Chateau Ausone   Chapelle dAusone

2003 Chapelle d'Ausone

By Chateau Ausone

2003 Chapelle d'Ausone from Chateau Ausone, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

The 2003 Chapelle d'Ausone from Chateau Ausone offers investors and connoisseurs a scintillating study in the resilience and adaptability of the Saint-Emilion terroir during a year marked by climatic extremes. The year 2003, notorious for its searing summer heatwave across Europe, stands firmly in the annals of Bordeaux history—and the impact on the vines was equally profound.


A Vintage Shaped by Contrast and Character

In such intense conditions, lesser chateaux may have faltered, but Chateau Ausone, with its deeply-rooted vines and masterful vinification techniques, not only survived but thrived. The Chapelle d'Ausone, a meticulously crafted second wine of this illustrious estate, is a testament to the endurance and tenacity of the winemakers' art in response to challenging climatic adversities.


A Miraculous Harmony from a Year of Extremes

The 2003 Chapelle d'Ausone is an intricate weave of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The '03 vintage reveals how concentrated flavours can emerge from duress: blackcurrants interlace with firm tannins, while subtle earthy notes bespeak its provenance. A hint of truffle intimates at the complexity within—a complexity wrought from sun-drenched days that demanded vigilance in preserving the quintessential balance for which Saint-Emilion wines are renowned.

This vintage confounds expectations; instead of succumbing to overripeness or jamminess—as might be feared from such an intense Bordelaise summer—the 2003 displays surprising freshness and vigour. While immediate consumption is certainly tempting, the judicious investor will note its potential longevity—a facet gleamed from tasting notes carefully observed as it continues to mature gracefully.

In essence, the 2003 Chapelle d'Ausone from Chateau Ausone encapsulates a pivotal narrative in viticultural fortitude and finesse. It has evolved into an extraordinary libation that captures the heart of a year characterized by its meteorological anomalies. Its tapestry is undeniably complex, its patina rewarding analysis. Despite—or perhaps due to—the caprices of weather, it stands as one of the enduring Bordeaux titles of the early 21st century—eminently collectable, investable, and above all, commendable on the palate.

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Scores and tasting notes


One of the best second wines I have ever tasted, the 2003 Chapelle d’Ausone is rivaled by the 2003 Carruades de Lafite and 2003 Forts de Latour. Dense ruby/purple to the rim with an extraordinary nose of flowers, figs, black raspberries, blueberries, and sweet cherries along with striking minerality and precision, this exquisite second wine represents the essence of Ausone. It should drink well for 25+ years. No one in Bordeaux has made greater progress in taming the extraordinary potential of this noble terroir than Alain Vauthier, an obsessed perfectionist if there ever was one. He has instituted a Draconian selection at this tiny estate, both in the vineyard and the cellar, and the second wine, Chapelle d’Ausone, has also become one of the region’s finest wines. Prospective purchasers should be aware that Ausone requires 10-20 years of cellaring before it approaches maturity.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 23 April 2006


A vibrant, lively sweet redcurrant/cassis nose. The palate is well-defined, light but well balanced. The entry is superb although the mid-palate falls away a little and the finish is bitter. But fine medium-term drinking. Tasted March 2004.

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal

Vintage performance