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Ausone 2015

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

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Tasting Notes

Ausone 2015 is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc and has a medium to deep garnet color. It needs considerably swirling and air to begin to reveal notes of iron ore, Chinese five spice, underbrush, and black truffles, before it opens out to a core of fruitcake, dried roses, licorice, and blueberry preserves, plus a hint of kirsch. Full-bodied, rich and powerful in the mouth, the palate delivers a solid core of muscular fruit with firm yet velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with incredible length and jaw dropping layers. Incredible!

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, November 2022

An utterly perfect wine from Alain Vauthier, the 2015 Château Ausone offers off the hook notes of crème de cassis, black raspberries, toasted spice and dried flowers, with more floral and mineral characteristics developing with time in the glass. Amazingly deep, full-bodied, pure and ethereally textured, with building density and tannin, it’s one of those wines that need to be tasted to be believed. Unfortunately, the production is minuscule (and expensive). A wine that will make your heart rate jump, give it 4-5 years of cellaring and I suspect it will keep for as long as you’d like to hang on to bottles. It’s a tour de force in wine and the wine of the vintage in 2015. 2023 - 2063

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017

Very intense and aromatic Ausone with rose petals, fresh herbs, dark berries and raspberries. Full body and great intensity and brightness. Purity and focus reminiscent of crushed grapes. Such beauty, greatness and elegance to this wine. Goes on for minutes. Needs four or five years to come completely together but so long and beautiful. Try drinking in 2021.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018

The 2015 Ausone has a detailed, precise bouquet whose intense, graphite-infused black fruit gains intensity with each swirl. This is very sophisticated and compelling. The poised, medium-bodied palate delivers filigreed tannin, perfect acidity and an extraordinarily persistent finish that outclasses almost everything around it. This is outstanding and surely represents one of the wines of the vintage. Tasted blind at the Southwold 2015 Bordeaux tasting.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, July 2019

Tasted blind. Broad, minty, Mouton? Fresh and racy with massive charge of tannins. Opulent but flowers and freshness too. Mints.
Drink 2025-2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2019

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 has returned to First Growth form and vies with Petrus 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 (average age of vines is 50 years) is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot. In 2015 there is about 50% of each variety in the blend from a low yield of 30 hl/ha. 21,000 bottles will be produced after ageing in 85% new oak for 18 months. Deep purple colour with viscosity evident in the glass. This has a brooding cassis and blue fruit nose with saddle leather, cedar wood, graphite and dark chocolate notes. The palate has a rich, opulent texture and silky entry. The mid palate builds in intensity and depth, with layered black and blue fruits lifted by balancing acidity. This is deep and concentrated but still mineral with graphite notes pairing perfectly with the cassis fruit core. Very long with real verve and power. A star of the vintage.

Farr Vintners, March 2016

Depth of fruit the nose has brooding black fruited richness the palate is fleshy and supple velvet smoothness and opulence. Layers of flavour complexity there is lots of excitement from the cedar wood and spice at the back has seamless length. 2024-40

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

Outrageously good winemaking from Alain Vauthier and his team, expressing this special terroir to (near) perfection. Fine, floral and well balanced, with chalky minerality, palatecaressing tannins, stylish (85% new) oak and the sort of finish that makes you want to skip down the street whistling. One of the wines of the vintage. Drink: 2025-40

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

This is a much richer and fuller-bodied wine than the second wine, Chapelle, building power and also fruit in equal measure. The amplitude of flavour here is impressive and while the tannins are dry and rather solid the whole experience is exceptionally involving. The nose is by far the most interesting aspect right now with Cabernet Franc playing a huge part in the complex aromatics. Serious length and epic harmony are already here, but the fruit flows slowly across the palate with not enough momentum yet and this will be resolved as the wine starts to get its house in order. In time this will be a magnificent Ausone.

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2016
Read more tasting notes...

Composed of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot aged in French oak barrels, 85% new, for 20 months, the 2015 Ausone features a deep garnet-purple color and comes bounding out of the glass with expressive plum preserves, wild blueberries and cherry pie aromas plus fragrant nuances of roses, licorice, Indian spices, baker’s chocolate, new leather and cedar chest plus a touch of underbrush. Big, rich, opulent and full-bodied in the mouth, it is laden with bold blue and black fruits, superbly supported by very firm, very finely grained tannins and wonderfully seamless freshness, finishing with long-lingering exotic spice hints. 2024 - 2052

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim Fe), February 2018

The 2015 Ausone, an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc matured in 85% new oak, has a deep, introspective bouquet at first, the Cabernet Franc more expressive than the Merlot at the moment, with undergrowth and damp moss scents permeating through the black fruit, pressed violets and incense gradually surfacing and a hint of orange pith. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, extremely pure and refined with an undertow of mineralité. There is outstanding tension to this Ausone, perhaps a little more approachable compared to the wines of the 1990s, not as oppressive in terms of structure due to its unerring poise. Though I strongly suspect that it will be surpassed by the 2016, it is still a magnificent Ausone that will drink for many years. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2050.

Neal Martin, March 2018

The 2015 Ausone is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot this year, cropped at 30 hl/ha between 29 September and 2 October for the Merlot and 8-10 October for the Cabernet Franc. Matured in 85% new oak, it has a very intense bouquet of small dark cherries, cassis, violets and incense, a hint of blood orange originating from the Merlot tucked underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, seamlessly integrated oak. It is an intense Saint Emilion with a superb arching structure on the finish, while maintaining sufficient freshness from start to finish. It grips the mouth a little more than some of its peers, implying that it will need longer in bottle, but it will be worth the wait. Patience advised for this great Ausone courtesy of Alain and Pauline Vauthier. Drink: 2025 - 2060

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

A mindbinder of a wine with pure fruit and so much fine tannins and mineral character. It’s hyper tight and super polished. The palate starts off slowly and ends with a bang. Amazing endless finish. What an energy.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

Dark crimson with some purple. Real class and concentration on the nose - all vineyard, surely. Brisk yet very opulent. Lots of drive and no oak in evidence. Very fine. Very long.
Drink 2025-2042

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016
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.