Wine Details for 1982 Canon
|Type of Wine||
: Picture in your mind a combination of cedar, lead pencil, blackcurrant, plum and mineral aromatics, and texture that caresses your palate like a playful lover. The experience is thrilling from the first whiff to the final seconds of a tannic, generous finish - that is what you'll get from a Bordeaux Red
Red Bordeaux Blend
: The inhabitants of the Bordeaux region of France have been cultivating wine-grapes for thousands of years. Ancient Roman ruins litter the vineyards from Saint Emilion to Graves where the art of blending Bordeaux varietals has been practiced and perfected over a very long history. Bordeaux’s climate, terroir and soils, though varied, provide the optimal growing conditions for the red grape varietals planted in the region.
Rarely listed on the labels as “blend,” the red wines of Bordeaux are perhaps the most artfully designed and celebrated in the world. The calculated art of blending the native Bordeaux varietals is impressively accomplished in the most famous winegrowing region in the world. The phrase Bordeaux Blend which seems to have been coined by British wine merchants in the 19th Century relates as much to wines made from the blend as to the grape variety combination itself.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and occasionally Carmenere are the lead characters in the creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. Each plays a part in their own fashion and implemented in various combinations and percentages in each appellation within Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are majorly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, roughly making up 90% of all Bordeaux Blends. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (occasionally Carmenere) are also important components and vital to the production of the region’s red wines.
For simplicity, the winegrowing region of Bordeaux can be divided into three main appellations producing Red Bordeaux Blends; the Left Bank (Medoc), Right Bank and Pessac-Leognan (Graves). The Left Bank has a terroir comprised of a wide variety of gravel, stones, sand, limestone and clay soils on a natural terrain of gentle slopes. This sets the stage perfectly for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape of the Left Bank. For example, Chateau Lafite (Paulliac) is composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Right Bank is dominated by clay and limestone with sand and gravel, but the clay in the Right Bank is distinctly its own and adds to the health, growth and vitality of the vines of the varietals grown here. Right Bank wines are typically 80% Merlot-based, which are often denser, richer and mature earlier than those of the Left Bank (with exceptions – Petrus for example). Merlot is a vital component to Pomerol winegrowing and making. Cabernet Franc also plays a major role in the Right Bank, most notably, in Saint Emilion, where the infamous vineyards of Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc are planted to 55% and 52% Cabernet Franc, respectively. Chateaux that produce wines with a majority of Cabernet Franc are considered “old school” producers, but have perfected the use of Cabernet Franc, which was originally used as a blending grape.
Pessac-Leognan (Graves) enjoys a temperate climate, natural hygrometry influenced by the ocean, and has a terroir composed of gravelly soil over a clay subsoil on sloping, hilly terrain. Natural drainage due to the hilly terrain as well as the gravelly soil structure are perfectly attuned to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine, which prospers under these conditions. Pessac reaps the benefits of having the terroir of both the Left and Right Bank as it contains gravel and clay. The clay sub-soil allows the growth and success of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc. It is home to the only First Growth not in the Medoc. The 50-hectare vineyard of Haut Brion is planted to 45.4% Merlot, 43.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
The percentage of Petit Verdot and Malbec may be lesser in quantity, but not in quality. They are vital to the region’s creation of Red Bordeaux Blends. The combination of Bordeaux varietals is legendary in the region, around the world and has influenced winegrowers worldwide to plant and vinify wines which resemble those of Red Bordeaux Blends.
: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.
For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.
France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.
France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.
: Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux - life changing. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.
The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane. It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar!
: Residing in the commune of Saint Emilion on the Right Bank of the Gironde rests not just any ordinary Chateau, but a home; a family owned Chateau that has been passed down for generations. Chateau Canon’s 34 hectares of vineyards dominate the landscape and even extend into the village of Saint Emilion, where it owns a 1,500 square meter parcel. Surrounded by dwellings, this unique parcel is ploughed by horse and is hand harvested in traditional style. The plot is planted with Merlot with Premier Grand Cru Classe status, and is incorporated into crafting the estate’s Grand Vin.
Laying beneath Canon’s vineyard is a labyrinth of subterranean passages, carved into the bowels of Saint Emilion. This is the site of the quarries which were excavated for its limestone and used in the building of the village itself as well as many nearby chateau. The tunnels resemble a limestone cathedral and bear witness to the history of Saint Emilion. Visitors are welcome to traverse the “secret” passageways of this unique phenomenon and gaze in wonder at the hand quarried maze.
Above the subterranean tunnels, several layers of precious soil types represent themselves all the way up to where the vine punctures the ground and continues its journey towards the nurturing rays of the sun. The bedrock gives the wine its characteristic hallmark by a process of transfer to the vines. It compensates for adverse weather conditions, whether excessive dryness or heavy rainfall as it is very porous allowing water to flow naturally. As the soil levels extend upwards, there is a starfish, limestone subsoil; evidence of ancient decaying organisms such as starfish eroded by the sea and wind which enriches the land. Beyond is the top stratum of clay and limestone soil, which the vines of Chateau Canon has been planted on for 500 years. The slightly bluish soil provides the wines with its fundamental flavor and subtle undertones.
This aspect of the winemaking process is never witnessed when walking through the vineyard; nonetheless, is a vital component to this legendary terroir. This complex and unique soil structure allows for the life of the vines to prosper and ultimately the grapes. Here on the Right Bank, Merlot reigns supreme; however, Cabernet Franc is planted with a tender care and added to the final blend for Canon’s Premier Grand Cru Classe wine. Thirty-four hectares of vineyard are planted to 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc.
The result is a stylish Bordeaux wine with a real sensation of minerality, ripe dark berries, licorice and spicy scents all coupled with and opulent personality. Canon is for individuals with patience as the wine is born to last and requiring at least 10-15 years before it’s open and ready to drink. With only 6,000 cases produced annually, buyers need to be vigilant upon new releases and those willing to wait will be rewarded with the complexities and the deep rooted characteristics that come with age, the unique soil structure and the grand terroir of this historical chateau.
James Suckling | 97 JS
(Château Canon) The 1982 vintage of Château Canon continues to drink beautifully and is really one of the more flamboyant vintages I have ever tasted from the property. The superb bouquet jumps from the glass in a blaze of black cherries, menthol, a hint of nutskin, a beautifully complex base of limestone soil tones, woodsmoke and a touch of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very sappy at the core, with excellent focus and grip, melting tannins and a very long, voluptuous and classy finish. A complete, very complex and utterly marvelous Canon. (Drink between 2018-2050).
John Gilman | 94 JG
A consistently spectacular 1982, this wine provided sumptuous drinking the first 5-6 years after bottling. Since the late eighties the wine has become more structured without losing any of its power, fat, or concentration. It is capable of lasting at least another decade, although I will not quibble with any readers who can no longer defer their gratification. The dense color reveals no amber. Young, primary aromas of black fruits, toasty oak, crushed stones, and flowers dominate the wine’s moderately intense nose. Thick, rich, full-bodied, and multi-dimensional, this is unquestionably the most concentrated Canon I have ever tasted. This large-scaled, super-rich, sweet wine is one of the rare Canons that possesses more depth of fruit than tannin. Drink it over the next 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2018. Last tasted, 12/02
Robert Parker | 94 RP
Shows mint, black tea, [i]sous-bois[n] and sandalwood notes that are distinctive and alluring. Long and refined on the finish, with supple black cherry and boysenberry fruit gliding throughout. Wins mostly on aroma, but there’s still sneaky depth and length here. Lovely.—Non-blind Canon vertical (December 2016). Drink now through 2022.
Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Unfortunately, the magnum of 1982 Canon poured at dinner was not showing well, though another bottle tasted in Bordeaux attests a decent Saint-Émilion in a period when the estate was long overdue investment. Fully-mature, the nose does not possess the vigour of say, the 1982 Figeac, though there are pleasant hung gamey notes and a scent of a Tuscan delicatessen. The palate has a nice mouthfeel, quite fleshy with tobacco and leather-tinged red fruit; the finish is still quite rustic but with charm in spades. A fine Canon, though not top-flight, and bottles should be drunk soon.
Vinous Media | 90 VM