Chapelle d'Ausone, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2018

  Château Ausone

The 2018 Chapelle de d'Ausone is a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fermentation and maceration takes place in thermoregulated wooden vats before aging in new oak barrels for about 20 months. The father and daughter team of Alain and Pauline Vauthier make wonderfully ethereal wines from the exceptional limestone slopes below Chateau Ausone. Ausone and Chapelle are backward at this early stage. These are detailed yet deeply concentrated, hugely complex wines from arguably the greatest terroir in Bordeaux - they are not always easy to taste and do require decades to achieve their full potential. This is packed with regal black fruit, suave effortless cassis glides over the palate, one can taste the limestone terroir; there is deeply mineral, vibrant cabernet fruit, cassis, menthol and fine herbs. Perfume builds in the glass, flowers, damsons, cherries, stones and pure raspberry. This possesses real stature and a mouthcoating texture for a second wine. Bravo.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Ausone

Ausone is undoubtedly one of the legendary properties in Bordeaux, its reputation supported as much by its rarity as by the exceptional quality of its wines. In 1996, the 7-hectare vineyard and its elegant chateau, which stands guard above the main approach to St Emilion from the valley of the Dordogne River, were bought in full by Alain Vauthier. His family had previously shared ownership with the Dubois-Challon family, and the arrangement had not been a happy one for the wines. For the last decade quality has been on the up and up, the chateau is nearing completion of a lengthy and extensive renovation and the goals of the quiet but devoted M. Vauthier are one by one being achieved, with considerale help from regisseur Pascal Delbeck. A sensational run of successes from 2000 onwards has whipped up international interest in this property which, for a while in the 1980s, had managed to retain a band of devout followers without igniting much broader demand. The vineyards are planted with 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc and have an average age of 50 years old. Harvest is manual and the wine is aged in 100% new oak for 18 months on average. Ausone offers ultra ripe fruit, huge richness, thick-set tannins in its youth and is generally one of the more powerful and ageworthy St Emilions. Production is limited to no more than 2000 cases.

Appellation: St Emilion

St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.

Grape Blend: Merlot | Cab. Sauvignon | Cab. Franc

Three of the classic Bordeaux varieties. A relatively rare blend for the right bank, where Cabernet Sauvignon plays a greater role than Cabernet Franc (Figeac being one of the few examples), while on the left bank this is most likely to crop up in the communes with cooler, damper soils such as St Estèphe.