Chateau Canon is the hottest property on the right bank and perhaps Bordeaux. In 2015 it was awarded a perfect 100-point score from James Suckling and 98-100 from Neal Martin. We released the 2015 for £650 per case of 12 and today it trades at £1,500, a 131% rise. However, two years ago we signaled out Canon 2014 as a leading investment Chateau, when we released the 2014 we stated that ‘2014 Canon has to be considered as one of the best investment wines of the vintage’. We released Canon 2014 for £370 per case of 12, which has since risen to £650, an increase of 76%. Canon’s cachet has never been higher and the market has seen real demand for back vintages, a trend set to continue; akin to Pontet Canet off the back of their 2009 100-point score. Since the release of the 2014, in May 2015, the last 10 vintages of Canon have risen on average 60%. We also released a parcel of the 2006 priced at £460 in June last year, championing the investment potential, this has risen to £585. Supply of back vintages is limited and we take the view that Canon is only half way through its potential growth. The Estate averages 7,500 cases a year, which is less than a 3rd of Lafite Rothschild. Following on form our offer and analysis on Thursday, we have recently identified 2012 as currently the most undervalued vintage in Bordeaux.
Today we have managed to secure a parcel of Canon 2012 which has the lowest Price Over Points Ratio of any vintage. The 2012 vintage was strongest in Pessac Leognan and St.Emilion and this is reflected in one of Canon’s finest ever scores, 94 points. Canon’s consistently high scores and rising acclaim have pushed it to the front of the leading St Emilion Grand Cru Classe B wines, leading the charge with Figeac. In 2012 Canon was awarded the same score as Angelus (94), one point less than Pavie (95) and one point more than Cheval Blanc (93+), which trade at £3,200, £2,600 and £3,550 respectively. It is noteworthy that Pavie and Angelus were promoted in 2012 to Grand Cru Classe A, from Classe B status, an accolade that Canon and Figeac will surely court over the following years and with a 100 point score to their name Canon have a very strong case.
Priced at £51.60 per bottle and with a POP score of 44, Canon 2012 is a must buy wine. The 93 point scoring 2011 trades at over a £100 premium to the 2012, while the lower scoring 2010 trades today at £1,050. We expect the growing demand to drive all vintages up over the coming years, as the market re-adjusts to match Canon’s exceptional quality and reputation. Canon is one of the oldest Estates in St.Emilion and its recent form is a return to greatness.
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Chateau Canon is situated on top of the famed limestone plateau of St. Emilion. Its history dates back to the early 1700s when it was part of the Clos St. Martin vineyard. In 1760 it was purchased by Jacques Kanon, a French naval officer turned privateer. It passed through the hands of several families until purchased in 1996 by brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, owners of Chanel, who injected the necessary capital to replant much of the vineyard and modernize the facilities.
The Wertheimers also installed John Kolasa as Technical Director. Kolasa was running Wertheimer’s Margaux Estate, Rauzan Segla, after having been the commercial manager at Chateau Latour from 1987 -1994. His meticulous care of the Estate has returned Chateau Canon to its full, glorious potential. The vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with the intention of increasing the percentage of Cabernet Franc over time. The average age of the vines is 30 years, although some date back to the 1930s. The wine is aged for 18 months in 50% new oak barrels. The caves underneath the Chateau are some of the most extensive in St. Emilion and in fact one can walk to Beau-Sejour-Becot or Clos Fourtet entirely underground, although gates prevent one from wandering into their wine cellars.In 2015, Kolasa announced his retirement from both Rauzan Segla and Canon, but the Estates will be in the capable hands of Nicolas Audebert, former winemaker at Cheval des Andes in Argentina as well as Krug and Veuve Cliquot in Champagne.
Canon 2012, 12×75 – £620 IB
94 Points, Neal Martin, The 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.