Something about Chateau Ausone
Chateau Ausone is named after Decimus Magnus Ausonius, professor and political adviser to the Roman Empire who was born in Bordeaux in 309. The origin of this association is still uncertain. From the 1970s, a prolonged conflict between co-owners Dubois-Chalon and Vauthier families prevented the running of Ausone. But in the late 1990s, the property came fully to Alain Vauthier, who now runs the chateau with the help of his daughter Pauline and consultant Michel Rolland. Designated as Premier Grand Cru Classé A in 1959, Ausone in an absolutely unique terroir.
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One of the handful of candidates for wine of the vintage is the 2006 Ausone. In fact, while tasting it, I was thinking, is there any estate in Bordeaux that, since 1998, has made as many legendary wines as proprietor Alain Vauthier has at his beloved Ausone? Boasting an inky/blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary, precise bouquet of minerals, flowers, blueberry liqueur, and black currants, this wine possesses fabulous fruit and great intensity, but what makes it so special is its precision, focus, and almost ethereal lightness despite substantial flavor intensity and depth. It is a ballerina with density and power. The abundant noticeable tannin is sweet and, not surprisingly, very finely grained. It should be cellared for a decade, and consumed over the following half century.
The 2006 Château Ausone has a fragrant bouquet compared to the 2006 Pavie, fomenting more secondary aromas such as smoke, cigar box, potpourri and a smear of Seville orange marmalade. The palate is very refined on the entry, rounded and supple in the mouth. It clearly does not have the density and weight of the Pavie, but it exerts an insistent grip in the mouth and the tannins have symmetry on the finish. It is a very fine Ausone, although Alain Vauthier has overseen better vintages in recent years. Tasted January 2016.
Cedar, new wood and crushed blackberry and raspberry aromas follow through to a palate of vanilla, berry and blackberry character. Balanced and modern, with olts of fruit. Lively, with bright acidity. Best after 2014.
At the end of August the grapes were richer than in 2005 and analytically 2005 and 2006 are quite similar. Alain Vauthier describes it as a rich vintage, rich in alcohol and tannins - some of the Cabernet Franc came in at 145.6%. But it is less homogeneous than 2005. In the winery, they are taken various measures to rid the building of the electric signals the French describe as ‘parasite’ and which are thought to interfere with the wine. Much darker crimson/purple. Thick and dark, still a little rude - black fruits and berries, thick and very dense and very round and sweet at first. Pretty tough tannins but wonderfully sophisticated delicacy. Hint of greenness, rises up, dances, but not the most astonishing. Dry but very clean finish, Velvety start. Lively but a little bit skinny. More structure than the Chapelle.