Ausone 2008

St Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A

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Tasting Notes

Possibly the 'wine of the vintage' the 2008 boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, camphor, truffles and crushed rocks. With great fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a medium to full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like finish, this prodigious effort over-delivers, even for this phenomenal terroir. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 40-50 years.

Score: 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2016-2066 03 May 2011

The 2008 Ausone tasted much more forward and softer than most Ausones do at this stage, which is remarkable considering the extremely late harvest and slow, late malolactics. Nevertheless, it is a packed and stacked St.-Emilion displaying an inky/blue/purple color, unreal fruit density, and that liquid mineral component that comes from this steep, limestone vineyard. The wine possesses dense fruit, full-bodied power, remarkably sweet tannins, and more elevated acidity than in such years as 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006. The acidity seems low because of the wealth and density of the fruit. Everything is incredibly pure, and the cascade of blue and black fruits interwoven with notions of crushed rocks, flowers, and forest floor is as provocative as it is grand. I can conceive of drinking this Ausone with some degree of complexity in less than ten years, which may be considered sacre bleu by the proprietor since many of his wines will last 50-100 years where well-stored. Yields were a ridiculously low 20 hectoliters per hectare, and the grapes were harvested in mid to late October. Once again, Alain Vauthier has produced a wine that flirts with perfection. As I stated in my bottled 2006 Bordeaux report, over the last decade no proprietor has produced as many virtually perfect wines as Vauthier.

Score: 96 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate 30 April 2009

Inky-purple color. Brooding, complex aromas of blueberry juice, air-dried plum and balsamic vinegar, with a touch of dusty minerality. Sweet and massive on entry, this conveys a serious sense of huge power but also impeccable balance to its black fruit and sweet spice flavors. Finishes clean and impressively long, with ultra-silky tannins that coat the gums and won't let go.

Score: 92 - 94

Ian D'Agata, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2009

Floral and perfumed, with blackberry and black cherry aromas. Minerally and pretty. So Burgundian on the nose. Full and supersilky, with a solid core of beautiful fruit. A wonderfully textured wine, with great length. Impressive for the vintage.

Score: 93 - 96

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2009

A blend of 45% Merlot and 55% Cabernet Franc, the Ausone is muted on the nose at first - it really needs time to unfurl and when it does, there are wonderful pure blackberries, cassis, damson and loganberries. It has spellbinding definition - razor-sharp. The palate has cashmere tannins, sensuous texture and ethereal harmony. Does not just caress the mouth, but leaves it utterly in love and hoping for marriage. A brilliant wine from Alain Vauthier this year, but we have come to expect nothing less

Score: 95 - 97

Neal Martin, 01 April 2009

Polished blackish purple. Wonderfully exotic and ripe on the nose - very nervy and exciting, Really caresses the palate. Lovely sensuality with lots of acidity and tension but fully ripe black fruit flavours. So clean and brilliant! So finely etched. Still very dry on the end but not excessively so. Great punch and energy. Definitely like an electric shock.

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2018-2035 01 April 2009