Chateau Canon la Gaffelière 2016

St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, 1Er Grand Cru Classé B, Bordeaux

The Chateau
Located on the pied de côte (foot of the slope) south of the medieval village of Saint-Émilion, Château Canon La Gaffelière’s terroir consists of clay-limestone and clay-sand soil that is very permeable and particularly efficient at retaining heat. The choice of grape varieties is rather atypical for the appellation in light of the soil: almost a perfect 50/50 divide between Merlot and Cabernet. The Cabernets ripen early and remarkably well on Canon La Gaffelière’s warm soil, adding power and aromatic complexity to Merlot’s opulence to create wines of natural elegance and finesse. In keeping with vineyard management adapted to each plot, the vat room was designed to be able to ferment and house wine made from each one in order to fine tune the final blend. Fermentation takes place slowly and temperatures are kept under close control to bring out the best the grapes have to offer. The wine is aged on the lees to enhance its intrinsic qualities and each barrel is treated individually. Non-interventionist winemaking is practised and in such a way as to make the most of vintage character.The history sanctioned Château Canon La Gaffeliére as one of the most famous Saint-Emilion wines. In 1971, the Earl Joseph-Hubert Von Neipperg, loyal to eight centuries of viticultural traditions in the family, acquired this property, the administration of which will be given in 1985 to his son Stephan. During a few years, heavy investments combined with a perfect knowledge of the Saint-Emilion soil led to the rebirth of Château Canon La Gaffelière. Thanks to the terroir specificity, the almost perfect balance of the grapes planted makes this wine very special. It is composed of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the average Saint-Emilion is more around 70% Merlot. The aging process is made on fine lees to express better the true quality of the wine. Wines are elaborated in an ultra-modern cellar within oak barrels. The overall wine-making process makes a generous and elegant cru that age really well. The vineyard is managed in the respect of the environment and that is how Château Canon La Gaffelière has been  certified organic by FR-BIO-10. When tasting, Château Canon La Gaffelière offers a strong wine, very well structured, complex, pure and always elegant.
The Vintage
[x] Wine Spectator – April 2017
95 – 98 (Blind tasted)
This pulls a lot of red and black currant, fig and boysenberry pâte de fruit notes together, wraps them with a brambly thread and then drives them through an anise- and apple wood-edged finish. It’s all tightly wound, but it’s all there for the long haul. Really, really solid. (James Molesworth)

[x] Vinous – April 2017
93 – 96
The 2016 Canon La Gaffelière is a huge, voluptuous wine with no hard edges and exceptional balance. Often in the early going, the Merlot and Cabernet Franc elements are easily discernible, but in 2016 all the elements are wonderfully fused together. It will be interesting to see if this powerful wine finds a bit more finesse over time. The 2016 was even more impressive when I tasted separate components from barrel in January 2017. In 2016, the wine spent 30-32 days on the skins and will see approximately 60% new oak.
Tasted three times. (Antonio Galloni)
[x] James Suckling – April 2017
95 – 96
Lovely silky texture and dark fruit to this wine underlining richness and decadence. Medium to full body and a long finish.

[x] Bettane & Desseauve – Avril 2017
95/100
Entrée en bouche douce et suave se développant sur un corps charmeur. Belle finale toujours caressante et pleine de vie aromatique, dans des nuances florales et épicées. La complexité est apportée par les 35 % de cabernet franc et les 10 % de cabernet sauvignon.
[x] Neil Martin – erobertparker.com – April 2017
93 – 95
The 2016 Canon la Gaffeliere is a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (vines organically certified) picked from 26 September to 15 October and matured in 60% new oak. The yield is 42 hectoliters per hectare. This offers one of the most cerebral aromatics that I have encountered from this Saint Emilion estate: mineral-rich red and black fruit, quite edgy, almost flinty in style. I adore the focus of these aromas that are wired directly into the olfactory senses. The palate is very well balanced and governed by the Cabernet component. The black fruit is lifted by some lovely graphite notes that lend it a very Left Bank-like personality. It is fresh, taut and linear with a very persistent finish. Unlike other vintages of Canon la Gaffelière, I feel that this will require four to five years in bottle. As good as the 2015 last year, it might even surpass it.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] Terroir: Clay-limestone, clay-sand at the foot of the slope. Vineyard area currently in production: 19.5 hectares (48 acres)
[x] Grape varieties: 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon,. Average age of the vines: 50 years
[x] Harvesting: By hand, into small crates to avoid bruising.
[x] Sorting before and after destemming.
[x] No crushing. The grapes arrive on a conveyor belt.
[x] Fermentation: In temperature-controlled wooden vats for 28-35 days depending on the vintage.
[x] Extraction by pneumatic pigeage (punching down the cap).
[x] Malolactic fermentation and ageing: In new oak barrels (up to 80%) on fine lees.
[x] Fining and filtering as necessary, depending on the vintage.
[x] Duration of barrel ageing: 15-18 months depending on the vintage
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Chateau Palmer 2016

3Ème Cru Classé, Margaux, Bordeaux

The Chateau
The nature of Château Palmer. In the heart of the Margaux appellation, 66 hectares of gravelly soil and grassy rows overlooking the Gironde estuary. Between this earth rich in ancient history, and these heavenly skies with their nurturing microclimate, vines flourish under the care of men and women. One terroir, three grape varieties: such is the horizon of Château Palmer
The Vintage
Vintage 2016: Stunning. Despite a mild winter, a rainy spring, a moderately warm summer, and thus a late harvest, the quality of the grapes proved nothing less than extraordinary. Sublimating such ripe, powerful tannins is a cellar team’s raison d’être. The end result? An exquisite equilibrium, between structure and silk. The spring of 2016 put us to the test. However, today, it is the exceptional quality of our two 2016 wines that go down in the property’s history. The winter was very mild and the vines were a week ahead of schedule. Their development was restrained as the weather was mild and wet, thus leading to the development of late mildew. 130mm of rain fell in just 1 month! Never, since the property had become biodynamical, had we had felt such pressure. However, thanks to the winemakers’ hard work and total dedication, we managed to stand up to the challenge. Luckily, the blossoming took place in optimal conditions over the week of June 6th. Summer finally came with moderate temperatures and no rain leading us to fear possible setback on the most sensitive soils. Fortunately, the rain came bringing joy to the whole team. The harvesting, which only began on October 3rd, was one of the most delayed in the property’s history. Although modest in quantity, the aromatic intensity of the grapes was extraordinary. The tannins were powerful and perfectly ripe, which led us to opt for sustained extraction. At the end of the first months of aging, the equilibrium of our two wines differed significantly from that of our previous great vintages: a classical degree of alcohol left pride of place to an exceptionally tannic structure. The velvety texture of our Château Palmer wines is more than ever our hallmark.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] Gravel soil with terraces.
[x] Cabernet S. (47%), Merlot (47%), Petit Verdot (6%).
[x] Conical vats.
[x] Refined blending.
[x] 20 to 22 months of barrel age.
[x] Less than half of the barrels is new wood.
[x] Key concepts: Harmonious, Rich, Structured, Velvety
.
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Château Pontet-Canet 2009

5Ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The Chateau
In 2004, the year of the first biodynamic trial which took place on 14 hectares, the wines were radiant, tighter and brighter. Alfred urged Jean-Michel to go further. The estate was fully converted to biodynamic agriculture. This decision became a commitment and a challenge, but also a first for a Médoc Classified Growth. Since then, with each vintage comes new knowledge, furthering the understanding of the terroir in a profound way. The vine’s resistance to disease is better known today, the understanding of how different parcels behave has improved, always in keeping with biodynamic principles. It requires sincerity, pragmatism and transparency: in a nutshell, absolute dedication. The wines of Château Pontet-Canet obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2010 and from Demeter in 2014.
The Vintage
Vintage 2009: Thanks to nature’s vast and so under-used resources, we learn to understand not just the terroir and the vine but also diseases and pests. That enables the vine to resist aggressions naturally and with composure, without sudden shocks. It was particularly helpful in the early part of the season, when requent rainfall brought back memories of the previous two years. Then along came the sun with the advent of summer, settling in over the region until harvest time and bringing with it all our hopes for the forthcoming vintage. We continued with our plan to use horse-power, calling for deep reflection and a sincere, long-term vision. We could already see the first results, which exceeded our expectations, for the soil responds very quickly to the respect it is shown. Picking started in ideal conditions on 28 Sep.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] Cabernet S. (65%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet F. (4%), Petit Verdot (1%)
[x] What strikes the taster immediately is the energy these wines display, the expression of tension and intensity: they are bright and brilliant, as though freed of any constraint. Their internal balance combines contained power, uncommon precision of fruit and undeniable class. They seduce by their full-bodied fruit, the finesse of their mouthfeel and their natural elegance, delivering a natural emotion which enhances their seductive charm.
[x] Purity
[x] Finesse
[x] Sensuality
[x] A dark crimson colour, the wine has an exceptionally complex nose on which blackcurrant and blackberry aromas combine with graphite notes and a floral touch of violet that brings additional elegance. The attack is powerful and restrained, while the long and highly refined tannic structure is set off by a refreshing acidity. Amazingly harmonious.

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Château Pontet-Canet 2015

5Ème Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The Chateau
In 2004, the year of the first biodynamic trial which took place on 14 hectares, the wines were radiant, tighter and brighter. Alfred urged Jean-Michel to go further. The estate was fully converted to biodynamic agriculture. This decision became a commitment and a challenge, but also a first for a Médoc Classified Growth. Since then, with each vintage comes new knowledge, furthering the understanding of the terroir in a profound way. The vine’s resistance to disease is better known today, the understanding of how different parcels behave has improved, always in keeping with biodynamic principles. It requires sincerity, pragmatism and transparency: in a nutshell, absolute dedication. The wines of Château Pontet-Canet obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2010 and from Demeter in 2014.
The Vintage
2015 began with a wet winter and a rather damp May. Flowering started slowly because the weather was not warm enough but accelerated rapidly with the sudden return of the sun.The change of weather continued with two months of uninterrupted heat anddrought, unusual for the region. Like a blessing from heaven, a few showers arrived in mid-August. The hot and dry weather then resumed until mid-September. Despite a considerable amount of rain from mid-September, the grapes remained in wonderfully good health because the skins, thickened by the summer heat and our vineyard practices, withstood the conditions perfectly.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] Cabernet S. (65%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet F. (4%), Petit Verdot (1%)
[x] The wine has an impressively intense colour and a complex nose dominated by fresh fruit aromas. It is huge on the palate, powerful, vibrant and incredibly smooth, sustained throughout by a freshness which imparts a deliciously succulent finish. There is a bracing energy to this wine. People will long write up the virtues of this 2015 as a wine for the
long haul.
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Chateau Mazeyres 2015

Pomerol, Bordeaux

The Chateau
Château Mazeyres, located in the heart of Libourne, is intimately linked to the history of Pomerol. Its location is very active and alive in Roman times. Its plateau, then served by two main routes, is used by the poet Ausone to go to the Villa Lucaniac. Remarkable pottery dating from the 3rd century has been found on the site of the Château. They attest to the past existence of a Gallo-Roman villa. The city archives reveal that the culture of the vine in this place dates back to the 14th century.

A magnificent mansion erected under the Directory, Château Mazeyres was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by the Querre family, who set out to produce a fine and fruity wine, intended for customers of French restaurants. It was in 1988 that the family decided to sell the entire property to the Société Générale Pension Fund, which in 2010 sold it to Sogecap, the life insurance branch of the same banking establishment.

In 1992, Alain Moueix, wine engineer and oenologist, was entrusted with the management of Château Mazeyres. Representing the fourth generation of a notorious family of wine-growers and merchants from Libourne, he brings him his commitment, his expertise and his know-how. Significant increase in surface area, reflection on cultivation, winemaking and aging approaches, lead to the modernization of the facilities. The château has been restored and the quality of the wines has been considerably improved. Mazeyres enters a new wine country. Close links are created with Bordeaux trade which thus contributes to the international influence of Château Mazeyres and has remained loyal to Alain Moueix for more than twenty-five years of concerted work. The essential contribution of biodynamics places the progression of this vineyard in a movement of quality and ascending notoriety. The resulting wines, lively and elegant, are gaining increasing recognition.

The acquisition in 2010 of an additional 4 hectares in the heart of the Pomerol appellation brings the overall surface area of ​​the property to 25.5 hectares cultivated in biodynamics since 2012 and certified since 2018.
The Vintage
2015 began with a wet winter and a rather damp May. Flowering started slowly because the weather was not warm enough but accelerated rapidly with the sudden return of the sun.The change of weather continued with two months of uninterrupted heat anddrought, unusual for the region. Like a blessing from heaven, a few showers arrived in mid-August. The hot and dry weather then resumed until mid-September. Despite a considerable amount of rain from mid-September, the grapes remained in wonderfully good health because the skins, thickened by the summer heat and our vineyard practices, withstood the conditions perfectly.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] 93p Decanter.
[x] 91-93p Robert Parker.
[x] Alain Moueix has been director of the property since 1992. He embodies the cru in all its dimensions. His notorious biodynamic experience at Château Fonroque since 2002, has been extended to Château Mazeyres since 2011.
[x] Three different soils making an impact: FINE CLAYEY GRAVEL, CLAY SANDS and
GRAVEL-SANDY CLAYS.
[x] Gravel soils give Mazeyres wine smoky aromas and a chiseled, mineral texture. The clays give notes of undergrowth and a round and fleshy structure. Biodynamics promotes finesse and freshness. The texture of the wines of Château Mazeyres still offers the velvety touch characteristic of the great Pomerols.
[x] Merlot (73.1%), Cabernet Franc (24.3%), Petit Verdot (2.6%).
[x] Total area of 25.57 hectares.
[x] Average age of the vine is 30 years.
[x] Property certified in organic farming since 2015 and biodynamic
since 2018 – Member of Biodyvin.
[x] Manual harvest in crates. Careful sorting of the grapes upon arrival at the
vat. Fermentation in concrete or stainless steel tanks thermo-regulated according to
the terroir, the age of the vines and grape varieties. Soft and slow extracts,
adapted to the potential of each tank.
[x] Aging: 30% in new barrels, 50% in barrels of 1 year old or more,
20% in 7 hl ovoid concrete tanks.
[x] Yield: 38 hectoliters per hectare
[x] Average production: 50,000 to 70,000 bottles
[x] Château Mazeyres is one of the largest vintages
from Pomerol. The diversity of its terroirs contributes to
the complexity of its wines.

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Château Grand-Pey-Lescours 2015

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux

The Chateau
Estate and Wine: Former property of the Baroness Arthur de Brezets, and acquired in 1924 by the Escure family, the Château Grand-Pey-Lescours is located at the foot of the slopes of Saint-Emilion.The Chateau is located in St Sulpice de Faleyrens in the St Emilion region. They also own Chateau Bellegrave in Pomerol. The vineyards are planted with grape varieties typical of St Emilion – 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon – on gravelly and sandy soils and cover nearly 26 hectares.
The Vintage
2015 began with a wet winter and a rather damp May. Flowering started slowly because the weather was not warm enough but accelerated rapidly with the sudden return of the sun.The change of weather continued with two months of uninterrupted heat anddrought, unusual for the region. Like a blessing from heaven, a few showers arrived in mid-August. The hot and dry weather then resumed until mid-September. Despite a considerable amount of rain from mid-September, the grapes remained in wonderfully good health because the skins, thickened by the summer heat and our vineyard practices, withstood the conditions perfectly.
The Sommelier notes:
[x] Merlot (70%), Cabernet F. (25 %), Petit Verdot (1%), Cabernet S. (5%)
[x] The average age of the vines is 25 years old
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