Jane Anson - This vintage delivers a beautiful, classic style of Canon that is right at the top of what St-Émilion can offer. Compact and dense without being hard, it is finely structured both in terms of the texture of the cassis and blackberry fruits and in the shape of the tannins. It demonstrates a clear minerality and a feather-brushing of violet notes. This is less obviously sexy than 2015, but is a wine that offers a masterclass in what limestone terroir can convey - salinity, succulence, hints of austerity and reserves of power. I retasted it a few times, and the main take away of what to expect is layers of flavour and huge persistency. The details of how they worked the vintage are an added bonus to understanding how they achieved this result. When it started getting hot and dry, they left all green cover on the vines, and did no green harvesting except tidying up in September. The result was loading the vines to avoid over-concentration. 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, with the final blend aged in 70% new oak. 3.6pH
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.
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.
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.