As the leading wine connoisseur Neal Martin—now with Robert Parker's Wine Advocate—wrote in an article for us on Second Wines, 'Nothing in wine is more revealing than a blind tasting. At one memorable event, among many distinguished Masters of Wine, I scored the Second Wine of Château Lafite Rothschild higher than the Grand Vin itself. Embarrassment turned to quiet satisfaction when some of my fellow tasters did the same. This partially answers the first question about Second Wines: can they surpass Grand Vins? In some cases, they can, and for a great deal less money.'
So when we are talking, as here, of the famous St-Emilion Château Canon, re-emerging as a Bordeaux superstar after being taken over by the owners of Chanel, the chance to enjoy the meticulously produced Second Wine, Croix Canon, itself a fine wine, at the Club price of £176 per case of six bottles delivered, is too tempting to miss! And as there are only 10 cases remaining in the UK, we took the opportunity to snap it up for the Club Cellar so our Members don't miss out!
Château Canon is a beautiful, historic Bordeaux estate on the hillsides outside mediaeval St-Emilion itself, now owned and funded by Chanel's Wertheimer family. Château Canon is returning to top form after some irregular performances under the previous owners during the 1990s, but the critics say that the Wertheimers' intervention is restoring its glory—the 2012 vintage causing Robert Parker to celebrate, rating its Grand Vin 'the first truly profound Canon', adding, 'Improvement has been noticeable for a number of years, but this wine is remarkable.'
Croix Canon is crafted with the same precision as the First Wine. In the vineyard and cellar, winegrowers and workers apply meticulous methods, precise plot-by-plot management, and grape selection further refined by manual sorting. The gravity-flow fermenting room makes it possible to manipulate the grapes very gently. Made from a blend which combines a majority of Merlot with a smaller quantity of Cabernet Franc, the wine is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, including a small proportion of new barrels to preserve aromatic balance.
The nose is fresh, delicate and fruity. The palate is silky—an historic characteristic of top-form Canon—with an intense aromatic expression and firm tannin structure. A long and graceful finish displays the balance and poise which define Croix Canon. Food pairing: Match this wine at cellar temperature to a variety of dishes based on red meat or pair with ripe cheeses. The tasters at Lea & Sandeman raved: 'Delicious. A little sweet point and then a dry pure volume, silky and correct. Maturing spicy plummy fruit. Gorgeous supple feel. The changes at Canon beginning to take effect with this vintage and it is a joy. Drinking range: 2017-2022. Rating: 91.' From the Club Tasting Panel, two words epitomised their view when recommending it to Members: 'Awesome wine!'
Croix Canon, Château Canon 2012. Case of six bottles.
RRP £250 plus delivery. CCUK £176. Free UK mainland delivery.
Free delivery in
Orders from CountryClubuk Members only