Following the release of the exciting Calon Segur 2017 this morning, this has been tracked by two of the other most highly awaited wines, Chateau Canon and Rauzan Segla.
Chateau Canon has been synonymous with incredible quality and wine investment over recent years, the 2015 returning 246% since its release two years ago. We highlighted in 2014 that Chateau Canon was one to watch and over the last two years vintages running from 2005 to 2015 have gained on average 66%. In 2017 we believed that Canon would be investible again if they maintained their pound release price, the 2016 already gaining 77% since its release last year. However, Chateau Canon have released today for £810 per case of 12 or £405 per case of six, thereon providing a 7.4% discount on the 2016 release price and as such a brilliant buy again on release, at a 48% discount to the current trading price of the 2016.
In 2017 it has been awarded 94-96 points from the Wine Advocate, thereon very likely to be one of the best vintages ever, possibly even in line with the 96 points score the Wine Advocate gave the 2015 from bottle. The 2017 release price also means its release is at a 10% discount to the average trading price of Canon from 2005 to 2015, a 15% discount to the 2005 and 2010 which were awarded 95 and 93 points respectively. The disparity to the trading prices of the finest vintages means 2017 is a must after all the 96 scoring 2015, which the 2017 could well equal, trades at a 246% premium and reflects the possible watermark for Canon to rise to, as its cachet drives wine lovers to its brilliant recent form and prestige. Moreover, since 2014 the Estate have been greatly reducing the volumes released during en primeur and in 2017, this has been reduced by 10% again, there is very little to go around.
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 both and Krug and Veuve Cliquot in Champagne.
In 2015, Ruazan Segla has been awarded 94-96 points from the Wine Advocate, and 94-95 from James Suckling, thereon making it one of the Estate’s finest ever vintages, besting the 2005 which trades at £950 per case of 12 and likely to surpass the 2005 which was awarded 94 points from bottle and trades at £1,000 per case of 12. It points it in line with the 2010 score, which was awarded 95+ and trades at £950 per case. The release price of the 2017 today is £648, a 11.4% discount to the 2016 release price and 9% discount to the average trading price of the last 10 vintages. However, the 2017 being one of the finest vintages ever, means that it has a Price Over Points score of 43, making it the second lowest, behind the 2012 and the 2013.
Rauzan Segla, which is one of the leading Second Growth wines in Bordeaux and arguably the finest Second Growth in the Village of Margaux has become a highly allocated wine. Its recent high scores, reflecting its brilliant quality, has led to large gains for collectors. Over the last 24 months vintages running from 2005 to 2015 have increased on average 54% in price, while the 2014 and 2015 wines gained 53% and 79% respectively. It is an Estate to buy perennially, its global cachet soaring. The 2017, due to its POP ratio, recent performance and global demand is a strong buy again in 2017, trading at a healthy discount to similar scoring vintages. Moreover, the volume released has been decreased by 15%, which will stretch supply further.
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 Segla 1790 after visiting Bordeaux in 1787, immediately declaring it as one of the top Second Growths. 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.
Chateau Rauzan Segla is planted to 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and produces only 10,000-12,000 cases a year, less than the majority of other First and Second Growths. In 2017 its blend is composed of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.
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