Chateau Ausone (scuffed labels) 1999
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Ausone is St. Emilions superstar, the quality equivalent of a Médoc first growth. Dense, rich, subtle and yet not heavy, it is one of the longest-lived, most elegant and concentrated Bordeaux wines.
Chateau Ausone is known for elegance, finesse, and extraordinary personality and concentration. Its fascinatingly complex aromatics (of characteristic crushed stone and minerals accompanied by black currants, plums and licorice) are evenly matched by intense -- but not heavy - flavors in great balance. It is more tannic than the average St. Emilion, and may need several years of aging before it is at its most approachable. Its plateau of maturity is 15-50 years following the vintage.
The Wine Advocate - "Is the 1999 Ausone the wine of the vintage? Dense purple color, a compelling bouquet of licorice, minerals, black and blueberry liqueur, extraordinary delineation, high tannin, superb extract, and phenomenal richness all are the stuff of a legend. This wine seems impossible to have emerged from a vintage like 1999. Proprietor Alain Vauthier produced only 20,000 bottles because he eliminated one-fourth of the tiny crop. The result is out-and-out fabulous, but the wine needs 12-15 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050."
Wine Spectator - "Offers opulent aromas of meat, toasty oak and ripe berries, almost roasted in character. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins, but a rich and dried fruit aftertaste. Shows lots of new wood. Amazing concentration here. Endless wine for the vintage."
International Wine Cellar - "Full medium ruby. Aromas of plum syrup, spice cake, minerals, Valrhona chocolate and tobacco. Sweet, suave and fairly full in the mouth, with strong underlying minerality. Finishes subtle and persistent, with dusty, even tannins and some new oak showing."
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Chateau Ausone Winery
Only three families have been the owners of the current prestigious estate of Ausone in St Émilion.
The family of today’s descendants running Ausone goes back to 1690 when Pierre Chatonnet (1636-1728) was officially confirmed owner of the estate.
The 7 hectares (17 acres) of Château Ausone are located on Saint Emilion’s limestone plateau, just a few meters from the medieval village.
The soils are clay-limestone. The grape varieties are Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a majority of Cabernet Franc at 55%. View all Chateau Ausone Wines
About St-EmilionView a map of St-Emilion wineries (saint eh-meel-YOHN)
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.