May 31st 2016
The Bordeaux campaign leapt back into life this afternoon with the release of Ch Canon 2015. This brilliant St Emilion has most definitely been one of the most talked about wines of the 2015 vintage. James Suckling released his notes and scores before we had even tasted and awarded it a whopping 100 points (which has since been backed up by 98-100 points from Neal Martin), so there was huge excitement as we drove up for the first time this year.
We were not disappointed. Whilst I couldn’t quite give it the perfect score à la Suckling, it is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. Positioned on top of the famous St Emilion limestone plateau, this is new winemaker Nicolas Audebert’s first vintage following the retirement of his predecessor, British born John Kolasa. He has set the bar incredibly high for future vintages.
This wine shows the great strength as well as subtlety and finesse that the very best soils in St Emilion can produce. Unlike some producers in the appellation, Audebert avoids the temptation for excess and over extraction. If you had to choose just one wine this vintage, Ch Canon has to be a prime contender.
Ch Canon 1er Grand Cru Classé St Emilion 2015
A handsome wine indeed. This has a lovely freshness from 28% Cabernet Franc, which excellently balance with the gorgeously voluminous 62% Merlot. Slippery tannins glide across the palate. It has the luxurious feel of which the best right bank estates are capable, and the poised, crisp finish of the best 2015s. An all round star. Drink 2022-2035. Goedhuis, Score: 96-98
Lucid in colour, it has an intense bouquet that exudes extraordinary purity with scents of raspberry, wild strawberry, limestone and violets. It makes a huge impression. The palate is medium-bodied and multi-layered with vivacious red and black fruit infused with minerals. The acidity lends the tension here from start to finish, but what this Canon possesses unlike the dozens of other vintages that I have tasted, is an overarching structure that will see it age in similar fashion to past classics such as the 1929, 1947 and 1964. It lingers very long in the mouth, the oak just surfacing a little on the aftertaste, although that will be subsumed with time. This estate has been in the ascendant in recent vintages under winemaker John Kolasa and now Nicolas Audebert, together with a benevolent growing season, has elevated Canon to a level that few could have predicted. Neal Martin, Score: 98-100
This is the greatest red ever produced here, even better than the great wines of the 1950s and 1960s. Full body yet tight and reserved. Superbly refined tannins. Yet rich and flamboyant. Fruity yet salty and minerally. Electric finish. Stone and chalk undertones. A wonder of a young wine. James Suckling, Score: 100
The 2015 Canon is one of the undisputed stars of the vintage. An utterly mesmerizing wine, Canon has it all; alluring aromatics; towering structure, fabulous depth, and exceptional balance. The aromas and flavors are remarkably nuanced for such a big wine. Waves of graphite, exotic spices, smoke, herb, licorice, violets and crème de cassis appear at every angle as this utterly profound Saint-Émilion shows off its pedigree. So far I have tasted the 2015 four times. It has never been anything less than sensational. Quite simply, Canon is one of the few truly must-have wines of 2015. It is every bit that memorable. Antonio Galloni, Score: 96-98