Ausone 2018

SubregionSt Emilion

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 53 years but some vines are over 100 years old. It is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and production rarely exceeds 2000 cases. In 2018 the blend of the grand vin is 60% Cabernet Sauvinon, 40% Merlot and after ageing in 100% new oak for 20 months the production will be 20,000 bottles.

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Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Per Score Help
Bordeaux2018AusoneBT106,900.001296/98 NMAdd to Basket
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Tasting Notes

The 2018 Ausone was picked on 25 and 27 September with respect to the Merlot and the 3, 8 and 9 October for the Cabernet Franc at 35hL/ha. Aged for 20 months in new French oak barrels. This takes a long time to really open in the glass, eventually revealing intense black cherry and bilberry fruit, shucked oyster shells and touches of pressed violet. There is an exoticism here, yet it is behind several closed doors. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, fine acidity, the alcohol nicely controlled at around 14.4% with a caressing, multi-layered peacock’s tail finish of truffle, black pepper and a touch of graphite. It is not the very greatest Ausone that I have tasted at this stage - it has stiff competition! But is a very gifted wine that expresses the DNA of Ausone, which is exactly what you want. 2022 - 2048

Score: 96/98Neal Martin,, November 2019

The 2018 Ausone is composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 25 and 27, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested October 3, 8 and 9. Deep purple-black in color, it is an impenetrable wall to begin, unrelenting without persistent coaxing, at last uncoiling to offer glimpses at preserved plums, blueberry coulis, molten licorice and underbrush with emerging scents of lavender, iron ore, crushed stones, charcoal and Indian spices plus a waft of red roses. Full-bodied, rich, decadent and tightly knit, it offers layer upon layer of fruit, spice and mineral nuances with a firm frame of exquisitely fine tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and heart-stopping beauty.

Score: 98/100Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

This is really exotic with wild-fruit character that I have seldom encountered in Ausone. Full-bodied yet reserved and very tight. Amazing depth and purity of fruit. Incredible beauty. Sexy.

Score: 99/100James Suckling, (241), April 2019

The 2018 Ausone is off the charts. Deep, sensual and mysterious, the 2018 is going to need many years to show the full breadth of its potential. And yet, there is so much there. Rich and concentrated on the palate, with phenomenal persistence, the 2018 is loaded with energy, tension and precision, offering a compelling interplay of opulence, saline intensity and structure. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage.

Score: 97/100Antonio Galloni,, May 2019

Black core with narrow purple rim. Intense, aromatic if slightly charry cassis. Very fine fruit – intense but surprisingly juicy and fresh. Rounded yet powerful. Chewy and with a great undertow of terrific, perfectly ripe fruit and there's a much clearer influence of Cabernet Franc here, with that freshness it brings. Just fresh enough but would show a lot better if the sample were cooler.
Drink 2028-2040

Score: 17.5+Julia Harding MW,, April 2019

Deep in colour, with inky, ripe black fruit on the nose that is layered with incense, toasted almond and rich liquorice aromas. The palate is dense and powerful, with mouthfilling, fine tannins that coat the mouth with velveteen richness. The fruit is incredibly intense, with very dark and ripe cassis, blackberry and black cherry at the core. The power builds with the complexity - notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate come in waves over the fruit, and the glossy texture is lifted by harmonious acidity. The finish is very long, bursting at the seams with fleshy black fruit and toasted spices. Very impressive, with great ageing potential for those with patience.

Score: 18.5Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, March 2019

Ratcheting up the intensity, the 2018 Château Ausone has an essence of limestone-like character as well as thrilling notes of blackberries, black raspberries, white flowers, truffle, forest floor, and graphite. Possessing full-bodied richness, a deep, beautifully concentrated mid-palate, ample tannins, and a great finish, this is a powerful, layered Ausone that’s going to need 5-7 years of bottle age but should knock your socks off over the following 25+ years. The 2018 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, brought up in a mix of new and used barrels.

Score: 96/99Jeb Dunnuck,, May 2019

Pauline Vauthier is the 11th generation of the family to be producing wine here. It's always such an incredible wine, and as ever you can see that they are playing a different game from so many others. The juice, the slate, the minerality, the drip-drip-drip of freshly squeezed berries, spice and barely-there tannins, the sapidity on the finish. Amazing!

Harvest ran from 25 September to 9 October. 3.6pH. 100% new oak.

98-100 points.

Drinking Window 2028 - 2042

Score: 98/100Jane Anson,, April 2019

(60 Cabernet Franc, 40 Merlot) | 100% new oak for 20 months | Average vine age is 52 years old with a parcel close to the Chapel which are 110 years old. |The Merlot was harvested on the 25th and 27th September and the Cabernet Franc was harvested on the 3rd, 8th and 9th October. Extremely intense and incredibly perfumed, this is a very rich and power-packed Ausone and the fruit is almost impenetrable thanks to the density of the flavour. Deep crimson in colour and with immense spice and earth underpinning the majestic fruit, this is a frighteningly youthful wine and a vintage which one probably shouldn’t touch for thirty years. The nose gives away more about the wine than the palate, which is resolutely introverted, and it shows a glittering array of aromatics – fruit, spice, herb, flower and earth. One of the wines of the vintage, this is an anthem to Cabernet Franc and its awesome potential which was realised in 2018.

Score: 19.5+Matthew Jukes,, April 2019

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.