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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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
The 2017 Ausone was bottled in June 2019. It is blessed with one of the most cerebral bouquets that you will find in this vintage. Nuanced scents of violet and wild heather percolate through the blueberry and cassis fruit. Like the aromatics, the palate is almost pixelated in terms of detail. Cashmere tannins, perfectly integrated new oak and layers of pure fruit. The limestone terroir still shines through this Ausone with intense _mineralité _ towards the seductive finish that lingers in the mouth. Alain and Pauline Vauthier have crafted one of the wines of the vintage. 2024 - 2050
The 2017 Ausone was cropped at 35hl/ha between 23 and 25 September with respect to the Merlot and 28 and 29 September for the Cabernet Franc. It is aged in 100% new oak as usual for 20 months. It has a crisp, precise, mineral-driven bouquet with slightly more red fruit than black this year: crushed strawberry, hints of cassis, blueberry and traits of freshly tilled loamy soil. The palate is medium-bodied with cashmere tannin and a fine line of acidity. It is very harmonious and already quite seductive. I admire the depth of this Ausone, the sensuality that is conveyed towards the sustained, glycerin-tinged, peacock’s tail finish that lingers for more than 45 seconds. What a great Ausone this is destined to be. Drink 2024-2050.
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.
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.
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.
The 2017 Ausone is incredibly precise and sculpted, but also tightly wound in the early going - not that that will be a problem for readers who own it and will cellar it. Wild flowers, mint, blood orange and crushed rocks are some of the nuances that open up in the glass, but the 2017 is not in any mood to show all of its cards. Vertical, rich and explosive with tons of inner energy, the 2017 is a truly regal wine, but it also needs a number of years to be at its very finest. Here, too, the Franc (55% of the blend) really shines. This is a stellar showing from the Vauthier family. 2027 - 2057
The 2017 Ausone is without question one of the wines of the vintage. Stunning in its grandeur and presence, the 2017 possesses marvelous depth and remarkable aromatic intensity from the very first taste. Dark red and blue stone fruit, licorice, menthol, lavender and sweet spice build into the rich, flamboyant finish. The 2017 is 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot with the Franc very expressive today. The fruit saw about 30 days on the skins, including a week of cold soak. But those are mere details. The 2017 Ausone is a total stunner. That's all there is to it.
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.
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.
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
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
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.