Château Canon is a Premier Cru Classe B of the St.-Emilion. Like many of its neighbors in Bordeaux, it has a romantic history. It was founded by Jacques Kanon in 1760 using money he’d earned as a naval fighting, and usually pillaging, English trading ships. Kanon built an impressive château and planted his surrounding property entirely to grapes, which was unusual at the time. Later owners changed the name to Château Canon and today it is owned by the Wertheimer family. The estate includes a total of 53 acres, of which 35 are in production. The vineyards are planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. Some 30,000 bottles of the signature wine are produced annually. “At its best,” writes Robert M. Parker Jr., “Canon is a splendidly rich, deep, and concentrated wine, muscular and full-bodied…It remains a mystery why this wine is not better known…”
Saint-Émilion is on the east side of the Dordogne River. At 13,400 acres it is one of Bordeaux’s largest appellations, and perhaps its most picturesque. It is also home to what has been called “the garagiste” movement of upstart, tradition-defying winemakers who produce artisanal wines in styles that are unconventional for the appellation. The village of Saint-Émilion dates from the middle ages and it sits on low hills, surrounded by ancient walls. Like its neighbor Pomerol, Saint-Émilion was not included in the famous Bordeaux classification system of 1855. But a century later a ranking system was put in place, and unlike the classification system for the Medoc, the Saint-Émilion system is reviewed every ten years, meaning that estates can be upgraded or downgraded. There are three rankings: Grand Cru Classé, Premier Grand Cru Classé B and Premier Grand Cru Classé A, with the final ranking being the best. Such legendary Saint-Émilion estates as Châteaux Ausone and Cheval-Blanc are Premier Grand Cru Classé A, along with Châteaux Pavie and Angélus, both added to the classification in 2012. Wines in this appellation are primarily Merlot, mixed with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.