Ausone 2018

St Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A

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Tasting Notes

Fragrant black and blue berry aromas with a whiff of old balsamic vinegar and some volatile character. Ripe and rich with a surprisingly mature personality. Plenty of richness and structure, but it doesn’t quite have the clarity of the best wines of this vintage. Drink or hold. Château Quintus vertical tasting. SP.

Score: 93

James Suckling, Maturity: 2022+ 14 June 2022

This is really exotic with wild-fruit character that I have seldom encountered in Ausone. Full-bodied yet reserved and very tight. Amazing depth and purity of fruit. Incredible beauty. Sexy.

Score: 99 - 100

James Suckling, 11 April 2019

The 2018 Ausone is mind-blowing. The aromatics alone are mesmerizing. I don't know what more to say. Cabernet Franc is so expressive, so vibrant so nuanced. Rose petal, cinnamon, star anise and sage meld into a core of red fleshed fruit. The 2018 doesn't impress with opulence or richness, rather it is a Saint-Émilion that is all about persistence and energy. I won't be at all surprised if it merits a higher score in the future. Readers who can find it should not hesitate. The 2018 is a viscerally thrilling wine of the highest level.

Score: 99

Antonio Galloni, Maturity: 2028 - 2058 25 August 2021

The 2018 Ausone is off the charts. Deep, sensual and mysterious, the 2018 is going to need many years to show the full breadth of its potential. And yet, there is so much there. Rich and concentrated on the palate, with phenomenal persistence, the 2018 is loaded with energy, tension and precision, offering a compelling interplay of opulence, saline intensity and structure. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage.

Score: 97 - 100

Antonio Galloni, 01 April 2019

The 2018 Ausone, aged for 20 months in new French oak, was tasted over a period of 24 hours. It has a very intense nose featuring layers of black cherries and blueberry fruit; the violet element is initially even more expressive than when I tasted this from barrel, then gradually ebbs by the second day. As usual, this Ausone is no wallflower, coming across opulent yet succinctly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins that frame the sumptuous black fruit, accompanied by touches of shaved truffle and clove. There is unerring symmetry to this Ausone. Precise and very persistent on the finish, which fans out wonderfully. A supremely gifted Saint-Émilion that will require several years in bottle.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2025 - 2050 18 August 2021

The 2018 Ausone was picked on 25 and 27 September with respect to the Merlot and the 3, 8 and 9 October for the Cabernet Franc at 35hL/ha. Aged for 20 months in new French oak barrels. This takes a long time to really open in the glass, eventually revealing intense black cherry and bilberry fruit, shucked oyster shells and touches of pressed violet. There is an exoticism here, yet it is behind several closed doors. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, fine acidity, the alcohol nicely controlled at around 14.4% with a caressing, multi-layered peacock’s tail finish of truffle, black pepper and a touch of graphite. It is not the very greatest Ausone that I have tasted at this stage - it has stiff competition! But is a very gifted wine that expresses the DNA of Ausone, which is exactly what you want.

Score: 96 - 98

Neal Martin, Maturity: 2022-2048 01 November 2019

The 2018 Ausone is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple in color, rather predictably, the nose is almost completely shut-down on first sniff, taking considerable aeration to begin to reveal its jaw-dropping perfume of ripe black cherries, wild blueberries and plum preserves, leading to suggestions of candied violets, molten chocolate, licorice and crushed rocks with subtle cedar and pencil lead hints. The medium to full-bodied palate (14.5% alcohol) is so tightly wound and nuanced at this stage, it requires a lot of focus unravel all that is going on here. In short: a lot. The ripe, rich, black and blue fruit layers eventually give way to the beautifully cerebral earthy/minerally subtext, carried by fantastically well-knit tension, delivering an incredibly long, foundation-shaking finish. If the earth doesn't move when you drink this, you're probably not doing it right.

Score: 100

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, Maturity: 2028 - 2068 11 July 2021

The 2018 Ausone is composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. The Merlot was harvested September 25 and 27, and the Cabernet Franc was harvested October 3, 8 and 9. Deep purple-black in color, it is an impenetrable wall to begin, unrelenting without persistent coaxing, at last uncoiling to offer glimpses at preserved plums, blueberry coulis, molten licorice and underbrush with emerging scents of lavender, iron ore, crushed stones, charcoal and Indian spices plus a waft of red roses. Full-bodied, rich, decadent and tightly knit, it offers layer upon layer of fruit, spice and mineral nuances with a firm frame of exquisitely fine tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and heart-stopping beauty.

Score: 98 - 100

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, 23 April 2019

Ratcheting up the intensity, the 2018 Château Ausone has an essence of limestone-like character as well as thrilling notes of blackberries, black raspberries, white flowers, truffle, forest floor, and graphite. Possessing full-bodied richness, a deep, beautifully concentrated mid-palate, ample tannins, and a great finish, this is a powerful, layered Ausone that’s going to need 5-7 years of bottle age but should knock your socks off over the following 25+ years. The 2018 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, brought up in a mix of new and used barrels.

Score: 96 - 99

Jeb Dunnuck, 01 May 2019

Pauline Vauthier is the 11th generation of the family to be producing wine here. It's always such an incredible wine, and as ever you can see that they are playing a different game from so many others. The juice, the slate, the minerality, the drip-drip-drip of freshly squeezed berries, spice and barely-there tannins, the sapidity on the finish. Amazing!

Score: 98 - 100

Jane Anson, Maturity: 2028-2042 16 April 2019