Red, For laying down

2012 Ch. Ausone, St Emilion

2012 Ch. Ausone, St Emilion

Red | For laying down | Chateau Ausone | Code: 17197 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Merlot | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl4cs

£2,395.00
New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£2,400.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£2,500.00
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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17.5/20

DECANTER

18.25/20

JANCIS

17.5/20

PARKER

95-97/100

WS

92-95/100

DECANTER - Less powerful than recent vintages. Emphasis on fruit and finesse. Medium-bodied weight. Round and smooth on the palate. Very fresh. Saline note on the finish.
James Lawther MW, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Rich dark purple and inky. Touch of oak but not overworked. A touch reduced so has a smoky edge. Supple on the mid palate. Elegant and still richly fruity and a light Cabernet Franc leafiness in the empty glass. Great length. No excess of extraction or oak.
Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, 26 Apr 2013

PARKER - The 2012 Ausone is another prodigious effort that should turn out to be one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage. It boasts a dense purple color along with abundant notes of mulberries, black currants, blueberries and a hint of raspberries interwoven with spring flower and crushed chalk-like characteristics presented in a full-bodied yet ethereal, stylish, racy, noble manner. This is a high class, aristocratic, nearly perfect wine to cellar for a decade and then watch it unfold over the following 40-50 years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Delivers a muscular core of plum and raspberry fruit, along with dark currant, black licorice and roasted apple wood flavors, which give a depth and power that belies the vintage's general character. A persistent, muscular edge on the finish is offset nicely by well-buried acidity. This is clearly a step ahead of the 2011. Tasted non-blind.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Producer

Chateau Ausone

Chateau Ausone

Chateau Ausone is named after the Roman poet Ausonius who owned over 100 acres of vineyard around Saint Emilion. It is perched on the hillside in the southern outskirts of the village of Saint Emilion.

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.

The Grape

Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

The Region

St-Emilion

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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