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Chateau Canon St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Canon St. Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classe B, Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Canon, located on the top of the limestone plateau, in view of the St. Emilion village started out life as a part of the Clos St. Martin vineyard in the 1700′s. In 1760, when the St. Emilion vineyard was much smaller than it is today at 13 hectares, it was purchased by Jacques Kanon. Kanon was an interesting character who earned his fortune as a privateer. Privateer was societies polite way of saying pirate in those days.

Jacques Kanon expanded the vineyard and estate, bringing it much closer in size to what we have today at Chateau Canon. Kanon also ordered the construction of the original chateau which was completed in 1767. Kanon sold the estate to Raymond Fontémoing, a Bordeaux wine merchant after owning the property for about a decade.

There seem to be conflicting theories as to where Chateau Canon took its name. Logically, it would appear that Canon is a phonetic spelling of Kanon. But the Fontémoing family, who just purchased the estate already owned a property in Fronsac named Chateau Canon when they bought their St. Emilion vineyards. It’s reasonable to assume they wanted to expand their brand name and began selling both of their wines under the same name of Chateau Canon. Either way, by 1770, the wines of what we know of today as Chateau Canon had become an established St. Emilion wine. In 1853, the great-grand-daughter of Raymond Fontémoing officially changed the name of the property to Chateau Canon.

Canon Statue 300x262 Chateau Canon St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine

The Fontémoing family retained the Bordeaux wine property until 1857 where it was sold and resold multiple times until 1919. That year, Gabriel Supau bought Chateau Canon as a gift for his daughter and her husband André Fournier. The Fournier family invested a lot of money and time in modernizing as well as renovating the estate and its vineyards. Chateau Canon remained with in their control until 1996. In that year, Chateau Canon was sold to Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the owners of the famous luxury goods manufacturer Chanel.

Chateau Canon is managed by John Kolasa who also manages the Wertheimer’s other Bordeaux property located in Margaux, Chateau Rauzan Segla. After purchasing Chateau Canon, the first order of business was to replant much of the vineyard, which had fallen into poor conditions. The state of dilapidation was due to disease, negligence and a lack of funds. Because the vineyard continues to be replanted in various stages, the replanting work in the vineyards of Chateau Canon is still continuing today. The entire range of wine making facilities, vat rooms and cellar were completely replaced and modernized as well. In 2012, the chateau began an extensive renovation, which is expected to take until 2014 to be completed.

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The caves of Chateau Canon are one of the best sites available for wine lovers in the St. Emilion area to visit and explore. People began extracting the stone about a thousand years ago to build St Emilion, Libourne and the villages around Bordeaux. It’s truly an amazing site.

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The limestone situated underneath Chateau Canon is easy to cut. But once it’s outside in contact with air, it becomes hard and almost impenetrably solid. This makes for great building materials. In the 1860’s, the quarries were ordered closed due to excessive pilfering.  In the 1950′s, some of the caves were used to grow mushrooms. The caves are massive and allow visitors to walk from chateau to chateau. From Canon you can walk to Beau-Sejour Becot or Clos Fourtet. Gates are all that separates the different estates. The constant temperature of the quarries helps protect the Bordeaux wine vineyard from extreme weather conditions. During winter, the warm temperatures help the vines avoid frost. During summer, they get the freshness they need.

Canon Cave 5 300x225 Chateau Canon St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine

Chateau Canon is a stylish Bordeaux wine.  With minerality, ripe dark berries, licorce and spicy scents, coupled with an opulent personality, it’s a wine for consumers with patience. It takes at least 10-15 or more years before it’s open and ready to drink. Buyers of Chateau Canon are not expecting immediate gratification. They willing wait for the complexities that come with age.

Canon1 300x225 Chateau Canon St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine

Chateau Canon owns 34 hectares of vines. 24 of those hectares are used to produce Chateau Canon. The vineyard of Chateau Canon is located in the heart of the St. Emilion, limestone plateau. The terroir is clay and limestone soils.  The vineyard of Chateau Canon is planted to 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. There has been a slow, on-going program to add more Cabernet Franc to the vineyard. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 5,500 to 6,500 vines per hectare. Due to the excessive amount or replanting needed when the estate was purchased in 1996, the vines are just now obtaining the age required to produce the level of high quality wine Chateau Canon is capable of making. The average age of the vines is now close to 30 years of age. There are old vines, some of which date back to the end of the 1930′s. The estate recently augmented the size of their vineyards with the purchase of Chateau Matras and prior to that, Chateau Cure Bon. Although the majority of those vines are going to be used in Croix Canon.


Canon Vata 300x225 Chateau Canon St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine

To produce the wine of Chateau Canon, fermentation takes place in temperatures ranging from 28 – 32 degrees Celsius in double walled, temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. Chateau Canon uses 24 vats ranging in size from 56 hectoliters to 98 hectoliters. This range of vat sizes allows the estate to vinify the wines on a parcel by parcel basis. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of stainless steel vats and barrels. The wine is aged for 18 months in 50%  new, French oak barrels. There is a second wine, Croix Canon. Starting with the 2012 vintage, the previous name for the second wine, Clos Canon was changed to Croix Canon. On average, the annual production of Chateau Canon now hovers at close to 6,000 cases per vintage. The production can vary up, or down, depending on the quality of the vintage.

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 19 vintages | 70497 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2012 Château Canon

    1. Earth, stone, fresh red berries, medium-bodied, soft and fresh, this is a forward style for Canon, making it one of the vintages tasters can enjoy young. 90-92 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
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  2. 2011 Château Canon

    1. Tight, the wine needed coaxing to bring out its mineral driven, black raspberry, plum, dark cherry and oak nose. The fruit is bright, fresh and dominated by spicy, red berries and kirsch in the finish.

      90 points - Tasted
    2. Blending 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.55% alcohol and will be aged in 70% new oak. The Merlot was harvested starting September 7, for the young vines and September 13 for the old vines, ending September16. Cabernet Franc was picked September 16 -17. Floral, stone, cherry blossom, black raspberry and kirsch create the complex aromatics. Silky, soft and fresh, the precise finish ends with round, sweet, pure red berries and minerality. 92-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
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  3. 2010 Château Canon

    1. Canon is never the ripest or richest wine, instead it offers a finesse style, with ripe, fresh fruits coupled with a sense of purity, intense minerality and the structure to age and develop for decades. As the vineyard continues to age, I expect the future vintages of Chateau Canon will be even better in the years to come.

      94 points - Tasted
    2. Minerality, licorice, toffee, red and black plums, blueberries, truffle and spice box aromas. This is the darkest color I have ever seen in a young vintage of Canon. It's also the ripes I;ve ever tasted. as well as the most alcoholic. But there is no sensation of heat, even though this is 15% alcohol by volume. With layers of concentrated ripe fruit, opulent textures and structure to age, this beautiful St. Emilion ends with a big mouthful of fresh, juicy, ripe, black raspberries, jam, licorice and black cherries. Like all great vintages of Canon, this will require at least a decade or more before it opens and starts to express its personality. 94-95 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
    3. Canon - From 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, (which is the same mix as found in the vineyards,) the wine is deep ruby in color and reached 14.8% alcohol. Yet, there is no sensation of heat. People who prefer tasting by the numbers could have problems with this wine, but I loved it! An intoxicating perfume filled with minerality, licorice, black raspberry jam, hints of oak and chocolate, this is the richest, most concentrated wine produced by the Kolasa team yet. Thick, intense and filled with fresh, perfectly ripe plums, blackberries and licorice, the wine feels great as it falls over your palate and coats your mouth. 94-96 Pts.

      95 points - Tasted
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  4. 2009 Château Canon

    1. Minerality is the first thing you notice, fresh black raspberry, plum, anise, coffee and cherry notes add to the complexity. From a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, the wine combines ripe flavors, concentration, freshness, structure and balance to create a St. Emilion that demands at least a decade, if not 15 years to full open up.

      94 points - Tasted
    2. Never the darkest wine from St. Emilion, the wine offers oak, flowers, plums, licorice, stone, cherries and pipe tobacco aromas. From a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, the wine offers rich textures and layers of sweet, ripe, spicy black and red fruits. This is a wine to lay down for at least a decade.

      94 points - Tasted
    3. 2009 Canon is a dark ruby offering whose mineral, floral, dark raspberry, spice, and licorice aromatics pair well with a mouthful of intense, silky, sweet berries. The wine has purity and freshness, and finishes with flavors of plums, spice, and licorice. Canon now includes some fruit from the replanting done in 1998. New plantings are of cabernet franc vines. The vineyards are currently 25% cabernet franc. Over time they will increase to 35%. 93-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
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  5. 2008 Château Canon

    1. Minerality, flowers, cherry, blackberry, floral scents and a kiss of oak are found in the perfume. This elegant wine is filled with fresh red and black fruit. Canon is not produced to be drunk young. The 2008 might prove to be an exception to the rule.

      92 points - Tasted
    2. 2008 Canon offers a mineral driven perfume that is complicated with black fruit, plums, anise, coca and plums. With ample round tannins and elegant textures, this wine is built to age. The finish ends with black raspberry and fresh dark cherry flavors. 93 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
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  6. 2005 Château Canon

    1. With their 05, they announced they want to begin producing wines like they did in 82 and 89. Elegant, silky, good levels of richness and a slightly tannic spine with a good touch of minerals make this wine interesting to taste.

      90 points - Tasted
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  7. 2004 Château Canon

    1. It took a few hours to open and allow the licorice truffle, mint, cassis earth and plum scents to develop. There is a sense of harshness in the tannins that leaves you a little dry in the bright, spicy, black cherry finish. It's still young, so give it another 5 years.

      90 points - Tasted
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  8. 2003 Château Canon

    1. Medium bodied, with a jammy, earthy, red fruit nose, the wine is soft, bright and ready to drink.

      89 points - Tasted
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  9. 2001 Château Canon

    1. 2001 Canon opens with chocoalte, black raspberry, coffee, licorice, smoke and minerality. Medium to full bodied, this silky, soft textured wine ends with fresh black raspberry flavors.

      90 points - Tasted
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  10. 1989 Château Canon

    1. Intense minerality is the first thing you sense, followed by fresh black cherry, floral, spice and earthy aromatics. Elegant and regal in style, this traditional wine is still young and retains a lot of freshness. The wine ends with long notes of fresh ripe wild strawberry, black cherry and dark raspberries. As good as it is, this will improve for at least another 10-15 more years.

      93 points - Tasted
    2. Deep ruby in color. The enjoyable nose expresses spice, herbs, truffles, and licorice, along with hints of plum. Very sexy in the mouth, this tasty treat spills ripe, black cherries all over your mouth in the long, enjoyable finish.

      93 points - Tasted
    3. Lush dark, red fruits, stone and herbs make a beautiful perfume. This plush, opulent, silky wine could use more concentration to make it really rock. Regardless, it's a treat to taste.

      93 points - Tasted
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  11. 1982 Château Canon

    1. Flowers, truffles, white cherries, stone and earth scents make up the complex perfume. Full bodied, rich, concentrated, balanced and elegant, at close to 30 years of age, this beautiful St. Emilion is running on all cylinders. The wine ends with an earthy, soft, sweet, licorice over red and black fruit finish.

      94 points - Tasted
    2. Delivers a lot of pleasure that will not break the bank. Tobacco, minerals, truffles, back cherry, blackberry, chocolate, mint and hints of cinnamon fill your nose with pleasure. Full bodied, concentrated and opulent in the mouth, this sensuous, sexy little thing delivers a lot of pleasure. While mature, there is no hurry to drink a well stored bottle, as there is ample stuffing to last for at least another decade.

      94 points - Tasted
    3. Plums, herbs, spice and truffle aromatics are easy to find. Elegant, round, plush and silky in texture, this plush wine is mature and will deliver pleasure for several years.

      93 points - Tasted
    4. This wine offered a perfume of rich, black fruit, herbs, olives, flowers and earth. Silky, lush entry. Lots of depth. Ripe red and black fruits please the palate. Some tannin remains.

      93 points - Tasted
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  12. 1975 Château Canon

    1. Earth, tobacco, truffle, cigar box, cherry blossom, strawberry and spice aromatics led to a medium bodied wine with surprisingly, soft tannins for the vintage. This was from a bottle that has not moved from the chateau since the day it was bottled.

      85 points - Tasted
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  13. 1964 Château Canon

    1. Truffle, tobacco, cherry blossom, earth and crushed stone scents create the perfume. Medium bodied and fully mature, the wine ended with a clean, albeit too short of a spicy, cherry filled finish. This was much better on the nose than on the palate. I've tasted better bottles. But at close to 50 years of age, there are no things as great wines, just great bottles.

      90 points - Tasted
    2. Truffle, cigar box, smoke, cherry blossoms, leather, kirsch and stone aromatics are found in abundance. With textures of silk, the wine offers purity, spice and a complete, beginning, middle and end. The only quibble is, the finish while complete, was short. This St. Emilion wine at close to 50 years is probably not going to improve. But it is no danger of falling apart, as the wine remained strong for over 2 hours in the glass! This is a delicious, fully mature Bordeaux wine that is drinking perfectly, provided the bottle has good provenance.

      92 points - Tasted
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  14. 1962 Château Canon

    1. Light and fading, the wine was showing a beautiful, earthy, tobacco and floral nose, but on the palate, the fruit has started to fade.

      80 points - Tasted
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  15. 1959 Château Canon

    1. This mature St. Emilion offers complex aromatics of coffee, roses, licorice, stone, truffle and forest floor. This concentrated, round and elegant wine is filled with rich textures and minerality. The wine finished with waves of soft, polished ripe dark cherries and strawberry poured over crushed stone.

      95 points - Tasted
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  16. 1957 Château Canon

    1. The color of rose hip tea, medium bodied and showing a more acid than fruit in the austere finish, this is a little bit more than a little past fully mature. Yet, it was not bad considering the reputation of this seldom seen vintage.

      78 points - Tasted
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  17. 1956 Château Canon

    1. This could be the rarest wine I have ever tasted. It was my fist tasting of any wine from the year that is best known for the brutal frost that destroyed much of the Bordeaux vineyards. Served blind, I thought it was an early 60's or late 50's wine from a moderate vintage. Close to the color of a rose hip tea, filled with spice, leather, truffle, forest, coffee and crushed stone scents, this medium bodied wine ended with a strawberry, dark cherry finish. Much of the quality from this wine comes the natural low yields caused by the harsh winter weather.

      84 points - Tasted
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  18. 1955 Château Canon

    1. More than fully mature aromas of bacon fat, brown sugar, truffle, earth, tobacco leaf, stone and cherry are present as soon as the wine hits the glass. Medium/full bodied with a short, tart, cherry and cranberry finish. This bottle was much better on the nose than the palate. Owners of this rare wine should know, it requires consumption.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. This fully mature Bordeaux wine, with its smoke, spice, earth, plum and jammy berry filled nose is sweet, ripe, elegant and round in your mouth. This sensuous wine ends withlush, spicy dark berries and plums.

      93 points - Tasted
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  19. 1953 Château Canon

    1. Served blind, this beauty seemed at least two decades younger than its true age. From a magnum that had not been moved since it was bottled, the wine exploded with truffle, wild cherries, floral, spice, strawberry, forest and herbal scents. Silky in texture, refined and elegant, the wine finished with a beautiful wave of fresh, ripe, red berries. What a treat!

      93 points - Tasted
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