x
  • Country ranking ?

    75
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The 2015 Ausone is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot this year, cropped at 30 hl/ha between 29 September and 2 October for the Merlot and 8-10 October for the Cabernet Franc. Matured in 85% new oak, it has a very intense bouquet of small dark cherries, cassis, violets and incense, a hint of blood orange originating from the Merlot tucked underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, seamlessly integrated oak. It is an intense Saint Emilion with a superb arching structure on the finish, while maintaining sufficient freshness from start to finish. It grips the mouth a little more than some of its peers, implying that it will need longer in bottle, but it will be worth the wait. Patience advised for this great Ausone courtesy of Alain and Pauline Vauthier. Drink: 2025 - 2060

Score: 95/97

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

A mindbinder of a wine with pure fruit and so much fine tannins and mineral character. It’s hyper tight and super polished. The palate starts off slowly and ends with a bang. Amazing endless finish. What an energy.

Score: 100

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

The 2015 Ausone is the embodiment of class. A seamless, mind-blowing wine, the Ausone boasts extraordinary purity and finesse. The flavors are deep and unctuous throughout, and yet the wine is remarkably vivid. A host of sweet floral notes and exotic spices are fused into the eternal finish. In 2015, Ausone is as good as it gets. Readers who can find the 2015 should not hesitate, as it is truly magnificent. All I can tell readers is that it took the most extraordinary discipline to spit this wine during my tasting. It is every bit that profound. The 2015 is 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot that will spend 20 months in French oak, 85% new. The Merlot was brought in between September 29 and October 2, while the Franc came in between October 8 and 10.

Score: 97/100

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

Depth of fruit the nose has brooding black fruited richness the palate is fleshy and supple velvet smoothness and opulence. Layers of flavour complexity there is lots of excitement from the cedar wood and spice at the back has seamless length. 2024-40

Score: 96/98

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

Outrageously good winemaking from Alain Vauthier and his team, expressing this special terroir to (near) perfection. Fine, floral and well balanced, with chalky minerality, palatecaressing 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. Drink: 2025-40

Score: 97

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 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. Drink 2025-2042

Score: 18.5

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016

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The Story

Ausone has only 7.3 hectares of vines and its vineyards (Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 50%) flourish on a steep, south-east facing slope, protecting them from cold north winds and westerly rain. Those vines at the top of the slope thrive on limestone (the `St.Emilion plateau') whilst those further down benefit from a clay/loam topsoil (the 'Côtes').

Ausone struggled during the 1950s and 1960s, but with the hiring of new régisseur Pascal Delbeck in 1976, the estate returned to producing wines worthy of its outstanding historic reputation. Recently Ausone has been at the very peak of its form and with the ubiquitous Michel Rolland now acting as consultant, it is now producing ultra-rich, lush, exotically fruity wines that require a minimum 10 years of bottle ageing.

 

History Château Ausone is a very old property with medieval historical significance. In it's more recent history, the wines from the château suffered from lower quality and a lessened reputation in the middle of the 20th century. Ausone began to return to it's historical positon of greatness with the hiring of Pascal Delbeck in the 1970's. Delbeck was in charge of Ausone beginning with the 1976 vintage. As of 1995, he no longer played a role in the winemaking but remained in charge of the vineyards. The property had been owned for generations by a partnership of the Dubois-Challon family and the Vauthier family. In the mid 1990's, the Vauthier family gained sole ownership of Château Ausone. Alain Vauthier controls all aspects of the winemaking. He began using Michel Rolland as the consulting wine-maker beginning with the 1995 vintage

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Vintage 2015

Excitement about the potential of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage – and wine made in several other parts of France last autumn – has been rising for months. In Bordeaux,  but also in Burgundy,  Champagne and the Rhône, conditions were close to  ideal last summer.

Hours of sunshine and average temperatures were the highest since records began – even higher than in “mythical” wine-growing years such as 1921 and 1947. “We think we have something very special but we are holding our tongues until the tasting begins,” said a family member at one of the most sought-after châteaux in the Médoc growing region. 

Denis Dubourdieu, professor of wine at the University of Bordeaux and one of the most successful Bordeaux winemakers, told The Independent: “I don’t think there can be any doubt. This will be an exceptional year, in line with memorable years like 2009 and 2005.

“Everything about the growing season last year was perfect. And from what I’ve seen at the wine-making stage and in the barrel later on,  this is going to be a wonderful vintage.” Mr Dubourdieu says that  producing wine is like a horse-race with five meteorological “fences”. In 2015, he says, Bordeaux jumped all the hurdles with ease.

The vines flowered early in warm sunshine; the tiny grapes appeared in perfect dry weather; they turned purple in ideal conditions of slight drought in mid-July; they expanded and ripened in a warm, dry August with just a little rain; and they were picked in a dry autumn with cool nights. This is like getting all the numbers right in the lottery. 

There were excellent claret vintages in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 and a reasonable year in 2012. In the past two years, to the annoyance of many people in the industry, Bordeaux has been criticised or faintly praised. There have also been complaints about the fact that the top châteaux kept their prices high, despite the apparent dip in quality. 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

13 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

Ausone - immense wine, with healthy dosage of oak, stunningly refined and sophisticated, classy elegance, silky fruit and tannin. Fabulous balance and finish. Truly remarkable wine. 97-98.
  • 97p
Nice structured and complex wine. Apart from loads of dark and red plum, some mint, cigar leaves, pencil sharpen can be detected. Oak and vanilla were well integrated without over power. Tannin was firmed and velvet. Length was very long. This wine showed a combination of masculine and feminine characters- a powerful tannin structure yet in a delicate silky way of fineness and freshness. A highly sophisticated wine. 98+
  • 98p
A truly great wine. Dark purple red colour with violet hue and black core. Powerful yet elegant nose with complex approach. Blackberries, elderberries, hints of sloe, elegant spiciness. On the palate rich yet elegant with great length, freshness and excellent tannins. A wine with a very persistent character, excellent complexity and finesse.
  • 99p

Information

Origin

St.Emilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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97p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"Ausone - immense wine, with healthy dosage of oak, stunningly refined and sophisticated, classy elegance, silky fruit and tannin. Fabulous balance and finish. Truly remarkable wine. 97-98."

1y 2m ago

98p
 Winnie Wing-Yin Ng , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"Nice structured and complex wine. Apart from loads of dark and red plum, some mint, cigar leaves, pencil sharpen can be detected. Oak and vanilla were well integrated without over power. Tannin was firmed and velvet. Length was very long. This wine showed a combination of masculine and feminine characters- a powerful tannin structure yet in a delicate silky way of fineness and freshness. A highly sophisticated wine. 98+"

1y 2m ago

99p
 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"Dark plum, roasted chestnut aromas. Substantial and involved wine with concentrated ripe dark plummy blackberry fruits, brambly yet spinuous tannins and plenty of mocha oak. Powerful and generous yet lovely precision and line. Elemental and richly flavoured with al dente grippy firmness. Paneforte plum flavours at the finish. 99 points "

1y 3m ago

97p
 Will Gardener / Nickolls & Perks, Wine Dealer (United Kingdom)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"Ausone Saint Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe A- 50% Merlot 50% Cabernet Franc - 85% New Oak - 30 hl/ha
50 year old vines at Ausone. Composed perfumed nose, pure and mineral, violet, earth, there is the extra density here, very mineral with lots of freshness too. It is constituently impressive, long spiced finish, a calm wine, linear, will evolve beautifully I suspect. Leaves a real buzz on the finish. Femininity and elegance. 96- 99/100 2030-2060"

1y 3m ago

99p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"A truly great wine. Dark purple red colour with violet hue and black core. Powerful yet elegant nose with complex approach. Blackberries, elderberries, hints of sloe, elegant spiciness. On the palate rich yet elegant with great length, freshness and excellent tannins. A wine with a very persistent character, excellent complexity and finesse. "

1y 3m ago

97p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Château Ausone 2015  ( Château Ausone )

"Ruby. Dark berries, red fruits, minerals, delicate yet quite full and intense, mint and chocolate touch, slight floral element. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, fruity, juicy, dark berries before structure sets in, some minerals, nuanced, detailed, playful yet rounded, properly long finish. 2030-2060 96-98
"

1y 3m ago

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