The 2001 Ausone has put on even more weight than I anticipated. The “wine of the vintage,” this inky/purple-colored 2001 boasts a provocative, floral perfume of crushed stones, raspberries, blackberries, creme de cassis, licorice, and smoke. What makes it so sensational are the layers of flavor and nuances that unfold as the wine sits in the glass as well as on the palate. This is an extraordinarily intense effort, but remarkably elegant and well-balanced. It ideally needs another decade of cellaring; it should last for 4-5 decades! Alain Vauthier is a perfectionist, which is evidenced by what he has produced over the last half dozen vintages at Ausone. Kudos to readers lucky enough to find a bottle or two ... and live long enough to enjoy them in their prime. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050+.
You have to love the beautiful plum, berry and vanilla character in this wine. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long finish. Very refined and beautiful. Not the 2000, but classic just the same. Best after 2007. 150 cases imported.
Located on the hillsides of St.-Emilion, Château Ausone’s production is almost boutique, totaling just over 2000 cases per annum with little emphasis on export, making it difficult to find their wines commercially and internationally. The scarcity and desirability of Château Ausone lands the wines in third place for the most expensive Bordelais houses, after Petrus and Le Pin. In the 1990s the Vauthier and Dubois-Challon families began to argue over the philosophy of winemaking resulting in a buyout of the Dubois-Challon family, and the hiring of winemaker Alain Vauthier with world renowned consultant Michel Rolland at his side. The new ownership resulted in a later harvest (weather permitting), malolactic fermentation in barrel, and the introduction of a second wine called Chapelle d’Ausone. Today Ausone is one of only four wines ranked Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) of the St. Emilion wine classification.
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