EP23 Release: Ausone 2023 'a majestic sense of lift, purity, and refinement' JL

Bordeaux Index

15 May 2024

CHÂTEAU Ausone, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2023

Today we have the 2023 release of one of the very pinnacles of Bordeaux: the magnificent Ausone.

Ausone is the King of St Emilion, looking down from its lofty perch high above the town and boasting some of the greatest Cabernet Franc grown anywhere on the planet. In a year where Cabernet Franc did so well in the late September sun, this year it comprises a full 60% of the blend. While this year’s Ausone has real aromatic intensity, there is density at its core that will repay careful cellaring. This small family estate, at just 7ha in size, allows almost fanatic attention to be paid to the vines which cling to the hillside surrounding the property. Even with the 100% new oak used this year, the vibrant energy from the limestone soils shines through imbuing the wine with thrilling animation.

“The savory, mineral-drenched finish is eternal. All the 2023 needs is time. Readers lucky enough to own it should be thrilled.” Antonio Galloni

Pauline Vauthier has been in charge of the winemaking since 2005, having worked in vineyards across France and South Africa. The vineyards have been organically farmed (but not certified) since her arrival, and given the steepness of the slopes, everything is done by hand. Ausone is a truly remarkable wine that displays the true majesty of their old vine Cabernet Franc.

“This is a more understated Ausone compared to recent vintages, but it exudes sophistication and could easily surpass the Vauthiers' 2022.” Neal Martin

Add Ausone 2023 to my cellar

98-100pts Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent “A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the 2023 Ausone has a pH of 3.63 and a deep garnet-purple color. It is very mute and reticent to show its personality to start, needing a lot of shaking and pleading to coax out a series of intense scents: fresh blackberries, violets, licorice, pencil shavings, and tar, leading to an undercurrent of Sichuan pepper and fertile loam. The medium-bodied palate has wonderful tension and is incredibly taut and tight-knit, offering glimpses at layers of mineral and floral accented fresh blackberry flavors. It is textured by incredibly ripe, fine-grained tannins, delivering a very long finish, laced with mineral sparkles.”

97-99pts Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider
“Dark garnet in color, the wine is intensely floral, with lilacs, violets, roses, licorice, espresso, black raspberries, black cherries, and red currants. As good as the nose is, the palate is even better. The wine is rich, intense, and most importantly, elegant. There is a majestic sense of lift, purity, and refinement that is complimented by the strong touch its oceanic influence felt on its layers of dark red, black, and blue fruits, espresso, and spice. The seamless finish lingers long after the wine has left the glass. The key to the vintage here is the late, and light September rains that refreshed the Cabernet Franc just before harvesting. The wine blends 60% Cabernet Franc with 40% Merlot.14.2% ABV, 3.63 pH. Harvesting took place September 14-19 for the Merlot ,and September 25-30 for the Cabernet Franc. 2,000 cases were produced. Drink from 2030-2065.”

97pts Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
“Density and well-cushioned fruit, another stunning vintage of a wine that somehow manages to make an effortless impression, edges of cloves and grilled sandalwood, full of nuance and capturing the aromatics depths and heights of the vintage, gorgeous. 100% new oak. Philippe Baillarguet cellar master, Vauthier family owners, organic certified in the vineyard.”