This was the first vintage for the Vauthier family of Château Ausone off this tiny three-hectare estate. Composed of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 85% new, the 2015 La Clotte displays a medium to deep garnet-purple color and a very spicy nose of cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and allspice over core of red and black currants, mulberries and black soil plus a waft of violets. Full-bodied and decadently fruited with a firm backbone of very ripe, beautifully velvety tannins, it has a lively backbone providing loads of lift throughout the very long finish.
|Score: 95+||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, February 2018|
Made by Alain Vauthier and from a similar terroir to Ausone, yet with a different exposition, the 2015 Château La Clotte is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon raised in 85% new French oak. Possessing an incredible elegance and purity, with medium to full-bodied richness and notes of cassis and black raspberry fruits, underbrush, damp earth and subtle oak, it has a striking floral component, a great mid-palate, and sweet tannin, all suggesting it’s going to keep for at least 10-15 years.
|Score: 94||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017|
The 2015 La Clotte, now part of Alain Vauthier's portfolio, is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pauline Vauthier told me that they had pulled up one-hectare of vines because of the condition, leaving three in production. It was macerated by pigeage only, no remontage. Matured in 85% new oak, that wood feels quite prominent at the moment, although there is sufficient fruit to absorb it. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin on the entry, very smooth and nicely poised with fine precision on the finish. Elegant and poised, this already shows an improvement in this estate since the Vauthiers acquired the vineyard.
|Score: 90/92||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016|
Very perfumed and beautiful with blackberry and blueberry aromas that follow through to a medium to full body, firm and silk tannins and a chalky and limestone undertone. Peppery edge. Lightly chewy finish. Give it three or four years to soften.
|Score: 92||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2018|
A fascinating wine with purity and length. Very tight and compacted. Full and silky texture. Curious and enlightening. Structured. Now owned by the Vauthier family of Ausone. First vintage.
|Score: 94/95||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2016|
The 2015 La Grande Clotte, Michel and Dany Rolland's Sauvignon-based blend, is terrific. A dollop of Muscadelle adds an exotic floral/tropical character to the apricot, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes. Rich and ample in feel, with notable textural richness, the 2015 exudes harmony and class. Readers should expect a fairly intense viscous white. I would prefer to drink the 2015 sooner rather than later.
|Score: 92||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, February 2018|
The 2015 La Clotte presents a striking interplay of aromatics, fruit and structure. Beams of tannin give La Clotte much of its distinctive personality. Espresso, mocha, leather, dark cherry, savor herbs and plum open up nicely in the glass. La Clotte is one of the least expressive wines in the Vauthier family's range this year, yet it offers outstanding potential, not to mention tons of class. The Cabernet Franc is particularly expressive here. The 2015 is 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon projected to spend 18 months in oak, 85% new.
|Score: 90/93||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016|