|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
Only 3 families have owned Ausone since the 14th Century. Alain Vauthier has made massive improvements 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 1970s and 1980s. Ausone vies with Pétrus and Cheval Blanc as the right bank's top château. With production levels even less than those of Pétrus, Ausone has become one of the most in demand and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux. The 7.25 hectare vineyard has an average age over 50 years, but some vines are over 100 years old. It is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and production rarely exceeds 2,000 cases.
The 2022 is a 50:50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The harvest started on September 5th and finished on September 27th. The yield was 35 hl/ha with some of the crop relegated to the second label "La Chapelle d'Ausone"
A blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the 2022 Ausone unwinds in the glass with aromas of plums, raspberries and cherries complemented by hints of crushed mint and spices, framed by a lavish patina of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, layered and rather muscular, it's deep and concentrated, its vibrant core of fruit framed by a serious chassis of rich, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, saline finish. Given its imposing levels of structuring extract, it will require patience.
The 2022 Ausone was picked from 5 to 30 September and matured for 20 months in French oak. These aromatics take a little time to open in the glass. Once they do, they are precise with wilted iris flowers infusing the black fruit and background pencil box and incense hints. The palate is medium-bodied with silver bead acidity threaded through the blackberry and bilberry fruit. Fresh and focused, this Ausone possesses a structured finish with a pinch of black pepper on the finish. Elegant in style, this Ausone almost creeps up in you and seduces, intellectual and persistent in the mouth. Upon departing, I couldn't help wondering if I had witnessed this Saint-Émilion demonstrates its full potential, hence the plus sign against my score. 14.4% alcohol. 2030-2065
A rich, bombastic wine with layers of coffee, bonfire and ripe blackcurrant fruit on the nose. The palate is brilliant and multi-layered, taming the exotic spice with high floral notes and sweet red fruits. This is both energy and opulence, a beautifully made and dense wine. Very long on the finish, with rich toasted spices matched by fleshy fruit. The tannins are silky smooth - plentiful but integrated impressively at this young stage.
This is really open with bright and flamboyant aromas of cassis and cherries. Blueberries. Some peaches as well. I don't remember a young Ausone like that. Full-bodied with flamboyant fruit and energy. Very fine tannins. They are there but you don't feel them. Supple but very fruity. And intensely fruity at the end.
The Ausone 2022 is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc, with a yield of 38 hl/ha. The Merlot was harvested between 5th and 7th September and the Cabernet Franc between 21st and 27th September. It has a pH of 3.57, a TPI of 66, and it is opaque purple in color. The wine is completely closed on the first smell, requiring a lot of swirling to begin to release fragrant notes of dried roses, licorice, cast-iron pan, and cumin seed, giving way to a core of Morello cherries, wild blueberries, and redcurrant preserves. The full-bodied palate is an exercise in elegance, featuring very fine-grained, very firm tannins and breathtaking tension to frame the tightly wound red and black fruit layers, finishing with epic length and mind-blowing complexity. Holding its cards close to its chest, it's a hard wine to read at first glance, yet there's a lot of nuanced sub-text bound within the rock-solid structure. I see this slowly unfolding over many years to become a wine for the ages.
Intense and concentrated, with fennel, aniseed and liqourice root. Where Chapelle d'Ausone celebrates a wave of opulence in the vintage, this focuses more clearly on black tea, slate, intense black chocolate. Precise and well cut, this is creamy and exuberant without sacrificing elegance and balance. Amazing depths of flavour and grip. A true En Primeur sample where you know you are a long long way from this being ready to drink. The first year, incidentally, of not Premier Grand Cru Classé A, although the ranking has not been featured on the label since 2012. No irrigation at Ausone. 100% new oak. Harvest September 5 to 27. 7.25ha. Conversion to organic farming since 2020, Philippe Baillarguet cellar master, Pauline Vauthier owner and winemaker. Potential 100.
50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot. Cask sample.
Unusually aromatic at this early stage. Complex floral and red- and dark-fruit notes. Uncompromisingly dense with plentiful but fine tannins. Smooth texture. No hard edges but firm and persistent. Plenty of potential. (JL) 15%
Drink 2032– 2055