x
  • Country ranking ?

    36
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    grilled Flank Steak with Parsley Sauce

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

Read more
Close

The 2018 Ausone is composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 25 and 27, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested October 3, 8 and 9. Deep purple-black in color, it is an impenetrable wall to begin, unrelenting without persistent coaxing, at last uncoiling to offer glimpses at preserved plums, blueberry coulis, molten licorice and underbrush with emerging scents of lavender, iron ore, crushed stones, charcoal and Indian spices plus a waft of red roses. Full-bodied, rich, decadent and tightly knit, it offers layer upon layer of fruit, spice and mineral nuances with a firm frame of exquisitely fine tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and heart-stopping beauty.

Score: 98/100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

Read more
Close

The Story

Ausone owes its unique quality and longevity to a magic marriage of situation and soil. The steep slopes of the vineyard are arranged like an amphitheatre, facing southeast, which gives perfect exposure and maximum protection, and the soil is a mixture of clay and sand on limestone. When old vines and the ability to pick the entire vineyard quickly, due to the small size, are added to the recipe the result is something special. Ausone grows in bottle in a highly individual way, expanding and becoming more ample, although always retaining its scent and finesse.

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

Read more
Close

Wine Information

Alain Vauthier has made massive improvements at Ausone since taking full control of the winemaking and management of his family property in 1997. The wines made here are now in a totally different league from those produced in the 1970's and 1980's. Ausone vies with Petrus and Cheval Blanc as the right bank's top Chateau. With production levels even less than those of Petrus, Ausone has become one of the most in demand and hard-to-find wines of Bordeaux. The 7 hectare vineyard has an average age of 53 years but some vines are over 100 years old. It is planted with 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and production rarely exceeds 2000 cases. In 2018 the blend of the grand vin is 60% Cabernet Sauvinon, 40% Merlot and after ageing in 100% new oak for 20 months the production will be 20,000 bottles.

Read more
Close

Vintage 2018

2018 Bordeaux Vintage Report and recommendations

by Andrew Caillard MW

2018 is an exceptional year. The Bordeaux whites and sauternes are very good, but from an Australian perspective the excitement is all in the red wines. All sub regions produced examples of really good wines, but some performed better than others. Generally the very top estates made exemplary wines illustrating that the human factor and wealth can have a major impact on terroir! Over the last few weeks I have tasted around 350 to 400 wines, sometimes in large format forums like the UCG tastings or at various Chateaux. Nowadays it is difficult to taste the wines blind but density of colour, aromatic freshness, tannin density and overall balance are obvious indicators. In some instance I have tasted wines a few times enabling me to cross reference.

 

The weather until a few days ago has been clear with bright sunshine, warm days and a cool breeze. Temperatures have fallen now with more cloud cover and intermittent rains. While driving from Sauternes to St Emilion we drove through light hail but not enough to cause too many problems. In two weeks we have seen dormant vineyards and trees spring to life. The growing season is starting a touch early and of course people are worried about the chances of frost. After the devastating frost events of 2017 and the challenges created by hail and mildew during 2018, there is a feeling that climate change may well have an unpredictable impact on future  Bordeaux vintages.

 

 We have pretty tasted a good amount of primeurs wines now. As usual the vintage will be exaggerated. The growing season was near calamitous but long warm sunshine hours over summer cleaned everything up and allowed the grapes to ripen very really well. The colours, flavours, density and acidities are really impressive and as a consequence the vintage is generally quite exceptional. It is difficult to truly understand the overall crop losses as producers are understandably quite cagey. But they vary from almost nothing to less than a third. At Ch Climens in Sauternes Barsac I would estimate the crop being around 20% of the average. When one considers that this estate lost its whole crop in 2017 from frost, the shock must be keenly felt. Mother Nature has been particularly cruel of late. The narrative of the growing season will inevitably create a negative impression, but few people will remember the details in years to come. They will only remember the wine. For some people with long memories they believe the vintage is like 1947 or 1961. If this is the case, this is not just an exceptional vintage, this is something beyond the norm. An immortal year. The concentration, weight, and vitality of the wines are impressive. Despite the amazing tannin density, saturated colours and flavours, the wines are actually quite easy to taste, indicating remarkable balance and life.

 

In my opinion the strongest sub regions are Pauillac and St Julien – which have both produced wines of great consistency and classicism. They are powerfully expressive with pronounced ripe tannins and pure fruit flavours. The combination of better micro-climatic conditions, wealth and physical resources helped with the result. Ch Pontet Canet is an outlier because of its approach to biodynamic viticulture. It suffered terribly from mildew and has produced only a third of the crop. The wine is markedly different from wines like Ch Latour or Ch Pichon Lalande, but its overall buoyancy and richness of fruit is compelling. It also stands for something that is worthwhile and important. 

 

I always think of Pauilac as being the reference for Bordeaux. Typically the wines are extremely expressive with pure cassis cedar aromas and fine grainy tannins. This year the wines are particularly dense and inky with plentiful graphite tannins. They are not at all sinewy or soupy and hence when the tannins settle down the wines will be exceptional.

There are many outstanding wines from Pauillac including Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, Ch Lynch Bages, Ch Batailley, Ch d’Armailhac and Ch Grand Puy Lacoste. The first growths Ch Latour, Ch Mouton Rothschild and Ch Lafite Rothschild are very impressive. Their second wines Les Forts de Latour, Petit Mouton and Carruades are also of very high quality.

 

Neighbouring St Julien has also performed very well. Ch Ducru Beaucaillou and Ch Leoville Lascases probably lead the pack but Ch Leoville Barton, Ch Leoville Poyferré, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch Talbot and Close de Marquis are all exceptionally well made wines

 

St Estephe is variable. Some estates controlled the volume and consistency of tannin very well and made classical wines. These include Cos d’Estournel, Ch Montrose, Ch TronquoyLalande, Ch Phelan Segur and Ch Canon Segur. Other examples were in my opinion excessively brutish in structure. For those willing to keep the wines for a decade or two, many of them will eventually come

around.

Margaux is also variable and does not always have the density of fruit to go with the tannins. Yet one of my favourite wines of the vintage is Ch Palmer which is magical. In fact I think it is the wine of the vintage. Ch Prieuré Lichine, Brane Cantenac, Giscours and Marquis de Terme were all good. Ch Margaux and Pavillon Rouge were of course well above the average. 

 

Subregions Moulis, Listrac and Haut Medoc wines are all over the place yet there are some genuine highlights including Esmond de Rothschild’s Ch Clarke, Ch Cantemerle and Ch Beaumont. 

 

Graves and Pessac Leognan have produced wines of varying quality yet again the very top Chateaux including Ch HautBailly, Ch La Mission Haut Brion and Ch Haut Brion have made impressive grand vins. Ch Smith Haut Lafitte has really moved up the hustings and has made a really good wine this year. 

 

St Emilion is a fascinating tapestry of colour and movement this year making some truly outstanding wines. Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Ausone, Ch Belair Monange, Ch Fourtet, Ch Figeac, Ch Canon and Ch Pavie have all produced wines of richness and impact. I also enjoyed Ch La Dominique and the Burgundian-like Tertre Roteboeuf. But there is more inconsistency on the flats and fringes of the region. However as is often the case the value can be found best with lesser names who have prevailed well. This includes a few wines in the nearby Cotes de Castillon which may represent good value.

 

Pomerol is more consistent than St Emilion but there is also some variability. Ch Petrus, Vieux Chateau Certan, Ch Certande May, Ch Latour a Pomerol, Ch Gazin, Lafleur, Lafleur Petrus and Ch Trotanoy made really terrific wine but there were some instances where the wines were lighter in weight and probably less appealing. On reflection I think Pomerol vies for line honours. The wines are amazingly impressive with beautiful polish, suppleness and concentration. There are many instances where second wines have performed 

2018 is not a very great Sauternes Barsac year and the quality is dependent on the producer and how much of the crop was picked before the rain and humidity finally arrived to promote botrytis in the vineyards. My clear favourite is Ch Climens. Although I always see it in parts, the end result promises to be outstanding.  Rieussec, de Fargues and Lafaurie Peyragueyare are standouts.

 

As you will see from my tasting notes there are many great wines. This year it is going to be very hard to make a bad decision. Although the big names have made impressive wines there are stacks of lesser known or lower profile estates that have made promising young wines. Over the next year they will continue to evolve and mature in barrel, building more complexity and allowing the tannins to settle down. 

As regards whether it is a great vintage, I think it is safe to say that it is a remarkable year with many very great wines made. In some ways it is a miracle year considering the challenges and disappointments of the growing season. Most observers will agree that the 2018 vintage, specifically the red wines, is in the same league as the greatest vintages including 2015, 2010 and 2009 etc. Some winemakers are also suggesting its very similar to 1947 or 1961. 

But 2018 is also an atypical year – whatever that means these days. The weather patterns are more difficult to predict and no one can really second guess what God plans for this forthcoming season. Thankfully the predicted cold snap last night did not damage the emerging new growth. But the unseasonable warm start to the growing season and clear skies has everyone on edge

 

Andrew Caillard, MW

Read more
Close

Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

Tasting note

Be the first one to make a 20s tasting note!

Written Notes

The 2018 Ausone is composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 25 and 27, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested October 3, 8 and 9. Deep purple-black in color, it is an impenetrable wall to begin, unrelenting without persistent coaxing, at last uncoiling to offer glimpses at preserved plums, blueberry coulis, molten licorice and underbrush with emerging scents of lavender, iron ore, crushed stones, charcoal and Indian spices plus a waft of red roses. Full-bodied, rich, decadent and tightly knit, it offers layer upon layer of fruit, spice and mineral nuances with a firm frame of exquisitely fine tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and heart-stopping beauty.

I didn’t have much of a chance to speak with Alain and Pauline Vauthier during my visit for Primeurs. It was a crazy busy day at Ausone when I came—the place completely crammed with anxious visitors from all over the world waiting to taste. That was fine though, because I was at Ausone back in October when Pauline was managing the 2018 fermentations and had a chance to head into the winery with her then to see her method of “gentle infusion” in action; it involves a very clever means of using a forklift to gravity feed the juice onto the skin cap and allowing it to slowly trickle down through the skins. Tasting the 2018s during Primeurs, I was overcome with the very satisfying sense that she absolutely nailed it back then.

Château Ausone—one of the most envied vineyards in all of Bordeaux—truly excelled itself in 2018. Perched on Saint-Émilion’s famous limestone plateau and calcareous clay slope, it clearly showed its pedigree under 2018’s challenging conditions. The Vauthiers have produced a wine from this place and time that is at once intense, superbly nuanced and bursting with energy but has a rock-solid structure of perfectly ripe tannins. And it has tons of freshness that comes firstly from maintaining the vineyard’s signature low pH. (The pH was 3.65 this year, a little high for Ausone, but still incredible considering how many wines are over 3.8.) Secondly, that freshness comes from sparks of bright, crunchy fruit intermingled with rich, seductive layers. The alcohol, at 14.5%, grounds all the otherwise ethereal components with well-poised gravitas. Astonishingly great wine—brava!

  • 100p

This is really exotic with wild-fruit character that I have seldom encountered in Ausone. Full-bodied yet reserved and very tight. Amazing depth and purity of fruit. Incredible beauty. Sexy.

  • 100p

Mouth-watering wine, from the nose to the tannin feel on way of the monumental finale that stays elegant. Caudalies are infinite and last more than an hour after tasting. Everything is there, in this wine, intensity of tannins and structure, mouth-filling texture, perfectly tense with the right touch of satin, and a superlative freshness. 98-99

  • 98p

Ruby. Floral, violets, roses, lilies, blueberries, anise, blackberries, touch of raspberries, minerals, so refined and pure on the nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, blueberries, anise, spices, layered, nuanced, refreshing, playful, intense, minerals, just goes on, and on, and on, and on. Incredible length. 99-100

  • 100p

Deep crimson. Dark chocolate mocha ripe plum mulberry fruits with graphite mineral notes. Gorgeously balanced wine with supple dark berry fruits, roasted chestnut, mocha notes, lovely mid palate richness and long fresh acidity. A slight aniseed kick at the finish. Plush yet brilliantly ballanced wine with lovely fruit complexity volume and drive. One of the best.

  • 99p

Dark purple red colour with violet hue and almost black core. Excellent nose with slightly closed character but great potential. Juicy berries, blackberries and mulberries, ripe dark stone fruit, elegant roasting aroma with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and mild spices. On the palate a powerful wine yet very elegant character, amazing depth and length, ripe tannins, a wine with true class 

  • 98p
Load more notes

Information

Origin

St.Emilion, Bordeaux

Inside Information

97-100 ANTONIO GALLONI: "The 2018 Ausone is off the charts. Deep, sensual and mysterious, the 2018 is going to need many years to show the full breadth of its potential. And yet, there is so much there. Rich and concentrated on the palate, with phenomenal persistence, the 2018 is loaded with energy, tension and precision, offering a compelling interplay of opulence, saline intensity and structure. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage."

98-100 THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER: "The color of purple ink, this wine displays an incredible level of density. It is hard to understand how they place so much fruit in a glass of wine and yet it is light on its feet! There is a purity here that resembles eating fruit off the vine seconds before it was picked. The finish is packed with minerals, red, black and blue fruit, flowers, spice, earth, rocks and stones and it has a 60 second impact. The cashmere tannins, freshness on the palate, density, length and purity are remarkable. The wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, reaching 14.5% alcohol with pH 3.65 and is aging in 100% new, French oak for 20 months. The Merlot was harvested on two days, September 25 and September 27 and the Cabernet Franc was picked October 3, 8 and 9. The wine was made from low yields of 32 hectoliters per hectare. If you have the money there are few wines at this level of quality produced from any vineyard in the world."

96-99 JEB DUNNUCK: "Ratcheting up the intensity, the 2018 Château Ausone has an essence of limestone-like character as well as thrilling notes of blackberries, black raspberries, white flowers, truffle, forest floor, and graphite. Possessing full-bodied richness, a deep, beautifully concentrated mid-palate, ample tannins, and a great finish, this is a powerful, layered Ausone that’s going to need 5-7 years of bottle age but should knock your socks off over the following 25+ years. The 2018 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, brought up in a mix of new and used barrels."

Read more

Highlights

Latest news

TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW2020 received over 3 million votes! / The most voted wine is Penfolds Grange 2015
VINTAGE NEWS: 2010 / Vintage Reports by Château Latour and Lafite:  After a mild and rainy autumn 2009, r  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS MOST FAKED WINE / TOP 30 LIST
VINTAGE NEWS: 1945 / Tastingbook’s TOP 10 wines from 1947&1945 tasting  (66 wines tasted) 1. Chât  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2020 - Best Wine Shop of the World have been selected  / Millésima from France is the Winner.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS ROBERT PARKER’S ‘MAGICAL 20’ THRIVING IN 2020 / Buyers who took a punt on Robert Parker’s ‘Magical 20’ Bordeaux wines from the 2009 vintage would be looking at average gains of 40% today, according to Liv-ex.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Neil Hadley MW elected chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine / Neil Hadley MW has become the first Australian to head the Institute of Masters of Wine
WINE NEWS: Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2010 / CASTILLO YGAY, CHOSEN AS BEST GRAN RESERVA IN THE WORLD Falstaff magazine, one of the most presti  more ...
WINE NEWS: Grange Hermitage 1951 / Penfolds' chief winemaker reveals the secret to the perfect plonk after bottle of the famous Gra  more ...
WINERY NEWS Krug / A New Chapter at Krug Champagne Julie Cavil succeeds longtime winemaker and mentor Eric Lebel as   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Symington Family Estates Launches "School of Port" / New digital platform will provide education and training for wine professionals and wine lovers alike to learn more about Port and the Douro region
WINE NEWS: Dom Pérignon 2010 / The luminous sweetness of tropical fruit – green mango, melon, pineapple – instantly shi  more ...
VINTAGE NEWS: 1945 / Tastingbook’s TOP 10 wines from 1947&1945 tasting  (66 wines tasted) 1. Chât  more ...
WINERY NEWS Château Margaux /          VINTAGE  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS 100 Best Champagnes for 2020  / Dom Pérignon is a winner again!
WINERY NEWS Warre's / The New Normal 2019 Douro Harvest Report It is easy for visitors to the Douro to assume that  more ...
WINERY NEWS Diamond Creek Vineyards / Louis Roederer Champagne to buy Diamond Creek Vineyards Roederer is about to add another gem, Dia  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS One of the most famous names in the global wine trade, Michael Broadbent MW, has died aged 92. / Robert Joseph remembers Michael Broadbent MW, who led an extraordinary life in wine.

Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.
Incorrect Information
If you found some information that is wrong, let us know
Are you sure you want do delete this wine? All information will be lost.
Are you sure you want to recommend this wine?
Are you sure you want hide this written note ?
Are you sure you want show this written note ?

HOW TO USE TASTINGBOOK?

We recommend you to share few minutes for watching the following video instructions of how to use the Tastingbook. This can provide you a comprehensive understanding of all the features you can find from this unique service platform.

This video will help you get started



Taste wines with the Tastingbook


Create Your wine cellar on 'My Wines'



Explore Your tasted wines library



Administrate Your wine world in Your Profile



Type a message ...
Register to Tastingbook
Register now, it's fast, easy and totally free. No commitments, only enjoyments.
  Register