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Ausone 2020

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

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 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 hectare vineyard has an average age of 53 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.

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Tasting Notes

This is powerful and blows away much of the competition with its depth and layers. This needs you to pull up a chair, take a beat, and let the flavours unroll. There is so much density to the blueberry, bilberry and smoked raspberry fruits that they start out knitted down, then as the oxygen opens them up the body of the wine widens and becomes fleshier and creamier, adding chocolate and mocha notes. The limestone scrape is there in spades through the finish, and this is a cleverly constructed wine. As ever Ausone is just a masterclass in how to take apart and then put back together a terroir. Great stuff. First year of official conversion to organic farming. 100% new oak, some in 30hl oak casks. Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points.

Drinking Window 2028 - 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, May 2021

50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot. Cask sample.
Deep and intense with mineral, dark fruit and chocolate notes. Initially broad across the palate then firm, long, fresh and structured. Plentiful tannins but very fine and enrobed in generous fruit. Powerful but elegant with loads packed into the wine. Striking potential.
Drink 2030 – 2050

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2021

(50% M, 50% CF; 66% harvest; 26hl/ha; 14.5% ABV; 100% new)
Dense and with a beautifully defined pure, floral, and subtly black-cherry-sweet nose; rich, full, fresh, and very finely tannic within its restrained profile; there is nothing pronounced here, just a beautiful core of mineral-infused, black-cherry fruit, very limestone-marked, long, delicate, graceful, and transparent, always mouthcoatingly fragrant, and with great persistence. Absolutely benchmark, top-notch, limestone-plateau St-Emilion, with its characteristic combination of delicacy and power, more reminiscent of the best red Burgundies. A wine of exceptional subtlety and scope allied to a beautiful fruit presence. Probably accessible relatively early but, of course, with years of perfumed pleasure down the decades. 2035–60+.

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine, May 2021
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.