Sunday 1 July 2012

Then & Now - Château Canon-la-Gaffelière

In 1985 Stephan Von Neipperg took over the wine making at Canon-La-Gaffelière. Since then lots of changes have taken place - the time for the harvest, a second wine, longer maceration, more use of new oak and so forth. Have the all those changes made Canon-La-Gaffelière a better wine? Lets find out in a small way by tasting the 1985 alongside the 2008.

Parker calls the 1985 "a good, supply, richly It requires drinking.", and gives it 85p. And that note is from 1989...
The 2008 he describes as "this modern-styled St.-Emilion boasts...a beautiful bouquet of black olives, cherry jam, incense, spicy oak and black currants. Full-bodied, unctuously textured, lush, seductive and gloriously perfumed" and he gives it 93p.

Well, that should be a fun comparison! And it was. But I had a nagging feeling beforehand that I wouldn´t be so excited over the changes that Parker have been. And I was right...
Popped and poured, and enjoyed over the evening.

1985 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière
A deep, mature, round nose with lovely aromas of fresh stables, old leather, dried red and black currants, autumn leaves, cigarett ashes and warm hay. Very, very fine, this is what old traditionel Bordeaux is all about. Some notes of dog fur and cooked cheeries also - complex!
The taste is like drinking silk. A gorgeous maturity and with still fresh red fruit. Notes of red and black currants, mature red apples, pipe tobacco, old leather and some musky scents. Medium long, soft, fine finish. Almost no tannins left but there is no flabbiness over it, just a perfect drinking mature Bordeaux. Not the most complex wine, but it gets an A for drinkability. Should be drunk in 1989 - baaah!
90p   (tasted 2012/06)

2008 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière
The first whiff when freshly poured - aha, a big Aussie Cabernet! And all components were there - blackberries, rasberries, mint and lots of vanilla oak. It calmed down somewhat, but the lasting impression is of a wine with the gaspedal pressed to the floor. And in the same time there is not a molecule in the wrong place. Very intense, very focused and impressive. But a tad too much?
The taste is big, young, tight and very intense with sweet notes of black cherries, dark chocolate, dried figs, vanilla oak and new expensive leather. A highly impressive tannin structure. Long lasting finish. Surprisingly accessible. It is a very high quality wine, there is no argument there, but really enjoyable? I prefer the 1985 anyday, but it would be interesting to see how this behave when its 27 year old. Given this blind, I don´t know if I had placed it in Bordeaux.
92p   (tasted 2012/06)

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