The 2010 Ausone struck me as another brilliant, potentially perfect wine, which should come as no shock to people who have been following Vauthier's work over the last decade or more. Backward and intense, this wine offers up notes of crushed chalk/rock mineralilty interwoven with blueberry, black raspberry and cassis as well as some graphite and vanillin. It is incredibly rich but at the same time precise, fresh and vivacious. This is a super wine, but it will require enormous patience from its potential suitors. Forget it for a decade and drink it over the following 50+ years.
One of the other perfectionist, compulsive producers in St.-Emilion is Alain Vauthier, who is now capably assisted by his daughter.
The 2010 Ausone has a rich, opulent, modern style bouquet with crème de cassis and blueberry aromas tinged with crushed violet. There is plenty of new oak here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a ton of blue and black fruit. It does not quite deliver the personality of its peers, although the velvety texture is very alluring. Maybe it will develop into something more interesting with bottle age, possibly going through a close phase? Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. Drink 2024 - 2050.
The nose is so deep and almost endless with dried strawberries, blueberries, and incense. Citrus too. Some prunes. Full body, with chewy yet polished tannin quality and tension. Beautiful focus and balance with a richness and delicacy at the same time. Something almost Burgundian. It's the purity of fruit. 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. Try in 2020.
Deep garnet in color, the 2010 Ausone opens with notes of sweaty leather, iron ore, Marmite toast and prunes with hints of dried herbs and charcuterie plus a medicinal waft. Full-bodied, the palate has a very racy line of acidity and well-played, chewy tannins supporting the maturing fruit, finishing with an herbal lift. 2020 - 2042
26 hl/ha. Dark crimson with a bright crimson rim. Very serious nose - so different from the Chapelle! 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot. Lovely punch and scent on the nose and then real tight impact on the palate. Not the completeness of Pétrus but a very good vintage expression. Some warm berries triumph over terroir but this is sweet then tight and tough. Extremely youthful. Very drying on the end. Cabernet Franc has dominated since 2005. Very rich and exuberant overall. Vivacious and not too, too dry on the finish. Less exaggerated than some other recent vintages.
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 in 1997. The wines made here are now 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. The 100% new oak is easily absorbed by the fruit. With just 1500 cases available for the world, this is always as rare as it is great. Fabulous intesity and focus here. A highly perfumed, aromatic nose which is the essence of of cassis and vanilla. Stunning ripeness on the palate with flavours that explode in the mouth. Dense, multi-layered, super-sumptuous with a wonderfully concentrated core of ripe red fruits. Amazing length and impeccable balance. Luxurious and elegant. Top Class.
The nose is concentrated serious with a mass of fruit. Behind all of the richness the voluptuous power there is freshness red fruit and mineral that balances and gives elegance. The mix of flavours gives complexity and the fruit lingers long on the back palate.
As pure as the '09 but a more emphatic structure. 55% Cabernet Franc in the blend. Fragrant fruit and floral nose. Dense, ripe fruit and an abundance of firm but finely knit tannins. Minerally freshness provides a classical edge. Great length and persistence. Huge ageing potential. Drink 2022-2060.
Alain Vauthier's wines have been so remarkable since he acquired full control of Ausone that readers probably feel I have thrown my critical wits away. However, the proof is in the tasting, and the 2010 Ausone is unquestionably extraordinary. There are 1,500 cases of this beauty, which exhibits an inky/blue/purple color as well as an exotic, seamless bouquet of incense, Asian spices, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Full-bodied with a striking liqueur of minerality as well as a magical combination of complexity, substance and nobility, it reveals softer tannins than I expected for this vintage, so perhaps it will be more accessible in its youth than recent Ausone vintages have tended to be. It is another prodigious effort from Vauthier that should be drinkable in 6-8 years and keep for a half century.
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Ausone 2010 has an intoxicating bouquet with outstanding definition and precision, a light marine influence of seaweed and brine that becomes more accentuated with time. The palate is very precise with fine tannins, quite sharp dark blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, a dash of white pepper sprinkled over the back palate that builds to an elegant spicy finish. Not the "biggest" wine against its peers, but it oozes class. This is an intoxicating Saint Emilion from Alain Vauthier and his team. Tasted January 2014.
Tasted at the chateau. The Ausone 2010 is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot matured in new oak for 20 months. It has a very introverted nose to the point where if you served them blind, I am sure you would prefer the Chapelle d'Ausone. There is a brooding intensity here: dark cherries, boysenberry, crushed stone, fresh mint... The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, filigree tannins. It is supremely well balanced with (again) perfectly pitched acidity. The finish is grippy, dense and a little spicy - vitamin like intensity. The Cabernet Franc is the "guv'nor", the Merlot taking a back seat role. Masculine and quite profound, this is a superlative Ausone. 18,000 bottles produced. Tasted November 2012.
A blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, picked between 5th and 15th October. The nose takes some coaxing from the glass; raspberry, a touch of Dorset plum, wild strawberry and with further aeration there are touches of orange rind developing. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth tannins, very focused, hints of dark chocolate on the entry, wonderful mineralité and poise towards the seamless finish with a creamy veneer. Long in the mouth, this is a sensual Ausone. Drink 2015- tasted March 2011.
There is something almost unnerving with Ausone this year. It has almost supernatural fruit character and earth shattering acidity. Full and tannic, it finishes with a dark fruit jam but then goes to citrus acidity and freshness. A tiny bit too much