Probably the wine of the vintage, once again. Only 9,000 bottles of the 2013 Ausone were produced, as crop size was 50% of normal. However, proprietor Alain Vauthier and his daughter certainly have proven a truly great wine can be produced in some of the most trying conditions Bordeaux wine producers have had to deal with over the last 20 years. Yields were only 22 hectoliters per hectare and the final blend was 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. The haunting aromas of wet rocks, spring flowers, blue and black fruits and forest floor are followed by an incredibly dense, attractive wine with sweet tannin, stunning concentration and texture, medium body and a depth that is essentially unreal in a vintage such as this. The wine is a superb example of great winemaking under the most difficult circumstances. Unlike more recent Ausones, this should be reasonably drinkable in 5-6 years and yet be capable of lasting 25-30. Drink 2019-2049.
93-95 Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #214, Aug 2014)
The Ausone 2013 was one of the superior wines from the challenging growing season like few others. I remember Pauline Vauthier telling me that it was thanks to 10 hot days in July that any greenness was eradicated. From a bottle tasted in Bordeaux, it repeated its performance from barrel. The bouquet is simple for Ausone, still driven by the Merlot rather than the Cabernet Franc, fleshy and quite rounded on the palate with impressive freshness, if not quite delivering the complexity and sensuality one often finds with Ausone.
Very perfumed and pretty on the nose with cherry, flowers and chalk. Medium to full body, very fine tannins and a crazy finish of fruit and sea salt. Lively and intense.
Deep blackcurrant fruit, supple tannins on the palate that grip the finish. A smidgen more concentration than their Chapelle, but it doesn’t scale the heights that you might hope for. That’s not to say it isn’t good – it is very delicious – but the quality is constrained by the vintage. – Richard Hemming (jancisrobinson.com, April 2014)
(55% cabernet franc and 45% merlot; represents production of 22 hectoliters per hectare): Bright red-ruby. Spicy pepper and oak notes dominate reticent strawberry, cedar and green coffee bean aromas. Gains in richness and density with aeration, with red fruit flavors picking up more sweetness and volume. Finishes bright and very lively, with strong but harmonious acidity giving it a light touch, although the youthfully chewy tannins betray a hint of greenness at the back. A very different Ausone from some of the powerfully structured behemoths of recent vintages. Ian D'Agata
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