|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 100% new oak. Lots of charred wood on the nose. Silky on the palate. There is an excellent mineral streak that keeps the sweet concentrated fruit checked. The wood is evident but well integrated and less prominent than the nose. Again, there is nothing weighty about this wine - it has a brightness throughout coming from the fresh acidity. Rating: 91 L&S (Apr 2018)
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The 2017 Chapelle d’Ausone was cropped at 35hl/ha, picked between 23 September and 2 October. It is matured in 100% new oak for 20 months. At the moment, the oak is dominating the aromatics although with aeration one catches glimpses of black cherry, crushed strawberry fruit, plus a hint of vanilla extract. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth tannin, crisp black fruit with a light saline influence, moderate in length but perhaps just missing a little depth towards the finish. Otherwise this is a very competent deuxième vin. Drinking range: 2022 - 2040 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)
A blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Chapelle d'Ausone opens with slightly reticent notes of crushed black berries, cassis and tilled soil with sparks of black raspberries, red roses and cedar chest plus wafts of iron ore and crushed stones. The palate is medium to full-bodied and rich, densely packed with firm, very fine-grained tannins, vibrant fruit and a very long, mineral-laced finish. Impressive! Rating: 91-93 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (Apr 2018)
50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 35 hl/ha. Fermented in wooden vats and aged 20 months in new French oak. Deep purple crimson. Smoky, charry oak over pure dark fruit, the fruit just wins out in the aroma. Pure cassis. Lovely concentrated juicy cassis on the palate and wonderfully smooth and rounded but no lack of structure. Terrific freshness and length. Drinking range: 2024 - 2034 Rating: 17 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)
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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