New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code OCTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
*New customers only. Order must be placed by 10/31/2017. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, or StewardShip membership fees. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.
Chateau Ausone (Futures Pre-Sale) 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Not surprisingly, Alain Vauthier’s 2011 Ausone is one of the greatest wines he has produced. I know this sounds impossible, but it is the reason why I spend so much time tasting and reflecting on what is in front of me. The 2011 could turn out to be better than his 2009 – sacre bleu! Probably the wine of the vintage, the 2011 exhibits a murky, inky, blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, plum sauce, crushed rocks (primarily chalk), acacia flowers and hints of graphite, truffles and damp forest floor. The riveting aromatics are followed by a wine that does not let the taster down in the mouth. Full-bodied with extraordinary purity, oozing richness and well-integrated velvety tannins, acidity, oak and alcohol, this is another superb achievement by Vauthier from this phenomenal site on the decomposed limestone hillsides of St.-Emilion. Possibly the longest-lived wine of the vintage, it should evolve for 30-40 years. Since few of us can afford Ausone (or even find it, assuming we have the discretionary income necessary to purchase it), readers should seek out the second wine, which usually represents one-third of the entire production.
Barrel Sample: 96-100 Points
A deliciously-perfumed wine, with a dark and intense tannic structure. It is spiced and concentrated, with a plum character and great richness on the finish.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points
This is a wonderful young red with orange peal, mineral, spice and berry. Full and super fine. Great length. A gorgeous wine. The old vines of Cabernet Franc make the difference here. Great harmony.
Barrel Sample: 95-96 Points
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%.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.
Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.