2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report – Episode 23 – Canon

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report

Episode 23 – Canon

2020 Château Canon, Premier Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Émilion

68% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc

50% new oak for 18 months

14.5% alc

40 hL/ha


Merlot was harvested from 4th – 21st September and Cabernet Franc was harvested from 18th – 23rd September

In common with a handful of other elite Saint-Émilions in 2020, Canon manages to seamlessly combine lusty fruit intensity with piercingly bright freshness on the palate and this makes it a wonderfully rewarding wine.  The nose is voluminous, layered and open and the palate starts in the same vein with deep, red berry fruit cut with flashes of darker more malevolent flavours.  As the palate progresses it slowly closes down to a final flourish of fit tannins and keen acidity and it is this jolt of freshness that allows the luxurious notes which precede it to gain perfect balance.  This is an expansive and delicious wine and I do not doubt that it will drink early in its life, but given that the tannins are so refined and active this vintage will mellow over two or three decades if it is given the chance.  This is my highest Canon score to date and it is definitely a wine to watch in 2020.  18.5/20

My Scores –  As you know, I favour the 20-point score. It’s how I was taught to score wines 35 years ago and it dovetails nicely with the way in which I judge wines, too. The absence of a ‘+’ indicates a wine that is in balance and can be drunk relatively young thanks to its precocity and charm. One ‘+’ indicates a wine that will benefit from medium-term ageing (in accordance with the style of the wine), while two ‘++’ indicates a wine that should manage to make the long haul, softening and evolving as it goes.