By Chateau Ausone
2003 Ausone from Chateau Ausone, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux
In my longstanding affair with the formidable wines of Bordeaux, few have captured my affection quite like the heralded vintages of Chateau Ausone. With the 2003 Ausone, winemakers from the esteemed Saint-Émilion property have sculpted a masterpiece from a season as controversial as it was climatically extreme. It's a vintage that reverberated across Europe with a summer of searing heat, testing both vines and viticulturists to their limits.
A Vintage Carved from Challenge
The meteorological adversity of 2003 proved to be a crucible from which only the most diligently nurtured grapes could emerge triumphantly. It was within this crucible that Chateau Ausone crafted a wine of profound complexity and grace. The 2003 Ausone stands out as a testament to its creators' prowess – yielding an inimitable expression that both captivates investors and indulges the collectors' palate.
Unveiling the Tapestry of Terroir
One draws forth with relish to the 2003 Ausone's compelling tapestry – redolent with dark fruits intertwined with whispers of licorice and truffle. The wine’s backbone, elegantly structured by fine tannins, allows for layers upon layers of flavour to reveal themselves upon each contemplative sip. Crafted primarily from Merlot and Cabernet Franc, it transcends mere opulence to offer an experience that resonates with finesse unique to this remarkable year in Bordeaux’s storied landscape.
This wine is a savvy acquisition for connoisseurs keen on ageing potential. The 2003 vintage has entered its plateau of maturity, suggesting a window into how exquisitely it has been tempered by time.
The Final Verdict: Investment Worthy
As I reflect upon this tour de force from Chateau Ausone, I find the 2003 Ausone to be emblematic of resilience and artistry. Each glass poured is redolent of a year where nature proffered a gauntlet – which was not only taken up but mastered by those behind its creation. A prized possession within one's cellar, it promises delight for the discerning drinker and appreciation for the astute investor.
Current market price
Scores and tasting notes
Amazing! The limestone soils of Ausone appear to have been the perfect foil for resisting the extreme heat and drought of June, July and August, 2003. This black/purple-colored effort boasts a glorious nose of violets, truffles, lead pencil shavings, blueberry and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied with staggering concentration, a voluptuous texture, low acidity and well-integrated, melted tannins, this deep, multidimensional, profound Bordeaux is beginning to drink exceptionally well. It should continue to do so for another two decades or more.
Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 27 August 2014
The 2003 Ausone is off the charts in terms of richness. While I gave a 3-digit score to the 2000, I think this profoundly concentrated wine may be even more sublime and exotic. Its inky/blue/purple color is followed by an extraordinary perfume of flowers, crushed rocks, sweet raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and God knows what else. The impression is one of extraordinary richness and purity, and a multilayered texture yet a surreal lightness as well as laser-like precision. This exquisite offering must be tasted to be believed. Incredibly young, it will undoubtedly close down over the next few years, re-emerging after 15-20 years. It should last for 70-100 years. It is a wine for anthology! 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 - Wine Advocate #164 April 2006
Loads of blackberry, plum and strawberry. Intense fruit. Layers of everything. Wonderful balance and refinement.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com
Tasted at Bordeaux Index’s “10-Year On” tasting in London. The Ausone 2003 has an opulent, very pure bouquet with cassis, blueberry, violets and a touch of pencil shavings. It does not quite have the ebullience of delineation of the Cheval Blanc but is very fine. The palate is fresh and offers a Burgundy-like silky smooth texture on the entry. The tannins are supremely fine and lend the middle and finish a cashmere texture. There is a hint of spice right on the aftertaste. This is just gorgeous albeit not cheap Saint Emilion! Tasted March 2013.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2013