Since 2015, when it was awarded 97 points, Rauzan Segla has become one of the hottest properties in Bordeaux. This was then surpassed by the 2016 achieving an in bottle score of 97+. The 2018 pushes the envelope further, establishing itself unquestionably as one of the wines of the vintage, flirting with perfection. In fact, it has been awarded 97-99+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown who describes it as, ‘seduction in a glass’. James Suckling has awarded it 99-100 points, a wine of ‘such depth and power’. Antonio Galloni has awarded it 97-100 points calling it ‘a drop-dead gorgeous Rauzan that will leave readers weak at the knees’.
The 2018 matches the current trading price of the 2015, which trades today at £900. It outshines the 95+ scoring 2010 and 93+ scoring 2009, which trade at £995 and £1,400 and the 94 points scoring 2005 which trades at £1,050. Rauzan Segla has returned on average 47% from barrel to bottle since 2005. The same vintages also average a price of £793, which rises to £1,050 among the aforementioned greats. As such today’s release price offers a 14% discount to the other great vintages, which it surpasses. Today’s release price once again, as it has for a decade, offers immense value on release, with plenty of upside and money left on the table for collectors. This is a prized allocation, a wine of the highest pedigree.
We believe the global cachet of Rauzan Segla will continue to rise over the next decade. In fact, at the time of the 1855 classification the Estate was considered one of the truly great Second Growths. In 1994 the Estate was bought 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. It is now maximising its full potential, while its luxury connection to Chanel has allowed it to strengthen its brand globally.
As with Rauzan Segla, Chateau Canon has created something astonishing in 2018. It has been awarded 97-99 from Lisa Perrotti-Brown and 98-99 from James Suckling, who calls it, ‘classy all the way. New 1955?’. These scores mean that the 2018 vintage is within the pantheon of greats from Chateau Canon, capable of surpassing both the 2015 and 2016. The 2016 Canon trades today at £1,450, the 96 scoring 2015, £2,100 – though the latter is due to an initial higher barrel score. However, the 93 scoring 2010 and the 95 scoring 2009 trade at £1,100 and £1,150 respectively, while the 95 scoring 2005 trades at £1,100. This gives it an average price of £1,380 per case of 12 for all exceptional vintages. Today’s release price of £1,044 offers a 24% discount to these great vintages, which will experience enormous global demand, triggering an instant sell out. Indeed, over the last four years, Canon has been one of the prized allocations, returning on average 80% from barrel to the bottle price today. Canon 2018 is sexy, succulent and as with Rauzan leaves money on the table for collectors who can secure some.
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 modernise 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.