Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2018
Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere's terroir consists of clay-limestone and clay-sand soil that is very permeable and particularly efficient at retaining heat. Reflecting the estate's soil, the proportions of grape varieties are rather atypical for the appellation: a perfect 50/50 divide between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon ripens early on Canon La Gaffeliere's warm soil, adding power and aromatic complexity to Merlot's opulence to create wines of natural elegance and finesse. The wine is classy, remarkably well-structured, complex, pure, and always elegant.
Blend: 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
97 Points - Vinous The 2018 Canon La Gaffelière is bright, punchy and full of character, just as it was from barrel. Sage, blood orange, mocha and spice add pretty aromatic top notes to a core of inky red/purplish berry fruit. All the elements are so well balanced in this super-expressive Saint-Émilion. Bright floral and savory Franc notes punctuate the salivating finish, mineral-drenched finish. The 2018 needs a lot of air to open, but when it does, it is dynamite.
96 Points - Wine Spectator This has a lovely core of mulled cassis, damson plum and raspberry reduction notes, framed with an applewood note that integrates nicely while red tea, savoury and chalky mineral notes develop through the finish. Restrained style, precise and very long. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2024 through 2038.
96 Points - James Suckling Fantastic depth and richness to the nose with plums, mushrooms, bark and some mahogany. Full-bodied, tight and focused with very fine tannins and a long, creamy finish. Lovely polish, balance and clarity. Drink after 2025.
96 Points - Wine Enthusiast This already shows sophistication in a stream of black currant fruit set alongside the firm tannins that are still developing. Its structure and juicy berry fruits give richness and freshness at the end while also promising aging.
95 Points - Decanter This has the clear edge over La Mondotte for me because it combines the polish and glamour of a St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé with the salt taffy tang of limestone. Still a silky texture but a more attractive slate edge coming in on the finish to temper the sweet fruit and slow things down. A highly impressive wine. The harvest ran from 19 September to 4 October, with a yield of 35hl/ha. 50% new oak. Certified organic.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck Another beautiful vintage for this cuvée, the 2018 Château Canon La Gaffelière is based on 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, brought up in 50% new French oak, with the balance all in used barrels. It's never the biggest or richest wine in the vintage yet always has a classic Saint-Emilion elegance as well as brilliant minerality. The 2018 reveals a dense purple hue to go with an already complex bouquet of kirsch, blackberries, new saddle leather, bouquet garni, tobacco, and flowery incense. With medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish, it builds nicely with time in the glass and is a complex, flawlessly balanced Saint-Emilion that offers both hedonistic and intellectual pleasure. It's going to keep for 20-30 years, and I'd recommend a healthy decant or a good 4-6 years of bottle age.
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Canon la Gaffeliere out of the gate delivers a seductive nose of plum preserves, kirsch and Black Forest cake with nuances of lilacs, underbrush, Indian spices and dusty soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is filled with black fruit preserves and loads of spicy accents, supported by chewy tannins and well-balanced freshness, finishing long and savory.