Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, 2016 Update

Like a gatekeeper, Château Canon-la-Gaffelière sits directly overlooking the road which runs up the limestone scarp to the town of St Emilion. Of all the premier grand cru classé estates, this one stands out for its peripheral position within the appellation. While most of its top-ranking peers are located up on the limestone plateau or sitting pretty on the slopes, Château Canon-la-Gaffelière rests further down on more varied soils, a location that can best be described as the pieds des côtes.

Château Canon-la-Gaffelière

Despite this apparent disadvantage, the wines are exemplary, and in the 2012 St Emilion classification the estate was promoted from the ranks of the grand cru classé to premier grand cru classé, one of four properties elevated to this level. There are perhaps two reasons for this success. The first is that the estate is more blessed in terms of terroir than at first it might appear. There are a couple of parcels situated up on the côtes, and even looking at the parcels lower down many are situated on thin clay over Molasses du Fronsadais, not the less beneficial sandy soil you might have expected. The second reason for this success is, of course, that the estate has benefited from several decades of hard work and concerted investment by Stephan von Neipperg.

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