Lots of blue fruits, leafy herbs, chocolate, and earthy goodness emerge from the 2020 Château Canon-La-Gaffeliere, a medium to full-bodied, dense, focused, elegant Saint-Emilion that needs plenty of air to show at its best. The purity of fruit is remarkable, and while it starts out tight and focused, it blossoms with air, showing a more expansive, layered, rich yet still fresh texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. It’s a thrilling Saint-Emilion readers should snatch up.
(95-97) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
Very refined and polished with minerally, almost salty character. Full body and beautiful, compact tannins. Racy finish. Excellent drive to this at the end.
(95-96) points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2021)
The 2020 Canon-la-Gaffelière is beautifully defined on the nose, featuring lavish black cherries, boysenberry, tobacco and cracked black pepper aromas. This is endowed with impressive precision and the oak is very well integrated. The medium-bodied palate delivers sappy black fruit, fine balance and poise and a lightly spiced, edgy, almost citrus-like finish. Packed to the rafters with vim and vigor, this is a superb Saint-Émilion.
(93-95) points, Vinous (May 2021)
55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample.
Almost earthy, vineyard-fresh feel to the nose and palate. Flows gently, building discreetly to a persistent finish. Attractive fruit and fine-grained tannins. Ageing potential.
17 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
The 2020 Canon La Gaffelière is a strict, severe wine, almost unnaturally so. At this stage, the 2020 is all acid and tannin, and yet behind that lies a vibrant core of fruit. The big Franc aromatics, often such a signature, are nowhere to be found. Inky red berry fruit, blood orange, spice and star anise emerge with a bit of coaxing, all framed by a spine of serious tannins that are at once incisive and well-balanced. Readers should plan on being patient, as the 2020 is going to need years to come around. Despite its reticence, the 2020 appears to have significant potential down the line.
(94-96)+ points, Vinous (June 2021)
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.
Chateau Canon la GaffelièreChateau Canon la Gaffelière is a Grand Cru Classé Chateau in the St Emilion appellation of Bordeaux. Owned by Count Léo de Malet Roquefort, the estate is located in the centre of the St. Emilion appellation with 25 ha of vineyards that lie at the base of the Cotes on flat, sandy gravel soils overlying clay sub soils. The vineyards are planted to 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Meticulous work in the vineyard and winery has seen a notable resurgence in quality in recent years.