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News

2016 was a year with many twists and turns!

Winter was rather gloomy, as well as exceptionally mild and rainy. This led to early bud break from the 24th to the 28th of March (variable depending on the estate).

Beautiful, dry weather in the first week of June was accompanied by markedly above-average temperatures. This changed things considerably at the beginning of flowering, which was quick and even (starting on the 2nd of June in the most early-maturing plots).

However, the profile of the vintage changed radically as of the 20th of June.

Temperatures returned to the seasonal average, although there were a few peaks above 35°C in mid-July. Fruit set and bunch closure took place under very favourable conditions. The very dry weather brought about moderate water stress conducive to even véraison (colour change), which ended on the 15th of August in late-maturing plots.

Nevertheless, excessive water stress did not occur because reserves had been reconstituted thanks to rainfall in the early part of the year. Furthermore, the von Neipperg vineyards have deeply-rooted vines and excellent soil covering management.

The diurnal temperature difference in August and the first two weeks in September accounted for the very harmonious development of aromas and tannins. It rained on the 13th and 30th of September, giving a boost to ripening. The grapes already had an attractive freshness and fruitiness at this time!

The month of October was cooler, but still very sunny, which enabled our Cabernet Franc and (rare) Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to ripen perfectly.

The harvest began on the 26th of September at Canon La Gaffelière and finished on the 18th of October at Château d'Aiguilhe.

At the present time, i.e. at this stage of ageing, all the wines from our estates are showing beautiful aromatic complexity. The new wines are fresh, well-focused, and fruity with good body and tannin.

We will be delighted for you to taste them, because this is a truly great vintage!

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History

Château Canon La Gaffelière is located on the outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, at the southern foot of the slope.
The 19.5 hectare vineyard has a complex, outstanding terroir of clay-limestone and clay-sand soil. The topsoil is primarily sandy, increasingly so as one moves away from the slope.

 

The unusual proportion of grape varieties (55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) at Canon-La-Gaffelière is perfectly suited to the soil.


The average amount of Merlot is approximately 70% in Saint-Emilion. This variety contributes roundness and opulence. However, the high percentage of Cabernet Franc at Canon-La-Gaffelière is unquestionably well-adapted to the estate's warm soil. This variety accounts for an exquisite bouquet with spicy, floral overtones, as well as power and aromatic complexity. The old Cabernet Franc vines do especially well on soil with a high clay content. Seeing as the Cabernets are usually late-ripening, they take full advantage of the estate's warm soil. This means they mature much earlier than in most other parts of the appellation.

The vines, an average of 45 years old, are deeply rooted in the soil and absorb all the goodness in the terroir. They are mostly replaced individually rather than plot by plot (which maintains the average age). The last major replanting dates back to 1986. Mass selection is practised. This is especially useful in order to perpetuate the precious old Cabernet Franc vines. It not only maintains the vineyard's genetic heritage, but also its unique balance.

Remarkably well-structured, always elegant, and unfailingly long on the palate, Château Canon La Gaffelière eloquently illustrates Stephan von Neipperg's new orientation.

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Vineyards

Terroir: clay-limestone, clay-sand at the foot of the slope

Vineyard area currently in production: 19.5 hectares

Grape varieties: 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Average age of the vines: 45 years

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Winemaking

Count Joseph-Hubert von Neipperg acquired Château Canon La Gaffelière in 1971. Starting in 1984, all the winery buildings were entirely renovated and new offices were constructed. The château itself, in a rather poor state, was also extensively refurbished. Furthermore, a new winemaking team was formed to reflect the estate's changed philosophy.

A new approach starting in 1985

Stephan von Neipperg totally redefined viticulture and winemaking at Canon La Gaffelière, succeeding in reflecting the very best of what the estate has to offer. The present richness and concentration of its wines place Canon La Gaffelière among the top crus classés of Saint Emilion - which was exactly its position in the 1940s.

For quite some time, this siliceous terroir suffered from a fairly mediocre image.

 

However, clay and sand soil is by no means bad! Everything depends on how you grow the grapes. A common error is to over-fertilise such well-filtered soil. In the early 60s, the use of chemical fertilisers was widespread, largely with a view to increasing production. The prevalent winemaking philosophy at the time found this perfectly acceptable.

Unfortunately, though, wines from this period were lacking in structure. In addition, excess nitrogen created a serious, long-lasting imbalance in the relationship between the vines and the soil. Firmly packed, and deprived of oxygen and micro-organisms, the soil lacked the necessary health and dynamism for deep rooting and quality wine production. This explains why Canon La Gaffelière was so lacklustre after 1964. The wines were weak and lacked complexity.

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Inside information

Château Canon La Gaffelière is one of the oldest estates in Saint-Emilion and has had a fine reputation for over 150 years. In the 19th century, the estate was called La Gaffelière-Boitard (or Canon-Boitard), after its owner, Monsieur Boitard de la Poterie. It was later purchased by Doctor Peyraud, but there are few documents to describe his time as owner. The estate was acquired by Pierre Meyrat, the Mayor of Saint-Emilion, in 1953. After his death 1969, the château was sold once again and finally acquired by the Neipperg family in 1971

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People

  • Stephan von Neipperg

    « A rather "intellectual" wine with a great deal of finesse that is relatively open even in its youth... There is always a floral side to enhance its fruitiness, with hints of forest floor. A great pleasure on both the nose and the palate. Fine and delicate. »

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  30 wines 

Château La Conseillante 1945-2015 / La Conseillante 2005 95p. Tasted four times. Consistent notes. Yield - 38 hl/ha. Great stuff coming from this outstanding vintage. Truffles, seductive nose. elegant and incredibly classy wine, red meat, very sophisticated and with excellent length and structure, incredibly long aftertaste. Fantastic wine and I wonder if 2010 will turn out to be better.

21d 2h ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

2m 11h ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

2m 7d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

2m 12d ago

 Björnstierne Antonson / sommelier, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Bordeaux notes from vintages 1995 -2011 

3m 11d ago

 Li Yong Liú, Wine Dealer (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Château Ausone 2007 / Dark ripe nose with leather, plum, mint, strawberry jam. Beautifully textured on palate with juicy sweet fruit, velvety tannins, a certain note of drier fruit like prunes and some woody notes. Classical and aristocratic texture with great complexity and length. Warm, ripe and big, but very finely balanced and precise. 

8m 8d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  22 wines 

“The Vine Club's 1961 tasting: The two rarest and most expensive wines from '61 both come from Pomerol. Pétrus and Latour-á-Pomerol. Both are tremendously impressive - Latour-á-Pomerol with great sweetness, richness and concentration. Pétrus with similar richness but with even more power and structure. I have had the pleasure of drinking these two giants next to one another already few times, - I expect Pétrus to have the longer life expectancy. Vieux Château Certan is a wonderful mature wine as is Lafleur. A wine I also have found very good over the years is Château Gazin. It did then include grapes from a parcel of the best part of Pomerol, now belonging to Château Pétrus. Also the L'Evangile have a great reputation, and for good reason.”

1y 2d ago

 Winnie Wing-Yin Ng , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  44 wines 

“Now is time to consolidate all the reviews from the En Primeur tasting after spending two weeks Bordeaux tasting wines from different regions. I will first write about the Right Bank which is said to be the winner of the vintage because of the beautifully ripened Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and of course because of lower rainfall compared to the Left Bank during the harvest season.

Pomerol is a true beauty in 2015 with consistence among the top wineries, possessing very fine tannin and freshness in the combination of just-at-the-right-time-ripened grapes. Even the alcohol level was comparatively high, most of the wines I tasted that didn't give me a strong kick of that. I didn't find any over extraction or over ripened situation in most of the wines. ”

1y 1m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  104 wines 

“Bordeaux Vintage 2015 Part I / Vieux Château Certan 2015:100 points: Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity.  Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance. ”

1y 2m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  502 wines 

“2015 will be one of the excellent vintages however hardly to compare to 2009 and 2010 or 2005. In 2015 the region played a major role, terroir was the key to success. For red wines, the limestone plateau in Saint-Emilion performed extremely well as there was water available during the hot summer days and drainage proved to be ideal during rainy August. Therefore the best wines of Saint-Emilion come from limestone soils. The sandy parts of the appellation produced a quite heterogeneous result. In Pomerol it looked the same with very successful wines from the central plateau and more heterogeneous qualities from the areas around. In Fronsac it was not only the terroir which proved important, the vintners decision had a major impact. Pessac-Léognan did extremely well in this vintage with a homogenous quality. The Médoc was divided. The southern part, mainly Margaux and the southern part of Saint-Julien have seen less rain and produced more powerful wines. The northern part of the Médoc, especially Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe have produced a very fine and elegant style with excellent persistence. On the good terroirs, the seeds were ripe which results in very ripe tannins with a silky or velvety expression. In addition the cooler conditions of autumn provoked a very pure and fresh fruit. For the dry white wines the quality depends very much on the origin again. Due to the hot and dry growing season, a lot of white wines show very mild, almost soft acidity but also some phenolic hints in the aftertaste. A few dry white wines are standing out, having preserved freshness and acidity. The sweet wines are remarkably good, very rich in character and the best of them have a crisp acidity balancing the opulent sugar. The tasting conditions were rather good, however the weather was quite mixed affecting the presentation of the wines. The wines were tasted blind where possible and open. The final decision on the rating is based on both tasting types.”

1y 2m ago

 Sho-Chieh Tsiang / Sommelier, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Canon-La-Gaffelière . In a tasting of  24 wines 

“First day of the Bordeaux 2015 en Primeur-tasting is behind - my favourites are so far Angelus, Canon, Canon-la-Caffeliere, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Domaine de Chevalier.”

1y 2m ago

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