Ausone 2005

St Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A

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Tasting Notes

Very dark, Meaty, super sweet nose but gripping drying tannins almost as soon as the wine is in the mouth. Both dry and drying. £17,500 a case, we are told. Oh dear, I don’t seem to be appreciating Alain Vauthier’s 2005s in these blind tastings! Perhaps an evolutionary stage, going into a sulk?

Score: 16 - 17

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2017-2027 18 August 2009

Exceptionally deep, blackish, leathery nose – brilliant intensity. Smooth ripe mulberries and tar as well. All very well melded. Very rich and round and concentrated. Extremely intense. Lovely satin texture - very stereotype ‘masculine’ and almost brutal on the palate. Extraordinary intensity but this will have to be kept a LONG time. Beef extract yet freshness. Great density and yet finesse too. Very dry. Definitely meaty.

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2016-2030 30 November -0001

Deep ruby-red. Penetrating aromas of cassis and minerals. The nose does not prepare one for this huge, improbably sweet, palate-saturating wine, whose pungent minerality and epic intensity makes it solid as a rock. The three-dimensional texture here is uncanny, and the wine's explosive finishing flavors of dark berries, bitter chocolate and minerals persist for minutes. This must be one of the three or four greatest young Bordeaux I've ever tasted. The numbers here: 14.28% alcohol, 3.55 pH and an IPT between 80 and 85. This will go on for several decades, and I would not be at all surprised if it shut down in bottle for a very long time.

Score: 98

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2008

A tiny production of just over 1,300 cases will make the 2005 Ausone impossible to find, but proprietor Alain Vauthier continues to exhibit the Midas touch with his perfectionist efforts at this estate. This brilliant, blue/black-hued offering reveals an extraordinarily youthful, but promising nose of incense, blueberries, blackberries, currants, licorice, and crushed rocks. This intense 2005 boasts powerful, super-layered, multidimensional flavors with tremendous extraction, yet they come across as incredibly sublime, even delicate for such a stunningly concentrated, full-bodied effort. A masterpiece of concentration and balance, it will no doubt be drinking well a century from now. Anticipated maturity: 2030-2080+.

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Maturity: 2030-2080 30 April 2008

La Chapelle d’Ausone only hints at what purchasers will find in the 2005 Ausone, a 50- to 100-year wine whose production consists of a mere 15,000 bottles. Black as a moonless night with a soaring nose of spring flowers, creme de cassis, melted licorice, truffles, and blueberries, it is incredibly intense with extremely high extract, tannin, and alcohol, yet is unbelievably delicate and light on its feet for such a massive wine. This is a brilliant winemaking achievement from an extraordinarily hallowed terroir on the southern hillside slopes of St.-Emilion. The 2005 will not be ready to drink for 15-20 years, but in a hundred years, wine lovers will still be singing its praises. An amazing accomplishment! Alain Vauthier has accomplished such extraordinary things at Ausone over the last few vintages, it is difficult to imagine the 2005s might be the pinnacle of his achievement. However, Vauthier never rests on the status quo ... so who knows?

Score: 98 - 100

Robert Parker, Maturity: 2022 30 April 2007

I’m not going out on a limb saying the 2005 Ausone is better than the 2003, 2000, etc., but it is certainly at the same level. It is a wine of great intensity with extraordinary extract as well as a seamless integration of huge levels of tannin and alcohol. Amazingly deep and multilayered, but so ethereal it must be tasted to be believed, it is a rich, full-throttle offering that should outlive us all. It should not be consumed before 2020, but I suspect 95% of it will be long gone by then. Kudos to Alain Vauthier for pushing the envelope as far as anyone in Bordeaux is doing today. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2100!

Score: 96 - 100

Robert Parker, 30 April 2006

I love the tobacco, berry, cigar box, toasty oak, ripe fruit and fresh mushroom flavors in this full-bodied red, which has ultralayered tannins and vanilla, new oak and berry character. Powerful and superconcentrated, with great length. This is a muscular, full-throttle wine, racing very, very fast. Best after 2019. 1,330 cases made.

Score: 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 31 March 2008

Loads of blackberry, spice and toasted oak character. Full-bodied, with layers of velvety tannins and amazing fruit. Long and seductive. Layered. This could be even better than the 2003 and 2000. Fantastic.

Score: 95 - 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 30 November -0001

Ausone is always in strong demand as one of Saint Emilion’s top wines, no surprise given that just 1500 cases are produced per year! 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot from very low yields and 50 year old vines. In 2005 there is more emphasis than usual on the Cabernet Franc whose superb quality adds complexity and length. Alain Vauthier says 2005 Ausone is characterised by “une richesse extrême”, with more depth and concentration than seen in 1961, 1982 or 2000, and better frshness than in 1982. Very scented and lifted on the nose with bright flowers and mocha notes. Very pure and precise. The palate is satin-smooth and unfurls to reveal layer upon layer of rich, ripe dark berry fruit and cocoa with vibrant acidity and stunning length. Ethereal and noble.

Score: -

Albany Vintners, - 30 November -0001