Chateau Ausone (scuffed labels) 1989  Front Label
Chateau Ausone (scuffed labels) 1989  Front LabelChateau Ausone (scuffed labels) 1989  Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Ausone (scuffed labels) 1989

  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Château Ausone is the jewel of the estate, a masterpiece of subtle elegance. Like a cathedral, it initially presents a big, powerful, mineral profile of Cabernet Franc.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In 1989, Ausone, Bordeaux's and perhaps France's most cerebral wine, harvested their splendidly situated micro-vineyard between September 7 and 19. Their first cuvee of Merlot reached 14.6% alcohol naturally, the highest anyone at the chateau could ever remember. They also cut off 50% of the grape bunches in an effort to avoid overproduction and the diluted taste that plaqued their 1985 and 1986. The result is a wine with remarkable strength, yet stunning balance because of its extremely high tannin content. It is the tannin that gives focus and definition to the wine's intense core of exotic black fruits. This is a medium to full-bodied, backward 1989, possessing a haunting underlying mineral character that seems to be a characteristic of this property's greatest vintages. On potential this is certainly the finest Ausones since the 1982 (which remains impossibly impenetrable and closed). Those readers who possess a millionaire's income and the cozy trade connections necessary to buy Ausone should be prepared to wait a whopping 25 years minimum for this wine to reach its apogee. How's your bloodline? Anticipated maturity: 2015-2035.
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Chateau Ausone

Chateau Ausone

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Chateau Ausone, France
Chateau Ausone Winery Image
The estate was founded by two families, the Chatonnets and the Cantenants. In more recent times, for two centuries, Chateau Ausone was the property of the Vauthier and the Dubois-Challon families. Today it belongs to Alain Vauthier and his sister Catherine, who bought their aunt Hélyette Dubois-Challon’s share in 1997. Alain Vauthier runs the estate and makes the wine. Since 2005 his daughter Pauline, a qualified oenologist, has been working with him.

The site is exceptional: divided between the limestone plateau and Saint-Emilion’s calcareous clay slope, facing east-south-east and sheltered on its north and west sides, Ausone was one of very few Saint-Emilions to come unscathed through the terrible frosts of February 1956. The 7 hectares of vineyard, lying in a single plot around the chateau, are planted with 55% of Cabernet Franc and 45% of Merlot. The vines are very old, with an average age of 50 years. Their low yield (33 hectolitres per hectare) in part explains the wine’s concentration and its potential for improving over time.

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St-Émilion Wine

Bordeaux, France

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

LFW561851_1989 Item# 561851

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