2009 Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2009 Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20098013613
 
2009 Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Description

Very dense, concentrated fruit dominates the 2009 Chapelle d’Ausone but this has an additional gravitas, as befits the second wine of such an illustrious property. Layers of red cherry and sweet raspberry fruit caress the palate whilst a touch of smoke and earth add complexity. This is nonetheless very, very pure with a delicious freshness providing perfect balance. Lovely.

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate92/100
Representing nearly half of the production, this estate’s second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle d’Ausone, is an extraordinary effort. Better than many of the grand vins made during the 1970s and 1980s, it is an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc revealing an inky/blue/purple color along with notes of incense, blueberries, raspberries and crushed rocks (which give the wine a distinctive minerality). Medium to full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure, broad and opulent, it should drink well for two decades or more.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Feb 2012) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. What didn’t go into Ausone. Bright crimson. Very sumptuous and ripe. Super-sweet. Very jazzy and intense. A little bit dry on the end. Very electric in its concentration. Quite luscious in a raw berry sort of way.
(Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com - April 2010) Read more
Wine Spectator95-98/100
Delivers blueberry and blackberry aromas, with hints of dark chocolate. Full-bodied, featuring chewy, rich tannins and a beautiful velvety texture. This is superb. Really structured.
(James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Apr 2010) Read more
Robert Parker92/100
Representing nearly half of the production, this estate’s second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle d’Ausone, is an extraordinary effort. Better than many of the grand vins made during the 1970s and 1980s, it is an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc revealing an inky/blue/purple color along with notes of incense, blueberries, raspberries and crushed rocks (which give the wine a distinctive minerality). Medium to full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure, broad and opulent, it should drink well for two decades or more.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Feb 2012) Read more
Decanter18/20
La Chapelle d'Ausone has the overriding freshness and finesse of the grand vin. Perhaps a touch 'fruitier' and round (70% Merlot) but clearly the same terroir and philosophy. Read more

About this WINE

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.

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St Émilion

St Émilion

St Émilion 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 Émilion 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 Émilion, 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 Émilion 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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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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