2010 Ch. Ausone, St Emilion

2010 Ch. Ausone, St Emilion

Product: 20108008785
Prices start from £1,130.68 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2010 Ch. Ausone, St Emilion

Description

A wine of huge density, but not weight; the palate is an explosion of fruit, acidity and it is very tight on the finish with evident, but fine-grained, tannins. The length, the best indication of quality in barrel samples shows it will be a true vin de garde. This is at the top of the St Emilion tree.
(55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot)
Nick Pegna, Berry Bros. & Rudd
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Bottle (75cl)
  x 6
£6,784.08
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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-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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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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate98+/100
Wine Spectator 94-97/100
jancisrobinson.com18.5/20
Robert Parker98-100/100
Decanter18.5/100
Tim Atkin98

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate98+/100
The 2010 Ausone struck me as another brilliant, potentially perfect wine, which should come as no shock to people who have been following Vauthiers work over the last decade or more. Backward and intense, this wine offers up notes of crushed chalk/rock mineralilty interwoven with blueberry, black raspberry and cassis as well as some graphite and vanillin. It is incredibly rich but at the same time precise, fresh and vivacious. This is a super wine, but it will require enormous patience from its potential suitors. Forget it for a decade and drink it over the following 50+ years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/02/2013 Read more
Wine Spectator 94-97/100
The 2010 Ch. Ausone is very sappy and intense, offering racy red licorice, red currant and violet notes, with nice taut acidity and a long, minerally finish. Combines power and austerity, with excellent drive. For those who like backbone in their wines.
James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Apr 2011 Read more
jancisrobinson.com18.5/20
The 2010 Ch. Ausone is dark crimson with a bright crimson rim. Very serious nose – so different from the Chapelle! 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot. Lovely punch and scent on the nose and then real tight impact on the palate. Not the completeness of Pétrus but a very good vintage expression. Some warm berries triumph over terroir but this is sweet then tight and tough.

Extremely youthful. Very drying on the end. Cabernet Franc has dominated since 2005. Very rich and exuberant overall. Vivacious and not too, too dry on the finish. Less exaggerated than some other recent vintages.
Jancis Robinson MW- jancis robinson.com April 2011
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Robert Parker98-100/100
Alain Vauthier’s wines have been so remarkable since he acquired full control of Ausone that readers probably feel I have thrown my critical wits away. However, the proof is in the tasting, and the 2010 Ausone is unquestionably extraordinary. There are 1,500 cases of this beauty, which exhibits an inky/blue/purple color as well as an exotic, seamless bouquet of incense, Asian spices, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Full-bodied with a striking liqueur of minerality as well as a magical combination of complexity, substance and nobility, it reveals softer tannins than I expected for this vintage, so perhaps it will be more accessible in its youth than recent Ausone vintages have tended to be. It is another prodigious effort from Vauthier that should be drinkable in 6-8 years and keep for a half century.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011 Read more
Decanter18.5/100
The 2010 Ausone is as pure as in the 2009 vintage but a more emphatic structure. 55% Cabernet Franc in the blend. Fragrant fruit and floral nose. Dense, ripe fruit and an abundance of firm but finely knit tannins. Minerally freshness provides a classical edge. Great length and persistence. Huge ageing potential.
James Lawther MW- Decanter – Apr 2011 Read more
Tim Atkin98
My favourite Saint Emilion of the vintage. A little less alcoholic than the 2009 and all the better for it, as this has none of the slightly pruney charcter of the older wine. Quite oaky at the moment, but showing sweetness, ripeness, opulent tannins and spicy, concentrated blackberry fruit. The wine is reticent, to be sure, but has a lovely chocolatey richness lifted by refreshing acidity.
Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com, May 2011 Read more