By Chateau Ausone
2017 Ausone from Chateau Ausone, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux
In the microcosm of venerable Bordeaux vintages, one cannot overlook the subtitles etched into the storied terroir of Saint-Émilion, especially when they emerge from the hallowed cellars of Chateau Ausone. The 2017 Ausone stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptative masterstroke displayed by the winemakers during an unequivocally challenging vintage beset with climatic whimsy.
The Essence of 2017 Defined
Reflecting on the tumultuous frost early in the year that ill-fated many Bordelais crops, Chateau Ausone's equipoise and vineyard aspect played a knight's gambit. The resultant 2017 Ausone beguiles its imbibers with a juxtaposition of power and poise that is distinctive to this vintage. Its concentration is synonymous with the house, yet there's an aromatic deftness on the nose – a flirtation of dark cherries and understated earthy undertones that whisper rather than shout about the wine’s provenance.
A Vintage Seeking a Safe Harbour in Investors' Cellars
While some narratives would cast aspersions on Bordeaux’s 2017 offerings due to Mother Nature’s caprice, it seems profane to do so when swirling a glass of 2017 Ausone. If traditional investment wisdom advises against judging books by covers or vintages by their growing season challenges, then Ausone's latest oeuvre is one to securely anchor ones portfolio with. The tannins are wonderfully approachable, seamlessly integrated into the wine’s structural integrity; an intricately laced veil over the opulent fruit core – both ensure that this nectar will sail gracefully through the next few decades.
As for collectors and venturesome investors alike, understanding that certain vintages carry within them stories and character that transcends numerical ratings or easy categorisations, becomes a part of the tapestry of wine investment lore. The 2017 Ausone articulates such a narrative with intricate flavours and an ageing potential suffused with promise.
When one contemplates adding this vintage to their cellar, consider not just the poised elegance and assured longevity but also how it symbolises the triumph of terroir over tribulation. Here emerges from adversity an offering that is not merely sustained by reputation but invigorated by its own singular merits – a vinous embodiment ripe for discerning collections.
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Scores and tasting notes
The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. It sashays out of the glass with gregarious scents of baked red and black plums, wild blueberries and boysenberries plus touches of violets, espresso, licorice and melted chocolate with wafts of iron ore and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise, featuring beautifully ripe, silken tannins and bold freshness to support the fragrant multi-layers, finishing very long and very minerally.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 16 March 2020
Blended of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone offers up slowly emerging notes of crushed black plums, blackberries and mulberries with nuances of anise, violets, new leather and unsmoked cigars plus suggestions of black olives and truffles and a touch of cast iron pan. Medium to full-bodied with firm, very finely grained, super ripe tannins and an uplifting backbone of freshness perfectly supporting the profoundly layered, tightly wound yet incredibly intense fruit, it finishes very long with mineral accents and compelling tension.
Wine Advocate - Lisa Perrotti-Brown - robertparker.com
This is a centered and deep red with blueberry, raspberry, mineral, stone and lemon aromas. Full-bodied, focused and polished. Lovely length. Gentle yet structured. Supple.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com
The 2017 Ausone is without question one of the wines of the vintage. Stunning in its grandeur and presence, the 2017 possesses marvelous depth and remarkable aromatic intensity from the very first taste. Dark red and blue stone fruit, licorice, menthol, lavender and sweet spice build into the rich, flamboyant finish. The 2017 is 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot with the Franc very expressive today. The fruit saw about 30 days on the skins, including a week of cold soak. But those are mere details. The 2017 Ausone is a total stunner. That's all there is to it.
Antonio Galloni - Antonio Galloni - vinous.com - May '18
The 2017 Ausone was cropped at 35hl/ha between 23 and 25 September with respect to the Merlot and 28 and 29 September for the Cabernet Franc. It is aged in 100% new oak as usual for 20 months. It has a crisp, precise, mineral-driven bouquet with slightly more red fruit than black this year: crushed strawberry, hints of cassis, blueberry and traits of freshly tilled loamy soil. The palate is medium-bodied with cashmere tannin and a fine line of acidity. It is very harmonious and already quite seductive. I admire the depth of this Ausone, the sensuality that is conveyed towards the sustained, glycerin-tinged, peacock’s tail finish that lingers for more than 45 seconds. What a great Ausone this is destined to be.
Neal Martin - Neal Martin - vinous.com - May '18