2011 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion
Classification 1er Grand Cru Classé
ABV 14%

Austere Ausone. A bit of spice but all so buttoned up. Glossy purple black. Impressive for its depth and length, seems to have all it needs in terms of density of concentrated flavour, but needs to soften a lot before it will be a likeable character. The mark reflects what is here now. Rating: 93? L&S (Apr 2012)

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Vibrant ruby colour, liqourice on the attack, cloves, smoke, blackberry purree, plenty of depths and nuance here, with a saline limestone character that gives punch and grip through the palate. There is a creaminess as it opens, and this is less austere than some St Emilion limestone-dominant wines right now, with the Ausone magic starting to assert itself. 100% new oak. Drinking range: 2022 - 2040 Rating: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter (Jun 2022)

The 2011 Ausone is ripe and perfumed, quite floral in style, touches of cassis and violet coming through with time. It is just missing a little charm compared to its peers. The palate is plush and rounded in the mouth, quite a sensual wine with piquant red fruit, white pepper and clove, although the finish is just missing a little complexity and personality at the moment. A fine Ausone, though I would be inclined to drink this over the next decade. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2033 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, (Apr 2022)

Good bright, fully saturated ruby. Brooding, complex nose features raspberry, minerals, violet, cocoa, white pepper and sweet spices: very cabernet franc (55% of the blend). Then deep and complex on the palate too, with a wonderfully fine-grained texture given lift and razor-sharp definition by bright acidity and a white pepper nuance. Though the tannins are just a bit harder than usual for Ausone (a dead giveaway it's the 2011 vintage being tasted), this wine offers a sensational combination of density and finely delineated fruit. Finishes extremely long, with building tannins and outstanding finesse. Rating: 92 Ian d'Agata, (Jul 2014)

Château Ausone

Unquestionably one of the biggest names of the Right Bank, this is also one of the oldest chateaux in the whole of Bordeaux. Situated at the edge of the limestone plateau on the approach to the village of Saint Emilion, at an altitude of 75 metres, Ausone dominates your view as you drive in to the village, with its beautiful stone gateposts, steeply sloping vineyards, and dry stone walls. Underneath the chateau are kilometre upon kilometre of stone quarries, the smallest of which (at 1,800m2) is the wine cellar. This was excavated back in the 16th century (most of the stone in Saint Emilion ended up building either the village itself, or the handsome limestone buildings in central Bordeaux). Further underground are stone vaults dating back 500 years! The humidity in the cellars is at well over 90%, meaning that they rarely have to perfrom ouillage (topping up), and the angel's rarely get their share! Above ground there is also the Magdeleine chapel (hence the name of the second wine of the estate, Chapelle d'Ausone), which again adds to the sense of mystique on visiting Ausone. They are currently renovating the chapel, and also creating a small room for receiving visitors (although don't hold your breath that this will ever be a centre for wine tourism - the Vaultier family are very discreet, and it is tough to get an appointment here). One of the smallest of all the top estates in Bordeaux, at just over seven hectares (smaller than its Saint Emilion rival Cheval Blanc, smaller even than Petrus in neighbouring Pomerol, but twice the size of le Pin), vines have been cultivated here since the time of Roman poet Ausonius. I'm not sure anyone is suggesting that Ausonius actually owned this vineyard, but it is likely to have been named in his honour.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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