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June 02, 2017

Canon, Rauzan Segla & Grand Puy Lacoste 2016

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This afternoon three of the most highly awaited Estates have released, the stunning Rauzan Segla, Canon and Grand Puy Lacoste: three of the wines of the vintage. Canon and Rauzan Segla are both owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, owners of Chanel, who have injected large capital to replant much of the vineyards and modernize the facilities of each Estate, the impact has been nuclear. Grand Puy Lacoste 2016 is the finest ever, a veritable stunner awarded 95-97 points by the Wine Advocate, the same score as Palmer, Pontet Canet and Leoville Poyferre!

In 2016 Chateau Canon have followed their 98-100 point score with 97-99 points. Since its release, Chateau Canon has risen from its release price of £750 per case of 12 to £1,600. As such today’s release price of £880, a 20% euro increase is generous indeed and will leave a lot on the table for clients with an allocation. It is worth noting that Martin says ‘I composed this entire tasting note after spitting out the wine, but I can still feel my mouth tingling now. The 2015 was magnificent, but could this 2016 surpass that?’ This is an outstanding wine.

Canon WA JS Price Release POP
2016 97-99 96-97 £880 £880 49
2015 98-100 100 £1,600 £750 84
2014 94 96 £640 £375 46
2013 89 93 £410 £370 46
2012 94 93 £620 £410 44
2011 93 93 £730 £430 56
2010 93 96 £1,050 £995 81
2009 95 96 £1,000 £990 67
2008 90 93 £585 £435 59
2007 90 N/A £510 £375 51
2006 93 N/A £585 £380 45
2005 95 94 £920 £495 61

 

The 2016 release of Canon is demonstrated below to be undervalued by around £400 when compared to analysis of market prices of previous vintages against their score from the Wine Advocate. With a median score of 98 points from the Wine Advocate, one could expect a market price of around £1,280, today’s release price of £880 shows a significant discount that can be expected to translate into a near term price appreciation. The graph also shows a strong positive correlation, with a figure of 0.85844.

 

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Canon 2016, 12x75 – £880 EP or 6x75 – £440 EP

97-99 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Canon makes it a double slam-dunk for head winemaker Nicolas Audebert and his team, as it is the second of two ethereal wines that will put the estate right at the top of the Saint Emilion tree. This year is a blend of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc picked from 22 September until 10 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare. It delivers 14.02% alcohol and an IPT of 65. Matured in 65% new oak, it has a compelling bouquet with intense black cherry and blueberry fruit, a tincture of oyster shell, all with exquisite definition. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, and again, there is stunning, almost ineffable precision. It is attired in a seamless texture with real density yet weightlessness on the finish. The persistence on the aftertaste is extraordinary. I composed this entire tasting note after spitting out the wine, but I can still feel my mouth tingling now. The 2015 was magnificent, but could this 2016 surpass that? “The 2016 is more Canon in style, more classic,” commented Nicolas, and he could be right, although intuition tells me that the 2015 might be a hair’s breadth better. I would not refuse either if they were opened before me.

96-97 Points, James Suckling
Very intense aromas already of pure berry, mineral and spice. Full body yet refined and tight with gorgeous linear and refined character. Beautiful and classic beauty.

Rauzan Segla has also followed its staggering 96-98 point score in 2015 with 95-97 points in 2016. This makes it a no-brainer at today’s release price of £735, a 19% euro increase. The 2015 has risen from £570 to £950 since its release last year, representing the great demand this Grand Estate demands. There is no real like-for-like comparison with older vintages as 2015 and 2016 are head and shoulders above previous vintages. However, the 94 point scoring 2005 trades at £980, the 93+ point scoring 2009 at £920 and the 95+ point scoring 2010 trades at £995, a 35% premium. Once again, the 2016 offers a superb opportunity, but like Canon will be extremely hard to secure. Both will sell out at the first tranche price straight away, with similar secondary market trading ensuing immediately, as those without an allocation seek both wines.

Rauzan Segla WA JS Price Release  POP
2016 95-97 96-97 £735 £735 46
2015 96-98 97-98 £950 £570 56
2014 92 95 £520 £375 43
2013 90 91 £370 £365 37
2012 94+ 93 £490 £420 34
2011 93 93 £615 £600 47
2010 95+ 98 £995 £960 64
2009 93+ 97 £920 £675 68
2008 90+ 93 £570 £425 54
2007 89+ N/A £500 £360 53
2006 91 92 £650 £375 59
2005 94 97 £950 £480 70

 

A comparison between market price and scores of past vintages from Rauzan Segla highlights how undervalued the 2016 release is. A median score of 96 points from the Wine Advocate would indicate a price of around £935. Today’s release price of £735 shows a £200 disparity between the two figures. This is indicative of a future upswing in price for the 2016 vintage. The chart also shows us that a release price of £735 is closer to what we would expect for a vintage scoring around 93 points. These findings are underpinned by a correlation figure of 0.72944 – confirmation of a strong positive linear relationship.

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Rauzan-Segla is a Second Growth from Margaux, vying with the likes of Chateau Palmer for pride of place after Chateau Margaux itself. In fact at the time of the 1855 classification the Estate was considered one of the truly great Second Growths. Thomas Jefferson ordered ten cases of Rauzan-Seglan 1790 after visiting Bordeaux in 1787, immediately declaring it as one of the top Chateau. It has superb terroir and since 1994 the Estate has been owned by the Wertheimer Family of Chanel, who have put in place a superb wine making team headed up by David Orr and John Kolasa of Chateau Latour.

Rauzan Segla 2016, 12×75 – £735 EP or 6×75 – £367.50 EP

95-97 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Rauzan-Segla (Rausan-Segla) is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot picked between 20 September and 15 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare. The wine is being aged in 60% new oak for 18 months. It has 13.2% alcohol. It has a very powerful and intense bouquet with layers of blackberry, kirsch, cedar and a touch of mint. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of fruit concentration: layers of ripe blackberry and boysenberry, segueing into what feels like a very spicy and peppery second half that seems to calm down and attain more nuance with aeration in the glass. It is a wonderful follow-up to the 2015 last year, although not quite with the same audacity and bravado. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

96-97 Points, James Suckling
A solid red with currant and blackberry character. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows richness and excitement. Juicy and sexy undertone to this.

Grand Puy Lacoste has released for £735 per case of 12 bottles or £367.50 per case of six, a 25% euro increase on last year. In 2016 it has been awarded 95-97 points from Neal Martin, the highest ever score from the Wine Advocate from barrel, of it Martin says ‘What a brilliant wine. It is classic Pauillac to its core.’ James Suckling has awarded it 96-97 points, suggesting it ‘Could better the exquisite 2014.’ – which has a clean 97 points. In short, this is the finest Grand Puy Lacoste ever. Indeed, given the superlative nature of the village of Pauillac in 2016, collectors would be amiss not to secure this for their seller. It is a truly stunning wine which priced at £61 per bottle is remarkable quality for a wine which is likely to hit the upper end of its barrel score: Grand Puy Lacoste 2016 characterises First Growth quality in normal vintages!

Grand PL WA JS Price Release  POP
2016 95-97 96-97 £735 £735 46
2015 94-96 94-95 £560 £495 37
2014 92+ 97 £500 £375 40
2013 90 91 £360 £345 36
2012 91 93 £375 £340 34
2011 91 93 £380 £395 35
2010 95 95 £750 £665 50
2009 95 95 £680 £540 45
2008 89 N/A £370 £280 41
2007 89-91 N/A £395 £315 40
2006 94 N/A £490 £305 35
2005 95 97 £840 £420 56

 

Grand Puy Lacoste, like Pontet Canet, is classified as a Fifth Growth. It is located behind Lynch Bages and on the same longitude as Mouton and Pontet Canet. Its terroir shares the same properties that makes these great Pauillac estates capable of producing beautifully structured, powerful and complex wines. The name Puy means small height or hillock and the Estate stayed in the same family from the 16th Century to 1920 before connecting with the Borie family; currently under the management of Francois-Xavier Borie. Interestingly Grand Puy Lacoste is known as the Crocodile Wine in China due to it sharing the same name as the well-known French sports brand, Lacoste.

Grand Puy Lacoste 2016, 12×75 – £735 EP or 6×75 – £367.50 EP

95-97 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2016 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot that matured in 75% new oak. It has 13.3% alcohol this year. It has an extraordinarily pure bouquet with blackberry, briary, touches of pencil shaving and cedar aromas–quintessential Grand-Puy-Lacoste, basically. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin. Gone are the days when this Pauillac was as hard as nails for the first decade. The tannins are nowadays much finer and the acidity lends this tension and plenty of freshness. There is an effortless quality to this Pauillac with wonderful length and such finesse on the finish that you immediately want to go back and re-taste it. Like so many others, this improved with aeration, gaining ever more harmony and precision. What a brilliant wine. It is classic Pauillac to its core.

96-97 Points, James Suckling
This is all about the finish with a sweet-tobacco, berry and light milk-chocolate character. Full body, very fine tannins and a juicy finish. Love the intensity and finesse at the end. Lots of energy. Could better the exquisite 2014. 

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