Red, For laying down

2015 Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion

2015 Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion

Red | For laying down | Chateau Ausone | Code:  37983 | 2015 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl18cs

£684.00
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Scores and Reviews

BBR

16.5/20

DECANTER

94/100

WA

91-93/100

SUCKLING

95-96/100

DECANTER - 9,000 bottles this year (more than the usual 7,000-8,000), using 10% Cabernet Sauvignon along with the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Fragrant, elegant nose. Lovely texture. Little sweetness then really fine, matted tannins. Seductive but structured as well.
Drink: 2022-2035
James Lawther MW - decanter.com - April 2016

WA - The 2015 Chapelle d'Ausone is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 29 September and 15 October, matured in 85% new oak for 20 months. Pauline Vauthier commented that it was relatively easy to parse the lots between grand vin and deuxième vin this year. The nose is a little broody at first, a touch of mintiness coming through the black cherry and cassis scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of dark chocolate on the entry, plenty of cassis fruit, fine tannin with a gentle grip towards the finish that feels a little more structured than recent vintages. This will probably offer 8-10 years' pleasure, possibly more.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate #224 - April 2016

SUCKLING - This is really intense and powerful with fantastic energy and character. So much dark berry and walnut character. Full and chewy. Yet polished. Second wine of Ausone.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com - Apr 2016

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

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.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.

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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