Canon
By George Stewart

Lynch Bages

Always a stop on the wine route in the Left Bank, the sleepy village of Bages to the south west of Pauillac is very much a place that is dominated by its most famous resident, Chateau Lynch-Bages. One of Bordeaux's best loved names and most well-regarded wines, Lynch Bages is always a pleasure to visit, even if it weren't right next door to one of the best cafes in the region, Cafe Lavinal.

We arrived towards the end of the afternoon for our final visit of a very busy day and were sad to see the sun, which had graced our day, succumb to cloud and dreariness. Often during en primeur tasting, we find that barrel samples are not quite so impressive when the weather doesn't cooperate, but the wines at Lynch Bages were so good that wind, rain or hail could not put a damper on the delight of trying the outstanding 2015s.

The white Blanc de Lynch Bages was sublime and a sterling example of tropical, opulent Sauvignon Blanc - easily one of the best Sauvignons on the market these days. The reds were something special. The Lynch Bage stable are always elegant and fine-boned, but, these 2015s are something to behold. We have found many 2015 Pauillac to be special and well-balanced, however Lynch Bages, Echo de Lynch Bages and Ormes de Pez are truly delightful and particularly scintillating.

Chateau Canon

Is easily one of the most revelatory visits of our trip so far. This 1er Grand Cru Classé definitely turned some heads when it's 2015 vintage was recently awarded its first ever 100-point score from James Suckling. This Saint-Emilion Chateau has of course been a top rated property for many years and has now been rewarded with a justly deserved first growth status.

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"Easily one of the most revelatory visits of our trip... Chateau Canon."

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The history of Chateau Canon is long and colourful, as it bears the name of an early proprietor who served the French King in the 1740s as a privateer (or more accurately Pirate). This particular individual, Jacques Canon, arguably the best name in winemaking history, spent only about ten years at Canon before taking again to the sea for fame a fortune. His audacious legacy lives on not least in the artillery pieces adorning the winery in his honour and in the sterling success of the wine.

When we arrived we were treated to a taste of the final blend from several of the six different types of barrel used at Chateau Canon. A blend based mostly on Merlot and almost entirely from very old vines, mostly concerned with the barrel variety rather than grape or vineyard newer barrels are used for a more dense and concentrated element, while the older barrels encourage the brightness and levity of fruit which gives Canon its elegance and poise.

The 2015 Canon is among the best of the vintage and likely to be one of the best value when prices are released. If you have the chance to grab a case, we suggest you do not miss out!