On the Saint-Emilion hillside sloping gently down to the Dordogne River, a magnificent stone cross marks the entrance to Mazerat chapel, which gave rise to a new label in 2011: “Croix Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru”. The slope of the vineyard, which causes moderate water stress for the vines, plays a key role in the grapes’ slow and steady ripening.
The wine is crafted using grapes from the 11 hectares surrounding the chapel, as well as from the young vines on the hillside. The plots are planted 70% to Merlot and 30% to Cabinet Franc, and the average age of the vines is 35 years.
A rare and elegant example of a 12th century chapel stands at the far end of the Château Canon vineyard, not far from the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. It is an evocative reminder of Saint-Emilion’s deeply religious past during the Middle Ages. This sacred and outstandingly beautiful building was entirely renovated in 2012 with the objective of preserving the estate’s heritage and creating a single location for vinification. A fermenting room and contemporary cellar are devoted to making Croix Canon (formerly known as Clos Canon), Château Canon’s second wine, under an impressive oak roof which is more than two hundred years old.
Croix Canon, the estate’s second wine, is crafted with the same precision as Château Canon, Premier Grand Cru Classé. In the vineyard and cellar, winegrowers and workers apply the most meticulous methods. The teams’ guiding principle is precise plot-by-plot-management, and grape selection is further refined by manual sorting. The gravity-flow fermenting room makes it possible to manipulate the grapes very gently.
Croix Canon is made from a blend which combines a majority of Merlot with a smaller quantity of Cabernet Franc. The wine is then aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, including a small proportion of new barrels to preserve aromatic balance and freshness of the fruit. This is a complex wine, with fruity and mineral notes, a taut, well-integrated texture and a harmonious aromatic range. Croix Canon now occupies a leading position within the appellation.