|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
|Classification||1er Grand Cru Classé|
50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot. Immediate floral lift to the fruit. A rich fine entry, a tiny point of sweetness in a fine emulsion of silk-fine tannins shot through with fruit. Pretty exciting. Very primary, not giving much away at present, it looks set to be a great Ausone. Rating: 95-96 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Outrageously good winemaking from Alain Vauthier and his team, expressing this special terroir to (near) perfection. Fine, floral and well balanced, with chalky minerality, palate caressing 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. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 97 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 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. Drinking range: 2025 - 2042 Rating: 18.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2016)
50% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Suave texture but so much power behind. Fine, fragrant nose of pure berry fruit then real density and depth on the palate. Layered fruit and tannins but finely etched. Clean, long and persistent. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 96 James Lawther MW, decanter.com (Apr 2016)
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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