Its bigger sibling, the 2011 Ausone increases the level of intensity, elegance, complexity, richness and length. Nearly a mirror image of the La Chapelle, just with more going on, the Ausone boasts a more saturated purple color, and the wine has everything in large, intense proportions. The finesse and delicacy of all its components are what make it such a remarkable wine. The quality of the tannins and purity of the fruit make this another legendary effort that should age for 30-40 years.
|Score: 95+||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014|
Not surprisingly, Alain Vauthier's 2011 Ausone is one of the greatest wines he has produced. I know this sounds impossible, but it is the reason why I spend so much time tasting and reflecting on what is in front of me. The 2011 could turn out to be better than his 2009 - sacre bleu! Probably the wine of the vintage, the 2011 exhibits a murky, inky, blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, plum sauce, crushed rocks (primarily chalk), acacia flowers and hints of graphite, truffles and damp forest floor. The riveting aromatics are followed by a wine that does not let the taster down in the mouth. Full-bodied with extraordinary purity, oozing richness and well-integrated velvety tannins, acidity, oak and alcohol, this is another superb achievement by Vauthier from this phenomenal site on the decomposed limestone hillsides of St.-Emilion. Possibly the longest-lived wine of the vintage, it should evolve for 30-40 years. Since few of us can afford Ausone (or even find it, assuming we have the discretionary income necessary to purchase it), readers should seek out the second wine, which usually represents one-third of the entire production.
|Score: 96/100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012|
The Grand Vin is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, cropped at 29hl/ha. It has a comparatively luscious bouquet for the vintage with layers of ripe dark cherry and cassis fruit on the nose that are cloaked in vanillary new oak. It possesses an almost Burgundy-like purity. The palate is medium-bodied with velvety tannins, perfect balance and wonderful composure. The acidity is nigh on perfect, the focus and delineation beguiling. There is no explosion on the finish, just unbridled finesse. Outstanding. Tasted April 2012.
|Score: 93/95||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012|
This is extremely open and aromatic, with exotic fruit. Extremely wild. Full body, firm, silky tannins and a long, focused finish. This is very persistent and long. A top wine for the vintage. Muscular and toned. The old vines of cabernet franc make the difference here. 55% cabernet franc and 45% merlot. Try in 2019.
|Score: 96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2014|
This is a wonderful young red with orange peel, mineral, spice and berry. Full and super fine. Great length. A gorgeous wine. The old vines of Cabernet Franc make the difference here. Great harmony.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012|
Alain Vauthier has made massive improvements at Ausone in the past few years, since taking full control of the winemaking and management of his family property in 1997. The wines made here are now in a totally different league from those produced in the 1970's and 1980's. Ausone has returned to First Growth form and vies with Petrus and Lafleur as the right bank's top Chateau. With production levels even less than those of Petrus, Ausone has become one of the most in demand and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux. The 7 hectare vineyard is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot. The 100% new oak is easily absorbed by the fruit. With just 1500 cases available for the world, this is always as rare as it is great. This wine has a deep red/black colour and intense concentration for the vintage with impressive glycerol and viscosity. There is expressive sweet fruit, bright acidity and fabulous purity. Some firm tannins at the finish suggest that it will need time to come together but excellent potential here.
|Score: 17||Farr Vintners, March 2012|
There is a lot of sweet fruit on the nose with a mix of flavours first black fruits then slightly fresher red. The tannins are quite structured ripe but tending to over dominate the mid palate. Towards the back there is freshness that brings out the herbal spiciness.
|Score: 92/94||Derek Smedley MW, April 2012|
If ever a wine was difficult to judge en primeur in 2011, this was it. The sample I tasted was marked by reduction and was very closed as a result. The tannins are on the firm side, but there's no denying that there's a lot of fruit to balance it. Minerally and slightly minty, this is undoubtedly a fine wine, but needs time to come together. 12+ years.
|Score: 94||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012|
As usual, a precise and elegant offering from this consistent estate. The limestone plateau and 55% Cabernet Franc provide line, length and finesse. It has plenty of dark, crunchy fruit and a deceptively strong tannic frame. Drink 2020-2040
|Score: 18.5||James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2012|