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May 13, 2015

Chateau Canon 2014

canon (1)

Following the already popular Rauzan Segla released early today, the Wertheimer family, owners of Chanel, have brought their prized St Emilion estate Chateau Canon to market at £370 per case of 12. This is an outstanding price, only £5, ex-London, higher than last year and 57% below the 2009 and 2010 which is instructive, as Neal Martin says ‘This is outstanding for the vintage – a sublime Château Canon that might dare rank alongside the 2009 and 2010.’ This means the 2014 Canon has to be considered as one of the best investment wines of the vintage. In 2014 Neal Martin (WA) has given Chateau Canon a higher potential score than the 2009 and 2010, with 93-95 points, offering excellent vintage arbitrage with the 2010 trading at £850 and the 2009 at £890. This score is higher than its St. Emilion neighbour Angelus, 92-94, which was released for £1,700 and the same score as Ausone, to be released at an approximated £3,800 – £4,500. Moreover, it is the same score as Petrus! James Suckling (JS) also puts it on par with the 2009 and considers it superior to the the 2010 while Antonio Galloni (AG) says ‘The 2014 Canon is impeccable.’ 

Chateau Canon is a great estate which offers incredible value for money compared to other St.Emilion Estates. It produced less than 5,000 cases this year and it will be a sell out on the Place de Bordeaux, leaving the market wanting more. The 2014 also marks the last vintage under the stewardship of the legendary John Kolasa.

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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 the 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 and Krug and Veuve Cliquot in Champagne.

Chateau Canon 2014, 12×75 – £370 or  6×75 – £185 EP
Neil Martin, Wine Advocate, 93-95
The Château Canon 2014 is a blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc…It has a glorious bouquet with great purity and delineation: raspberry, wild strawberry and small red cherries, very pure and harmonious. The palate is medium-bodied with sensual ripe, filigree tannin, just the right amount of salinity, precise and mineral-rich towards the exquisite, pure and “classic” finish. This is outstanding for the vintage – a sublime Château Canon that might dare rank alongside the 2009 and 2010. If this represents the valedictory Canon from John Kolasa, then what a way to bow out.
James Suckling 95-96
A wonderful Canon with fabulous finesse and class. Full-bodied yet refined and polished. It touches your senses. Shows Right Bank made excellent wines in 2014
Antonio Galloni 91-94
The 2014 Canon is impeccable. Silky tannins convey an impression of total finesse as this round, creamy St.-Emilion shows off its considerable charms. Sweet floral and spice notes add lift to the red cherry and red currant flavors. The 2014 possesses marvelous energy and drive, yet those elements are channeled into a polished, totally harmonious wine. 

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