I recently had to buy a birthday gift for a rather beautiful lady friend. She is a successful business owner and has a great sense of style. Needless to say, selecting the right gift for her is challenging.
I explained the situation to the wine specialist helping me and he said “you know, ‘Chanel’ has a wine”. I couldn’t help but smile. It turned out Chanel had a few wine properties. In addition to the well-known Chateau Rauzan Segla in Margaux and a large negociant, the Chanel group owns Chateau Canon in Saint-Émilion.
Though the dealer was out of Chateau Canon proper, he did have several bottles and a few vintages of their second label Clos Canon. With ratings between 91-95 from various wine reviews including Robert Parker and Wine Spectator, and priced at about $60, I decided to buy a few bottles.
Clos Canon is 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc as is more typical of the right bank regions of Bordeaux. Though the Chateau’s original vineyards go back to the mid 1700’s the bulk of their vines have been replanted since 1996.
We tasted the 2009 and 2010 vintages. The 2009 was beautifully smooth from the start. The wine had soft tannins and the juicy characteristics of plum and black cherry. Throughout, there was a faint tobacco note and it had the classic Bordeaux minerality in the finish. It drank beautifully on its own.
The 2010 vintage, which is more readily available, was a different animal. The tannins were much bigger but also with more dense fruit, plum and blackberry and less of the tobacco notes. It opened up eventually over the course of two hours, but I believe it will be truly amazing with a minimum of two more years in the cellar.
In the end, my friend got a bottle of Dom Pérignon but hopefully will enjoy something from Chateau Cannon in the not too distant future.
Post note: Back in 2011, the Chateau relabeled Clos Canon and it can now be found as Croix Canon. It continues to thrive and enjoy very positive ratings.
By Richard Arebalo
OTL Features Editor