A premier cru with a history of fine vintages, this Saint-Emilion property has long been recognised as one of the best in the appellation.
It is believed that Canon was named after Jacques Kanon, the naval officer who bought estate in 1760. He built the château here and surrounded it with plantings solely of vines – a rare agricultural practice at the time – but he then sold the estate to a Bordeaux négociant just ten years later.
In 1919 it was purchased by the Fournier family, who owned the property until 1996, when they sold it to the Wertheimer family, owners of Chanel and of Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux.
Unfortunately, by this point, Canon had some serious problems: the cellars were contaminated with TCA, the chemical compound which causes cork taint. Many of the vines, infected by viruses, were in need of replacement, and part of the vineyard above the quarried cellars had subsided. Fortunately the Wertheimers had the means to address these issues, the will to do it and a manager, John Kolasa, with the know-how. The first decade of the 21st century saw Canon begin to regain its reputation, and now that John Kolasa has retired and been succeeded by Nicolas Audebert at both Rauzan-Ségla and Canon this trajectory will undoubtedly continue.
The substantial estate, covering 22 hectares, is on Saint-Emilion’s famous limestone plateau close to the town. The vines have an average age of 25 years and are generally planted with a southerly or south-westerly exposure.
75% of the vines are merlot and 25% cabernet franc. After the grapes are hand-picked, they are fermented in traditional cone-shaped vats, before spending 18 months ageing in oak barrels, half of them new.
Canon is defined by silky texture, fine perfume and body. It can be enjoyed for between eight to 25 years after the vintage.