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Ausone 2009

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

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Tasting Notes

A masterpiece in the making, proprietor Alain Vauthier's 2009 Ausone boasts a dense purple color along with notes of powdered chalk, crushed rocks and wild blue, red and black fruits. Extravagantly rich with great minerality, precision and freshness as well as a voluptuous texture (unusual for a baby Ausone), this is an extraordinary wine. Sadly, there are fewer than 1,200 cases ... for the world. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060+

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

The 2009 Ausone has a sumptuous bouquet with pure blackberry, raspberry, rose petal and orange blossom aromas. The wine is beautifully defined blossoms with aeration. It becomes very liquorice and menthol-like after 10 minutes’ aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. It is not a powerful 2009 and it feels sleek and quite tensile. Pure red fruit linger in the mouth with a very deft, almost understated finish. So elegant, so Ausone. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting. 2021 - 2050

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

Incredible nose of currants and blueberries. Flowers too. Licorice. Such purity on the nose of Cabernet Franc. Full body, incredible structure, with fabulous tannins and a long, long finish. Built out of stone. The prefect Ausone. Try after 2022.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012

Full and gamey and broad and expressive. Very distinctive wine. Still a bit tough and modern and super-focused. Very drying on the end. Quite demanding for now. Drying on the finish. Really quite painful - as though it had been concentrated, or certainly as though the grapes suffered quite a bit of drought stress. Lots of minerality on the finish. Very ambitious. Shades of Pavie 2003? I'm sure many palates will really, really appreciate this wine, and I look forward very much to following its progression as I have the utmost respect for Alain and now Pauline Vauthier interviewed here about the effect of the hail damage her family's vineyards suffered in May. I see the fiche technique specifies a yield of 27hl/ha and 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot but no picking date and I seem to have forgotten to ask. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2020-2035.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

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. The wines made here now are 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 and the yields were just 27 hl/ha. The 100% new oak is easily absorbed by the fruit. With just 1250 cases available for the world, this is as rare as it is great. Alain compares 2009 with 1982 but says that it has more power. This wine really is in another league. It coats the palate but has amazing purity and a silky texture. There is a core of profound sweetness but balanced by juicy tannins. Beautifully put together and supremely classy.

Farr Vintners, November 2009

My only criticism here is the level of alcohol and flavours of fig and even prune edging towards over-ripeness. It's a dense wine showing lots of new oak, sweet tannins and plenty of grip. It should all come together nicely over the next decade or so, but a little more acidity would have made this an even greater Ausone. 15+ years

Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

Amazingly focused wine. Long, persistent with extremely fine, filigree tannins. Beautiful texture. Incredible density of fruit behind. Freshness on the palate (55% Cabernet Franc). Absolute harmony. Rivals the outstanding 2005. Drink 2018-2050.

James Lawther MW, Decanter.com, April 2010
Read more tasting notes...

The 2009 Ausone, was produced at probably twice the yields of the absolutely remarkable 2008, but is another profound effort from Vauthier. Dense purple in color, with an almost liqueur of limestone intermixed with acacia flowers, blueberry, raspberry, and boysenberry fruit, the use of 100% new oak is completely concealed by the wealth of fruit and the lavish richness this wine exhibits. Nevertheless, there is a striking precision, minerality, and purity to Ausone. This wine might be far more drinkable in 7-8 years than the 2005 or 2008 will be with the same amount of aging. Nevertheless, any person lucky enough to latch on to one of the 1200 or so cases of this wine should realize it is going to evolve for 20-50 years. (Tasted once.)

Two more brilliant wines from Alain Vauthier, but you might have to forgive me for not giving a potentially perfect score in 2009. Readers (and I) have been spoiled by my reviews of 2008, 2005, 2003, and 2000. Certainly, his 2009 may turn out to be as riveting, but at this stage, I would have to rate all those vintages just a notch or two higher. Drink 2010-2060.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. The Ausone ‘09 has quite an unusual nose compared to its peers – less flamboyant perhaps but no less compelling. The terroir really shines through here. The palate is beautifully balanced with super fine tannins. There is real class to this wine – sophisticated, refined, harmonious and graceful. A masterpiece. Tasted January 2013.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (0713), July 2013

Tasted at Chateau Ausone. A blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, cropped at just 27hl/ha (16,000 bottles) with the first passage of young Merlot vines on the plateau picked on 29th September, the older Merlot vines from the 2nd until the 6th October and then the Cabernet Franc on three days from 8th until 10th October. Leaving the sample for five minutes to open up, the Ausone '09 is bridled with a sensuous bouquet of blackberries, blueberry, violets, a touch of orange zest and a hint of vanilla from the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with exceptionally fine focus and balance, very fine tannins, a thread of citrus lemon that is interwoven from the start to the finish, a feminine Ausone, perhaps less supple and more linear than other Saint Emilion 2009, but demonstrating much better structure and freshness. There is real vitality and joie-de-vivre that really evolves with aeration. Shimmering finish. Wonderful. Tasted March 2010.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

Such a dreamy, perfumed aroma to this wine. Full-bodied, but wonderfully polished and integrated. It touches every millimeter of your palate and the texture makes you want to cry. It touches your soul. Goes on for minutes. Another perfect red?

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, April 2010
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.