The 2010 Ausone struck me as another brilliant, potentially perfect wine, which should come as no shock to people who have been following Vauthier’s work over the last decade or more. Backward and intense, this wine offers up notes of crushed chalk/rock mineralilty interwoven with blueberry, black raspberry and cassis as well as some graphite and vanillin. It is incredibly rich but at the same time precise, fresh and vivacious. This is a super wine, but it will require enormous patience from its potential suitors. Forget it for a decade and drink it over the following 50+ years.
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Ausone 2010 has an intoxicating bouquet with outstanding definition and precision, a light marine influence of seaweed and brine that becomes more accentuated with time. The palate is very precise with fine tannins, quite sharp dark blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, a dash of white pepper sprinkled over the back palate that builds to an elegant spicy finish. Not the "biggest" wine against its peers, but it oozes class. This is an intoxicating Saint Emilion from Alain Vauthier and his team. Tasted January 2014.
1er Grand Cru Classe St Emilion (68% harvest, 27-32hl/ha, 14.5%) [55CF/45M] Super sweet and fragrant to smell; concentrated, very finely but very drily tannic structure, some of it currently from the new wood, fresh in acidity; a great concentration of pure, intensely sweet fruit to taste, long, linear, delicate, clearly mineral behind the sweetness, some alcoholic warmth, yes, but remaining delicate the weight notwithstanding; racy, vital, exciting, with great scented, lemony fresh, cassis sweet length. A Burgundy like combination of power and delicacy, but with a very long term tannin. 15-20 years, and then a couple of generations! 2025-50+ [M.Schuster, Bordeaux Mar/Apr 2011]
Very sappy and intense, offering racy red licorice, red currant and violet notes, with nice taut acidity and a long, minerally finish. Combines power and austerity, with excellent drive. For those who like backbone in their wines. (J.M.)
Deep, saturated ruby-red. Musky aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, coffee, violet, Christmas spices, minerals and exotic oak, complicated by graphite minerality. Boasts uncanny intensity, calcaire energy and power on the palate, but there's also a deeply creamy texture brought by this superripe vintage. Boasts extraordinary inner-mouth aromatic character and finishes with great tannic spine. The building, endless finish boasts great clarity and perfume. A transcendent Ausone in its combination of power and elegance. This stunning wine will be improving in bottle long after I've expired.
The nose is so deep and almost endless with dried strawberries, blueberries, and incense. Citrus too. Some prunes. Full body, with chewy yet polished tannin quality and tension. Beautiful focus and balance with a richness and delicacy at the same time. Something almost Burgundian. It's the purity of fruit. 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. Try in 2020.
-www.jamessuckling.com, 'Tasting Report: 2010 Bordeaux "More Great Vintage"', 3 Feb 2012
There is something almost unnerving with Ausone this year. It has almost supernatural fruit character and earth shattering acidity. Full and tannic, it finishes with a dark fruit jam but then goes to citrus acidity and freshness. A tiny bit too much.
(a 55/45 blend of cabernet franc and merlot; 3.53 pH; 14.5% alcohol; reportedly from a crop level of just 26 hectoliters per hectare; a 67% selection for the grand vin Inky, glass-staining purple. The captivating nose offers very intense, pure aromas of dark plum, blackcurrant, balsamic coffee, bay leaf and violet. Supple and soft on entry, but boasts a huge structure underlying the ripe, glossy black fruit, graphite and ink flavors. Finishes smooth, creamy and very long. Destined to be a very long-lived Ausone, this is one of the top wines of the vintage and probably even better than the blockbuster 2009 made here. Ausone is one of the few properties that seems to have had great success harvesting its merlot late (October 9 through 15), more or less at the same time as its cabernet franc (October 13-16). But as Pauline Vauthier pointed out, they were the first to harvest in their immediate neighborhood. Ian D'Agata
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