Château Canon La Gaffelière 2016
Château Canon La Gaffelière is the pride and joy of the well-respected von Neipperg family in Saint-Émilion. The estate was classified as a Saint-Émillion Premiere Grand Cru Classés Class B in 2012 after decades of hard work. The wine of Château Canon La Gaffelière is powerful, complex and dense. Since 2014, the scores of this property are on the steady climb, and these multi-layered, perfumed, richly concentrated wines are a worthy purchase for any oenophile who loves to experience the choicest offerings of Saint-Émilion.
Château Canon La Gaffelière initially had two separate names in the 19th Century. The property was once known as Canon Boitard and La Gaffelière-Boitard. The early owners decided to simplify things by combining the names and thus, Château Canon La Gaffelière was born. The real history of the estate began when the Von Neipperg family purchased the property in 1971. The von Neipperg family is a well-known German family of vignerons in the wine world. They have been involved in viticulture for 800 years, making wine in Germany since the 13th Century. The von Neippergs began to purchase land in Saint-Émilion in 1983 and devoted themselves to each property they acquired. Terroir is the most important philosophy for this family of winemakers, and though each property they own subscribes to similar vinification and viticultural practices, the wines are all strikingly different. Château Canon La Gaffelière is their main production while Château La Mondotte is their more coveted sister property due to the much smaller size. They firmly believe if one shows respect to the land and vineyards, the wine will reflect that. Clearly, they are doing something right.
The terroir at Château Canon La Gaffelière is a mixture of clay, sand and limestone soils that are signature to the Right Bank region. It’s a bit warmer in this portion of Saint-Émilion, and the clay here is signature to retaining heat and assisting in ripening the vines. The vineyards at Château Canon La Gaffelière are a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Though the von Neippergs acknowledge that Merlot is the star of the Right Bank, they also have a profound respect for Cabernet Franc and the layers it brings to the wines from this region. This carries through in the grand vin of Château Canon La Gaffelière, for there is no shortage of complexity in this wine.
The viticultural practices over at Château Canon La Gaffelière are all about sustainable farming. Here, organic compost is used with a mixture of regular ploughing to help with aeration. From some plots in Château Canon La Gaffelière, the legendary property Château Ausone can be seen. The grapes are 100% Organically Certified, and some of the oldest vines on the property are 80 years old. The grapes are harvested by hand, and the wine is vinified in a gravity flow winery. The wine of Château Canon La Gaffelière does require at least 10-15 years bottle ageing due to its complexity. It needs that time to lay down and reveal the gorgeously floral secondary characteristics associated with this profound wine.
"The 2016 Canon la Gaffeliere is a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (vines organically certified) picked from 26 September to 15 October and matured in 60% new oak. The yield is 42 hectoliters per hectare. This offers one of the most cerebral aromatics that I have encountered from this Saint Emilion estate: mineral-rich red and black fruit, quite edgy, almost flinty in style. I adore the focus of these aromas that are wired directly into the olfactory senses. The palate is very well balanced and governed by the Cabernet component. The black fruit is lifted by some lovely graphite notes that lend it a very Left Bank-like personality. It is fresh, taut and linear with a very persistent finish. Unlike other vintages of Canon la Gaffelière, I feel that this will require four to five years in bottle. As good as the 2015 last year, it might even surpass it." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 93-95, Drink: 2023-2050
|Château Canon La Gaffelière