2008 Chateau Vrai Canon Bouche

Year: 2008
Appellation: Canon-Fronsac
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 90
Red Wine
Price :
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"Very open and lively, with bouncy raspberry and blackberry fruit supported by a layer of roasted vanilla that takes over a bit on the medium-weight finish. Drink now. 1,665 cases made." (WS)

"2008: A delicious blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Malbec (14.5% natural alcohol), this dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 offers sweet blueberry and boysenberry fruit intermixed with licorice and graphite notes. Textured, deep, pure and medium to full-bodied, it is a sleeper of the vintage to enjoy over the next decade or more. Bravo!" (WA)

"(mostly merlot, from the property's best parcels): Dark red. Very ripe aromas of plum, blueberry jam and licorice. Tactile, plush and slightly liqueur-like, but a saline quality and good limestone lift leaven the wine's sweetness. This sexy, satisfying wine can be enjoyed now or over the next eight to ten years." (IWC)


The area of Canon-Fronsac is only a short distance from the commune of Pomerol and even as recently as the 19th century was offered considered its equal or superior in many instances. For Canon-Fronsac, and the adjacent area of Fronsac, still produces wines that remind one of the elegance and complexity of the now far more costly wines of Pomerol. In addition, like Pomerol are examples of how Merlot can escape from its often-found world-wide fault of being too soft.I enjoyed this ‘08 a great deal, at our Saturday group tasting and from a bit remaining I had it again with dinner and it was even better..

I checked my notes and can do no better then quote Robert Parker when he writes of this wine that it is, The finest offering from the Canon-Fronsac appellation, Vrai Canon Bouche’s 2008 was made from remarkably low yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare (about one-half to one-third of normal). The wine achieved 14.5% natural alcohol, and boasts stunning concentration, full body, and a gorgeous bouquet of spring flowers, blueberry pie, black raspberries, and charcoal. Dense and full-bodied with stunning purity, good acidity, and a 30-second finish, it is a blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Malbec. A superb over-achiever as well as a sleeper of the vintage, it isn’t surprising that Stephane Derenoncourt is the consultant at this estate.

The approximately 32 acres Chateau Vrai Canon Bouche produces about 5,000 cases a year and its cepage has changed during the last 20 or so years from being 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, to its present planning which is almost 100% Merlot with a minute addition of the seldom seen Malbec. The vineyard is quite old and gravelly with vast underground stone quarries where the wine is barrel aged after being fermented in a state of the art adjoining facility.

The wine will gain in complexity for another three to maybe 5 years and keep well until the early 2020’s.


PRICE: $24.95 *** bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)