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Ausone 2017

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion
Grape VarietyMerlot/Cabernet Franc

Alain Vauthier has made massive improvements at Ausone 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 vies with Petrus and Cheval Blanc 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 has an average age of 52 years but some vines are over 100 years old. It is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and production rarely exceeds 2000 cases.

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Tasting Notes

The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. It sashays out of the glass with gregarious scents of baked red and black plums, wild blueberries and boysenberries plus touches of violets, espresso, licorice and melted chocolate with wafts of iron ore and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise, featuring beautifully ripe, silken tannins and bold freshness to support the fragrant multi-layers, finishing very long and very minerally. 2024 - 2057

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

Tasted blind. Deep ruby colour. Explosive and ripe aromatics – brambly fruit, kirsch, nutmeg and cinnamon. Quite tropical. A big glob of fruit on the palate, very ripe and forward. This fleshy and seductive wine is very intense and impressive, but perhaps more for a glass than a full bottle. Very glossy to the finish.
Drink 2025 – 2039

Thomas Parker MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2021

Love the perfume and pretty, transparent fruit. Purity. Raspberries. Full-bodied, extremely focused and bright with clarity and beauty. Juicy and savory. Chalk and light chocolate at the finish. Try after 2024, but gorgeous to taste already.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2020

This is totally stunning, demonstrating depth, texture, salinity and flesh. It manages to be both austere and generous at the same time, pushing and pulling. It's a totally different conversation to many others wines this year. There was no frost effect here, although some of their other estates were fully wiped out. Harvested 23-29 September from 7.25ha planted at densities ranging between 6,500-12,600 vines per hectare. 100% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2043

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Darkest purple crimson. Smoky, lightly charry aroma from the oak and an inviting mineral/dusty quality and fresh, pure cassis fruit shines out. Succulent, the oak swallowed by the fruit on the palate. Concentrated and so full of fine, pure dark fruit. The tannins are compact but also somehow sweet, giving a firm but very smooth framework for the fruit. Long and fresh. Very good, and impressive harmony already.
Drink 2027-2040

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

In 2017 picking took place between September 23rd and 29th with a normal yield of 35 hl/ha - there was no frost damage here high on the best slopes of St Emilion. The assemblage in 2017 is 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot. A deep, saturated colour here with sweet, dark chocolate and liquorice on this exotic nose of impressively ripe black fruits. This is exuberant and enticing. The palate is chock full of black fruits, offering one of the best, densest mid-palates of the vintage without sacrificing the tannic structure, which remains defiantly polished, ripe and harmonious. The bright acidity of the vintage lends itself to this wine, turning the lightly roasted black fruits to notes of cherry blossom and freshly-picked blackberries on the finish. The oak is noticeable but adds to the complexity rather than fighting the fruit. Smoky incense and baked vanilla lingers in tandem with the fruit on a long finish.

Farr Vintners, April 2018

Rich and ripe the nose has depth a mix of sweet fruits the palate starts with fleshy richness the tannins are silky creamy on the mid palate the black fruits rich ripe and sweet. There is balance freshness towards the back fragrant with the rich fruit coming through giving a rich finish. 2027-42

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2018

There was no frost damage here. This is the finest nose of the vintage and the seduction and complexity of the fruit, oak and minerality here is staggering. I spent a full five minutes smelling this wine before I tasted it. Nothing is out of place and nothing is hurried. The nose is like a perfect wave of sensory pleasure, tempered and held by the exact conditions of the vintage. The palate is bold and all-enveloping, but it is not heavy or muscular. There is a Burgundian resonance here and there are even griotte notes in among the more traditional Bordeaux descriptors. The texture is mesmerising, as is the calmness and coolness with which this wine hands out its bounteous flavours. Epically long and desperately enticing already, goodness knows what will happen to it when it softens and builds further. It is already close to perfection, but in this unpredictable vintage it is a serious triumph and my wine of the year.

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018
Read more tasting notes...

This is a centered and deep red with blueberry, raspberry, mineral, stone and lemon aromas. Full-bodied, focused and polished. Lovely length. Gentle yet structured. Supple.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

Blended of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone offers up slowly emerging notes of crushed black plums, blackberries and mulberries with nuances of anise, violets, new leather and unsmoked cigars plus suggestions of black olives and truffles and a touch of cast iron pan. Medium to full-bodied with firm, very finely grained, super ripe tannins and an uplifting backbone of freshness perfectly supporting the profoundly layered, tightly wound yet incredibly intense fruit, it finishes very long with mineral accents and compelling tension.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.