Château Ausone 2018

Special Price $863.95 Average US Price $1,076.00
In Stock   Usually ships in 2-5 days, weather permitting
Only 2 left
SKU
0220-2018
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• Domaine: Château Ausone
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Premier Grand Cru Classé A
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

Château Ausone is not a wine casually served. Its "minuscule production", once observed Robert Parker Jr., "makes it nearly impossible to find commercially."  Even the professionals in the wine trade don't get to taste it often.  Bordeaux-domiciled independent wine critic Jane Anson (formerly columnist for Decanter magazine) commented how most critics are limited to tasting it at en primeur barrel sampling, and won't see it again for 10 or 20 years, if ever.

The property derives its name, Château Ausone, from the legendary Roman poet Ausonius who is said to have lived in a villa on its steeply sloped limestone hills.  Ausonius referenced Bordeaux in one of his many poems, writing: “Bordeaux is my homeland, with its gentle breeze, its merciful sky, the generous gifts of its fertile soil, its long Spring and its warming morning mists. The mighty tidal river, below the vine-bedecked slopes, foams and boils as it surges towards the sea like a wave.” Whether he lived at the actual property remains in question. Regardless, visitors can find Roman ruins in the vineyards and records of Ausonius living in Bordeaux throughout history.  

Like any great wine, the story behind Château Ausone is a story of a family who is committed to the land they were blessed with.  It is a story of efforts made through many generations.  The modern era of Ausone started with the marriage of Edouard Dubois and Mlle Challon in 1891.  After Edouard's premature death in 1921, the property was managed by his widow and two children - Jean and Cécile.  Jean died in 1974, leaving his half to his widow, Mme Dubois-Challon.  The other half belongs to Cécile who married M Vauthier.  The two branches of the family were cordial.  But there were stories of internal bickering and constant friction due to differences in the philosophy of winemaking.  Some say the wine of this esteemed producer from the 1960s and 1970s was mediocre.  Maybe it had something to do with the disagreements over methods and practices.  Finally, in the mid 1990s, the Vauthier family bought out Mme Dubois-Challon, a new era of Château Ausone was born.

The current head of the Vauthier family, Pauline, started working in the vineyards at the age of 18.  Since she took over winemaking in 2005, Ausone has gone from one great vintage to another.  Although not officially certified, organic farming is practiced in the vineyard.  Due to the limestone soils of Ausone, the wine has incredible minerality, purity of fruit, and concentration.  They are rich and full-bodied without being heavy.  A bottle of Château Ausone demands time in the cellar – typically 15 to 20 years.  Even during an average vintage in Bordeaux, Ausone shines.  In truly remarkable vintages, Ausone takes off like a rocket ship.  We have only one issue with this great estate: each year's allocation is simply too small to meet the demand from clients.  Consider adding your name to our waitlist.

Tasting Notes

"The 2018 Ausone is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple in color, rather predictably, the nose is almost completely shut-down on first sniff, taking considerable aeration to begin to reveal its jaw-dropping perfume of ripe black cherries, wild blueberries and plum preserves, leading to suggestions of candied violets, molten chocolate, licorice and crushed rocks with subtle cedar and pencil lead hints. The medium to full-bodied palate (14.5% alcohol) is so tightly wound and nuanced at this stage, it requires a lot of focus unravel all that is going on here. In short: a lot. The ripe, rich, black and blue fruit layers eventually give way to the beautifully cerebral earthy/minerally subtext, carried by fantastically well-knit tension, delivering an incredibly long, foundation-shaking finish. If the earth doesn't move when you drink this, you're probably not doing it right." Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (End Of March Issue, 3/31/21) Rating: 100, Drink: 2028 - 2068

"The 2018 Ausone is mind-blowing. The aromatics alone are mesmerizing. I don't know what more to say. Cabernet Franc is so expressive, so vibrant so nuanced. Rose petal, cinnamon, star anise and sage meld into a core of red fleshed fruit. The 2018 doesn't impress with opulence or richness, rather it is a Saint-Émilion that is all about persistence and energy. I won't be at all surprised if it merits a higher score in the future. Readers who can find it should not hesitate. The 2018 is a viscerally thrilling wine of the highest level."- Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Rating: 99, Drink: 2028-2058

"Ratcheting up the intensity, the 2018 Château Ausone has an essence of limestone-like character as well as thrilling notes of blackberries, black raspberries, white flowers, truffle, forest floor, and graphite. Possessing full-bodied richness, a deep, beautifully concentrated mid-palate, ample tannins, and a great finish, this is a powerful, layered Ausone that’s going to need 5-7 years of bottle age but should knock your socks off over the following 25+ years. The 2018 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, brought up in a mix of new and used barrels." - Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 96-99


More Information
Stock Status In Stock
Appellation Saint-Emilion
Vintage 2018
Brand Château Ausone
Shipping Weight 3.000000

Saint-Émilion is one of the most prestigious wine appellations in the Bordeaux region of France, renowned for its exceptional red wines and rich viticultural history. Located on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River, Saint-Émilion is a place of great beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its remarkable blend of natural and cultural attributes. The Saint-Émilion appellation is characterized by a diverse terroir featuring a mix of limestone, clay, and sandy soils that provide the foundation for its distinctive wines. The unique microclimates and elevations within the appellation contribute to the variety of flavors and styles found in Saint-Émilion wines.

The primary grape varieties used in Saint-Émilion wines are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot often dominating the blends. These grapes thrive in the region's favorable climate, moderated by the proximity of the Dordogne River and the buffering effects of the limestone plateau.

Saint-Émilion is famous for its unique wine classification system, which divides the vineyards into four tiers: Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, Grand Cru Classé, and Grand Cru. This classification reflects the quality and prestige of the individual vineyards and châteaux within the appellation, with only a select few achieving the highest ranking of Premier Grand Cru Classé A. Until the re-classification in 2022, Château Cheval Blanc, Château Ausone, Château Angelus, and Château Pavie were the only four members of the Premier Grand Cru Classé A tier. Out of disagreement with the standard-setting governing body, Cheval Blanc and Ausone voluntarily dropped out. Angelus followed suit shortly after. With Pavie remaining the only member, Premier Grand Cru Classé A saw the addition of Château Figeac following a long-expected and well-deserved promotion.

Saint-Émilion wines are known for their finesse, complex aromas, and beautiful balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity. While they share some similarities with wines from the neighboring Pomerol appellation, they often have a slightly more structured and tannic character due to the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends. With age, these wines develop a velvety texture and reveal an array of flavors, including dark fruits, floral notes, and hints of earthiness.

Footnotes on Futures, Pre-Arrivals, and potential US Tariffs: 

1. As of June 15, 2021, the US and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs resulting from the Boeing-Airbus aircraft trade disputes. Accordingly, such import taxes are now suspended for the next five years.

2. Futures are expected to be available for delivery two years after the sales (e.g., the 2022 vintage, sold in 2023, will be delivered in 2025 mostly, or 2026 if the producer ages the wine longer).

3. Pre-Arrivals are items currently stored in our Bordeaux cellar or in transit from France to the US. It usually takes 1-6 months for Pre-Arrivals to become available for delivery, depending on the stage of the import process.

4. Regarding futures and pre-arrivals, we cannot guarantee specific delivery dates, which factors beyond our control may impact. However, we will notify you once your wine arrives in our cellar.

5. While a buyer of Bordeaux wine futures locks in an allocation of the specified items, the final delivery of the purchased items from France to the US may be impacted by intervening and unforeseeable events. Despite our due diligence, additional costs or delays may be caused by such intervening and unforeseen events and "an irresistible, superhuman cause, or by the act of public enemies of the state of California or the United States."  In such circumstances, if a buyer does not accept unforeseeable costs or delays, the sole and exclusive remedy is a cancellation of the futures order concerned and a refund of the original purchase price. We are NOT liable for any lost profits on a canceled order.

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