2020 Château Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2020 Château Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008785
 
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2020 Château Ausone, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Description

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This is powerful and blows away much of the competition with its depth and layers. This needs you to pull up a chair, take a beat, and let the flavours unroll. There is so much density to the blueberry, bilberry and smoked raspberry fruits that they start out knitted down, then as the oxygen opens them up the body of the wine widens and becomes fleshier and creamier, adding chocolate and mocha notes. The limestone scrape is there in spades through the finish, and this is a cleverly constructed wine. As ever Ausone is just a masterclass in how to take apart and then put back together a terroir. Great stuff. First year of official conversion to organic farming. 100% new oak, some in 30hl oak casks. Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points.

Drink from 2028 to 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021)

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson99/100
Jancis Robinson MW18+/20
Michael Schuster97-98/100
Jane Anson99/100
This is powerful and blows away much of the competition with its depth and layers. This needs you to pull up a chair, take a beat, and let the flavours unroll. There is so much density to the blueberry, bilberry and smoked raspberry fruits that they start out knitted down, then as the oxygen opens them up the body of the wine widens and becomes fleshier and creamier, adding chocolate and mocha notes. The limestone scrape is there in spades through the finish, and this is a cleverly constructed wine. As ever Ausone is just a masterclass in how to take apart and then put back together a terroir. Great stuff. First year of official conversion to organic farming. 100% new oak, some in 30hl oak casks. Could go up after tasting in bottle, a potential 100 points.

Drink from 2028 to 2048

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18+/20
50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot. Cask sample. Deep and intense with mineral, dark fruit and chocolate notes. Initially broad across the palate then firm, long, fresh and structured. Plentiful tannins but very fine and enrobed in generous fruit. Powerful but elegant with loads packed into the wine. Striking potential.

Drink 2030 - 2050

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster97-98/100
Dense and with a beautifully defined pure, floral, and subtly black-cherry-sweet nose; rich, full, fresh, and very finely tannic within its restrained profile; there is nothing pronounced here, just a beautiful core of mineral-infused, black-cherry fruit, very limestone-marked, long, delicate, graceful, and transparent, always mouthcoatingly fragrant, and with great persistence. Absolutely benchmark, top-notch, limestone-plateau St-Emilion, with its characteristic combination of delicacy and power, more reminiscent of the best red Burgundies. A wine of exceptional subtlety and scope allied to a beautiful fruit presence. Probably accessible relatively early but, of course, with years of perfumed pleasure down the decades.

Drink 2035 - 2060

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) 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-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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