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Chateau Ausone 1990

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Château 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.

    Château 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.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Chateau Ausone

    Chateau Ausone

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    Chateau Ausone, , France - Bordeaux
    Chateau Ausone
    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%.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    JYD56044_1990 Item# 24248

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