Originally a small vineyard planted around the Church of St-Martin by Jean Biès in the early 18th Century, the estate was named Clos St-Martin, sold in 1760 to Jacques Kanon, probably the source of the name Canon. A true clos, the original 12 hectare vineyard was encircled by a wall, which Kanon expanded by acquiring seven small surrounding vineyards. He sold it on in 1770 with great profit to Raymond Fontémoing, a leading Libournais négociant. Still named Clos St-Martin, the name was not altered until 1853, when the modern name was taken, to the fury of the proprietors of Château Canon of Fronsac.
Purchased by André Fournier in 1919, the estate remained in the Fournier family with success until vine disease problems arose in the early 1990s, and it was sold on to the Wertheimer family in 1996.
Château Canon’s walled vineyard lies at the entrance to Saint-Emilion. It even extends into the centre of the village, where Château Canon owns a plot adjoining the Couvent des Cordeliers in Rue de la Porte Brunet.
Surrounded by dwellings, this unique 1,500 square metres parcel is ploughed by horse and is hand harvested in traditional style. Planted to Merlot and with Premier Grand Cru Classé status, its grapes are used in crafting the estate’s Grand Vin.
Although reserved and shut down following bottling, the 2008 exhibits a dense plum/ruby/purple color, abundant tannin, an unmistakable minerality and a long finish despite its structured, backward, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Sweet blue and black fruits have to be coaxed from the glass. Cellar it for 5-7 years and enjoy it over the following 20-25. [90 Points, Robert Parker Jr. – May 2011, robertparker.com]