76% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc. This is Nicolas Audebert’s second full vintage at the helm after John Kolasa’s retirement, and he has excelled yet again. The Cabernet Franc gives this wine a fragranced density. At 1% lower alcohol than the 2015, this is a classical example of Canon: pure, mature, not overripe, not over-extracted. Having been picked a little earlier than some neighbours the wine has a freshness and an energy that mark it out as a great St Emilion. Like a “kilo of feathers”, Nicolas describes it: “great volume, but no weight at all”. CP
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. Drink Date 2026 - 2060
Lively dark crimson. Very smart and complex on the nose - distinctively different. Really focused and rich but not sweet. Real lift and drive. So complete! Opulent on the nose but nothing remotely simple and sweet. Throbs with excitement. Drink 2025-2048
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.
The 2016 Canon is a wine of pure sophistication and polish. A rush of red cherry, plum, mint, rose petal and blood orange gives the 2016 its sexy, racy personality. Underlying veins of minerality and salinity provide finesse and persistence. In 2016, Canon is pure class. It doesn't reach the stratospheric level of the 2015, but that is too much to ask in a vintage that presented significant challenges in the vineyard. Tasted four times.
A fairly quiet Canon with controlled fruit and a long finish, this is a well-made wine with a lovely texture and no excesses of fat or tannin and it is surprisingly forward, too. The oak is well-judged and it perfectly matches the mood of the red fruit.
“A real terroir wine that I prefer to the 2015 is how maître de chai, Stéphane Bonnasse, describes his majestic 2016. You’d expect a wine owned by Chanel to be perfumed and that’s the case here on this scented, refined, beautifully balanced cuvée, showing refined oak, velvety tannins and flavours and texture that are as close as St Emilion gets to great Burgundy. 2024-36
Château Canon is located on rich limestone soil slopes southwest of the town of St Emilion. It is known for its muscular style which when young can be quite backward and tight but with age can evolve beautifully. Now owned by Chanel, who have invested heavily, Canon is going from strength to strength.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.