Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to taste these wines from the trio of Châteaux owned by the Wertheimers (owners of Chanel) – and very few journalists or wine critics have either.
I have been increasingly impressed by the calibre of the wines made under Nicolas Audebert’s direction at both Châteaux Canon and Rauzan-Ségla, and have high hopes for the 2019s.
I should also add that the 2018 vintage of Château Berliquet, the inaugural release under the new ownership, highlighted the potential offered by this vineyard, neatly sandwiched as it is between Canon’s holdings.
Simply put, this is a set of wines that it is well-worth following…I have added Jane Anson’s notes from Decanter on Canon, Rauzan-Ségla and Berliquet below.
2019 Château Canon, 1er Grand Cru Classé, St-Emilion
£438 per 6 bottle case in bond
98 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com
Sleek, elegant and appealing even before you get your nose near the glass. Aromatically it is deep and rich, and then it revs up and takes off. Dense, compact and intense, zingy limestone vibrancy and grip. Winemakers say they are looking for balance all the time, but here you feel it, with tiny pulses of electricity that appear from beginning to end of the palate. Salinity on the finish with gunsmoke and extremely moreish blueberry and blackberry fruit, with a creamy texture as things open up. 50% new oak. Thomas Duclos consults. Drink: 2028-2050.
2019 Château Rauzan-Ségla, 2ème Cru Classé, Margaux
£342 per 6 bottle case in bond
96 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com
The black fruits burrow downwards through the palate at first, keeping things pretty closed, everything holding its breath, before the fruit opens. There is the precision of Rauzan Ségla that is reminiscent of the 2016, less of the immediate voluptuous impact of 2018 but the density becomes extremely clear in the glass. A serious Rauzan, cassis and cedar, still with a rinse of iris flowers to give it the Margaux touch. 3.73pH. 50/50 1st and 2nd wine. A yield of 42l/ha. Drink: 2028-2044.
2019 Château Berliquet, Grand Cru Classé, St-Emilion
£201 per 6 bottle case in bond
93 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com
Vibrant damson in colour. I love the deep creaminess that is evident from the first nose, with hints of cocoa and gunsmoke. There is more clay here than at Canon; about 50% of the vineyard has a clay layer over the limestone whereas at Canon it is closer to 10%, meaning Berliquet is less ethereal, more urgent and powerful, still with precision and feathery chalky tannins. They have restored the underground limestone cellars for barrel ageing. A yield of 45hl/ha. 45% new oak, for what is the 2nd full year of the Canon team working the vineyard. Thomas Duclos consultant. Drink: 2026-2042.
Footnote (SL): Berliquet was purchased by the Wertheimers in 2017. It was a very logical purchase as the vineyard is essentially the same terroir as Canon itself. It is situated between two blocks of Canon’s vineyard on the limestone plateau. Who knows whether one day this will be subsumed into Château Canon, but while Nicolas Audebert’s team get to grips with the vineyard, it offers great value, benefitting as it does from the same winemaking know-how that has spurred on the quality of both Canon and Rauzan-Ségla.
Please let us know of your interest. Dependent on demand, we may be obliged to limit purchases of Châteaux Canon and Rauzan-Ségla.
All the best,