|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
Serious depth to the nose on this. Palate rich with dense dry black fruit and a saline rush. Savoury. Attractively 'real', it has a very fine fur of tannins which carry the fruit on and on. Rating: 90 L&S (Apr 2014)
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Even Ausone’s second wine is special in this mediocre Bordeaux vintage. The ripe 2013 La Chapelle d’Ausone offers hints of violets and crushed rocks as well as a soft, silky richness, medium body and loads of fruit. This successful St.-Emilion may turn out to be outstanding. It should drink well for 10-15 years. 2014-2029 Rating: 88-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
(60% cabernet franc, 25% merlot and 15% cabernet sauvignon): Dark ruby-red. Wonderfully pure strawberry and floral aromas are complicated by hints of white pepper, coffee bean and gunflint. Very clean, vibrant flavors of steely red berries linger nicely on the bright, suave finish. As usual, Chapelle d'Ausone is one of the best second wines of the vintage; in fact, this is better than many grands vins in 2013. Rating: 87-90 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website (May 2014)
Ausone’s second wine includes 15% Cabernet Sauvignon (unlike the grand vin, which has none) as well as 60% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. It’s a supple, sweet, lavishly oaked wine with smooth tannins and flavours of plum and black cherry. 2018-24 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 2014)
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.
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