One of the vintage's most compelling wines (what's new about that?), Alain Vauthier's beloved 2004 Ausone has closed down considerably since I tasted it out of barrel, but it remains among the most concentrated wines of the vintage. Furthermore, along with Petrus, it will probably be the longest-lived. A dense purple color is accompanied by a celestial perfume of blue and black fruits, wet stones, flowers, and incense. On the palate, the wine exhibits exceptional power and concentration, but this historic terroir has also provided a surreal lightness to the wine's impression. Beautiful flavors, sensational depth, and abundant structure suggest this 2004 will not be close to full maturity for 8-10 years. It should last for four decades. Drink 2007-2047.
|Score: 94+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (171), June 2007|
An extraordinary effort, and a candidate for wine of the vintage, the 2004 Ausone boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a prodigious nose of crushed rocks, white flowers, sweet truffles, black raspberries, cherries, and graphite. Although possessing huge richness as well as medium to full body, it is incredibly light on its feet. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2065.
|Score: 95/97||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (165), June 2006|
Made in a backward, excruciatingly tannic style, the inky/ruby/purple-colored 2004 Ausone reveals sweet floral notes intertwined with incense, black raspberries, cassis, and mineral characteristics. It is a rigid, medium-bodied, concentrated, exceptionally pure effort that should age at a glacial pace. Although it does not possess the remarkable concentration and palate presence of the last three or four vintages, it is a super effort from perfectionist proprietor Alain Vauthier. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040.
|Score: 91/93+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005|
Pretty aromas of crushed blackberry, with hints of ash and light earth. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, caressing finish. Goes on and on. Such class. Sleek and racy red. Best after 2012.
|Score: 95||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2007|
|Score: 92/94||James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 05), April 2005|
Very complex aromas of minerals, grapes and dried flowers. Hints of red licorice. Full-bodied, with a firm, racy tannin structure and a long, long finish. This is very close to 95-100
| ||James Suckling, Wine Spectator, April 2005|
[50:50 Merlot:Cabernet Franc with yields of around 32 hl/ha - some of the lowest anywhere in 2004.] Very dark blackish purple. Looks quite shiny. Very reticent on the nose. Quite strict - much more austere than other recent Vauthier vintages. Lots of taut, very fine tannins, very much a long-term wine which may need quite a few months more to show at its best. Fine grained, the palate builds towards the very long finish. For the moment this is a taut spring that is all promise and little current pleasure. Drink 2014-20
|Score: 17+||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 05), April 2005|
|Score: 18.5||Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2008|
One of the wines of the vintage. Slightly more Cabernet Franc than Merlot, it has lovely, bright, violet-scented perfume, seamless, raspberry and dense plum fruit, teriffic firm tannins and excellent acidity. It's big wine, but carries its size elegantly. The only quibble is that perhaps it's not quite as long and intense as sometimes. 2012-2030
| ||Wine International Panel, Wine International (June 05), June 2005|