2018 Chateau Canon

Year: 2018
Appellation: Saint-Emilion
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96-99
Wine Advocate: 97-99
Vinous Media: 94-97
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 96-98+--Wine Enthusiast: 95-97--Jeff Leve: 97-99
Red Wine


Price :


"Features a gorgeous core of plum and black currant fruit, deeply inlaid with tobacco notes and chalky minerality. Everything melds wonderfully through the finish, which is refined in feel. -J.M." (WS)

"The 2018 Canon is blended of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, with a pH of 3.69 and 14% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, it comes sashaying out of the glass with glamorous notes of cinnamon stick, baked blackberries, black cherry compote and licorice plus an undercurrent of plum preserves and smoked meats and, with coaxing, reveals a lovely floral signature of candied violets and red roses. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully soft-spoken, whispering of fragrant floral and earthy scents beneath a core of profound, mouth-coating black and blue fruits, draped in a high level of super ripe, plush tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and perfume with loads of mineral sparks emerging.

“Everybody got mildew this year. Everybody,” Nicolas Audebert, Technical Director for Château Canon (and Rauzan-Ségla), told me. “We had mildew problems like any other estate. But when Château Canon was bought 20 years ago, it needed replanting. That has all been done now and it is very healthy. Here, there are no sick or dying vines—everything is producing. If we wanted to, we could get 100 hectoliters per hectare in a normal year! We got 42 hectoliters per hectare here this year. This year, we dropped all the bunches affected by the mildew.”

I don’t need to tell followers of this estate that Château Canon is on an upward trajectory. The level of intensity achieved this year is truly impressive. Audebert agreed with my reference to this point. “The level of density this year is probably higher than we have ever had," he said. "In my point of view, the best tanks of the year were Merlot, even at Rauzan. The density of the fruit was incredible.” When I asked him about how he maintained such freshness among all that richness of the 2018 Canon and its neighbors, Croix Canon and Berliquet, he replied, “The type of soil we have, it is quite easy to get freshness. It is something extremely important to us; we want ripeness and maturity but we also always want vibrancy and freshness.” The soil he refers to is the coveted clay and limestone of Saint-Émilion’s plateau, which has produced some of the greatest wines of this vintage.

In 2018, the Merlot came in between September 7 and 27, and Cabernet Franc was harvested October 2-5. The harvest started and finished at Canon with Croix Canon and Berliquet in between. Audebert’s strategy was to pick some fruit fresh and bright and harvest other fruit at the riper end. Sound strategy, impressive results." (WA)

"The 2018 Canon bristles with energy, tension and explosive, vertical lift. Dark, powerful and full of personality, Canon is magnificent in 2018. Time in the glass brings out a range of dark fruit, mineral, floral and saline notes, but readers will have to be patient in order to enjoy the 2018 at its fullest splendor. Most importantly, I am blown away by how much precision and persistence there is given the wine's concentration and overall richness. The 2018 Canon is magnificent. That's pretty much all there is to it. The blend is 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon. Technical Director Nicolas Audebert added that he and his team left more leaf cover to protect the fruit from the extreme heat and dryness of the summer. Once in the cellar, extractions were done as gently as possible, Audebert explained. Tasted four times. " (VM)

"This is a dense and focused Canon with beautiful blackberry, almond and hazelnut character. Vivid and lifted. It’s compact and complete with tannins that melt into the center palate and then build at the end. Full-bodied yet reserved and driven. A superb and focused wine. Classy all the way. New 1955?" (JS)

"Reminding me of a slightly fresher, more focused version of the 2009, the 2018 Château Canon boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as awesome minerality in its smoked red and black fruits, graphite, cocoa, scorched earth, and spice box driven aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and structured, this is a powerful Canon that’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for decades. The 2018 is a blend of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc that hit 14% natural alcohol (the pH is 3.66) and is still aging in 52% new French oak. Tasted twice." (JD)

"95–97. Barrel Sample. This is an elegant, structured wine that is sculpted by rich fruit. Its bright acidity and great fruitiness are as important as the powerful structure. It obviously will age well and for many years." (WE)

"With delicate, cashmere tannins, the wine is lavish, opulent, fresh and loaded with ripe black fruits, licorice, smoke, plums, minerals, flowers and cherries. The wine balances perfectly with elegance and a wealth of sensuous fruits. There is length, which is what the doctor ordered as you want to enjoy as much of this for as long as possible. The wine blends 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% alcohol. Picking took place September 7 to October 9, making 2018 the longest harvest in the history of the property." (JL)