with a benevolent growing season, has elevated Canon to a level that few could have predicted. 98-100 points, Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com
The 2015 Canon is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. An utterly mesmerizing wine, Canon has it all; alluring aromatics; towering structure, fabulous depth, and exceptional balance. The aromas and flavors are remarkably nuanced for such a big wine. Waves of graphite, exotic spices, smoke, herb, licorice, violets and crème de cassis appear at every angle as this utterly profound Saint-Émilion shows off its pedigree. So far I have tasted the 2015 four times. It has never been anything less than sensational. Quite simply, Canon is one of the few truly must-have wines of 2015. It is every bit that memorable. 96-98 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
"Seductive. The nose draws you in deep: It’s like staring into a well of pristine dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries and mulberries. All the oak is perfectly subsumed. The palate’s flawless with immense depth and power and it’s so balanced as to appear to float. Immaculate fresh dark-berry and plum flavors. Silky and deep, ribbon-like finish. Perfect. Best from 2022." 100 Points, James Suckling
"Composed of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc and aged for 18 months in 70% new and 30% one-year-old barrels, the 2015 Canon is boldly fruited with blackberry preserves, black cherry compote, fruitcake, mocha and plum preserves with suggestions of Indian spices, licorice and black olives. Full-bodied and packed with ripe, rich dried berries and exotic spice layers, it has a firm, slightly chewy structure and just enough freshness (the pH is 3.78), finishing long and savory. Give it another 2-3 years of cellaring to soften its edges and allow its flavor spectrum to fully emerge, and drink it over the next 20 to 25+ years. 2020-2045" 96 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (Wine Advocate)
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.