|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
One of the handful of candidates for wine of the vintage is the 2006 Ausone. In fact, while tasting it, I was thinking, is there any estate in Bordeaux that, since 1998, has made as many legendary wines as proprietor Alain Vauthier has at his beloved Ausone? Boasting an inky/blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary, precise bouquet of minerals, flowers, blueberry liqueur, and black currants, this wine possesses fabulous fruit and great intensity, but what makes it so special is its precision, focus, and almost ethereal lightness despite substantial flavor intensity and depth. It is a ballerina with density and power. The abundant noticeable tannin is sweet and, not surprisingly, very finely grained. It should be cellared for a decade, and consumed over the following half century.
The inky/blue-colored 2006 Ausone possesses a striking perfume of minerals, flowers, blackberries, and blueberries. Even though 100% new oak is utilized in the wine’s upbringing, there is no hint of wood in the aromas or flavors. Despite its fabulous texture, medium to full body, size, richness, and profound depth of flavor and nuance, it is surreal in its lightness and delicacy. Prospective purchasers should be aware that the 2006, a legend in the making, will require 10-12 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2050. Obsessive perfectionist proprietor Alain Vauthier’s extraordinary attention to detail in both the vineyard and cellar has resulted in virtually perfect wines in vintage after vintage. Ausone is a 50-year wine, and generations to come will regard them with almost mythical acclaim.
The 2006 Château Ausone has a fragrant bouquet compared to the 2006 Pavie, fomenting more secondary aromas such as smoke, cigar box, potpourri and a smear of Seville orange marmalade. The palate is very refined on the entry, rounded and supple in the mouth. It clearly does not have the density and weight of the Pavie, but it exerts an insistent grip in the mouth and the tannins have symmetry on the finish. It is a very fine Ausone, although Alain Vauthier has overseen better vintages in recent years. Tasted January 2016.
Tasted at Ausone. This is a gorgeous Ausone, although not quite up to the 2000 or 2005. A deep limpid purple hue. The nose is intense and floral with blackberry, cassis and violets, with less pronounced Cabernet Franc than other vintages. A rounded sensuous full-bodied palate with grippy tannins, a minerally core but just losing a little focus and precision towards the finish. This will be a medium-term Ausone, more sumptuous in style and more approachable. Tasted April 2007.
Cedar, new wood and crushed blackberry and raspberry aromas follow through to a palate of vanilla, berry and blackberry character. Balanced and modern, with olts of fruit. Lively, with bright acidity. Best after 2014.
This is a solid Ausone, with plenty of blackberry and licorice character. Full and velvety, with a solid core of fruit and medium chewy tannins. Not the 2005, but well done.
At the end of August the grapes were richer than in 2005 and analytically 2005 and 2006 are quite similar. Alain Vauthier describes it as a rich vintage, rich in alcohol and tannins - some of the Cabernet Franc came in at 145.6%. But it is less homogeneous than 2005. In the winery, they are taken various measures to rid the building of the electric signals the French describe as ‘parasite’ and which are thought to interfere with the wine.
Much darker crimson/purple. Thick and dark, still a little rude - black fruits and berries, thick and very dense and very round and sweet at first. Pretty tough tannins but wonderfully sophisticated delicacy. Hint of greenness, rises up, dances, but not the most astonishing. Dry but very clean finish, Velvety start. Lively but a little bit skinny. More structure than the Chapelle.
Bright medium ruby. Brooding, pure aromas of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, espresso and minerals. Wonderfully dense yet weightless, with a penetrating calcaire energy to its sappy black fruit and mineral flavors. This has filled out impressively since its early days in barrel but is still just at the beginning of its evolution. The slowly mounting, compellingly long finish saturates the palate with flavor, and the substantial tannins are amazingly sweet and fine-grained. My early candidate for wine of the vintage: this fills the mouth with perfume but its fruit of steel suggests that it will last a very long time. I won't be around to drink this beauty at its peak.
Red fruits intermingle with the black, all backed by a mineral smoky fragrance. The palate starts quite firm but the mid flavours have sweetness giving a richer feel. Good weight of fruit shows at the back.