Chateau Ausone   Ausone

1998 Ausone

By Chateau Ausone

1998 Ausone from Chateau Ausone, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Embarking upon a discourse regarding the illustrious 1998 Ausone from Chateau Ausone instantly transports the connoisseur to the sun-dappled vineyards of Saint-Émilion. An estate scripted into the annals of vinous history, Chateau Ausone's alchemy between time-honoured tradition and the generosity of nature culminated magnificently in the 1998 vintage. In my four decades traversing the landscapes of fine wines, few vintages have resonated with such profundity in both memory and palate.


A Vintage Fashioned by the Elements

The 1998 season threw a challenging curveball to Bordeaux – delivering fluctuating weather with late rains that tested the mettle of vineyard stewards. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the tenacity of Chateau Ausone’s vineyards shone through like a beacon against a stormy sky. The result was a crop that teased out a remarkable concentration and poise from Merlot and Cabernet Franc – the heraldic varietals of Saint-Émilion.


An Oenological Triumph

The 1998 Ausone stands as a testament to what can only be termed an oenological triumph amidst adversity. Firmly structured yet deftly balanced, it encapsulates an intricate interplay between ripe black cherries and plums with undertones of truffle and smoked earth. A vintage-specific nuance is its exceptionally fine-grained tannins, which have evolved aesthetically over time to support a sinuous and velvety mouthfeel.

Investors with foresight gravitated towards this vintage, appreciating its potential for graceful ageing. The passing years have lent the 1998 Ausone an elegant complexity, making it not only an icon for collectors but also a touchstone for assessing the depth and resilience of Bordeaux's terroir under duress.


Legacy and Longevity: The Hallmarks of Investment-Worthy Wines

As one reflects on the vitality of this extraordinary claret, it represents more than mere libation but rather an artefact of viniculture, ensnaring a specific moment in time within each bottle. Patrons who seek both pedigree and promise in their portfolios will find that intricate contemplation resides within this hallowed 1998 crafting from Chateau Ausone. As its chapters continue to unfold with each decanted breath, I postulate that its tale is far from concluded – an ongoing narrative poised to enrapture palates for years to come.

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Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London. A deep garnet core with some ageing on the rim. The bouquet is very attractive, beginning to develop secondary aromas with macerated black cherries, blueberry, honey a touch of damson and a touch of espresso. Superb definition, the oak fully integrated into the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied, very fine tannins, still very taut with noticeable acidity. This is certainly an Ausone that would benefit from decanting, the finish developing an almost Burgundian texture with red cherries, a touch of bergamot and a hint of Chinese tea. Again, it needs time, for there is a lot of glycerin at the moment. Great length and persistency, fanning out beautifully with time in the glass. Drink 2011-2025. Tasted December 2009.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Nov 2010


Readers should not hesitate to check out Ausone's new second wine, Chapelle d'Ausone. It reveals Ausone's minerality, finesse, and quality presented in a lower-keyed, more open-knit style. A dense opaque purple color offers up restrained, but pure aromas of liquid minerals, blackberries, black raspberries, and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, with high tannin but a long, super-pure, symmetrical mouth-feel, this dazzling, extremely complex Ausone requires 6-10 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 22 April 2001

Vintage performance