If you are in the league of fortunate collectors who can secure one of 2016’s most sought after wines, then the ethereal, magical Ausone 2016 should be top of your list. This was, quite simply, one of the greatest wines of the vintage, and will go down in history as a legendary Ch Ausone.
With roots dating back to the 4th century, Ausone is one of the icons of the right bank, comfortably sitting alongside Petrus and Cheval Blanc. The 7 hectare vineyard is superbly situated on the heights of the limestone escarpment of St Emilion, facing south-east, close to the ramparts of the medieval town. The Vauthier family have owned the property since the 1700s and today Alain is the 11th generation guiding this great estate forwards. In today’s Bordeaux, this lineage is rare. The knowledge and understanding of their historic vineyards undeniably contributes to the magic of this spellbinding wine.
The exquisite 2016 Ausone has a beguiling texture. Sensuous blue and black fruits, fresh flowers, violets and crushed stones. A fresh, silky purity effortlessly glides across the palate unfurling in beautiful layers of fruits, wrapped in a tannic structure of pure velvet. Rich and concentrated, but in no way heavy; quiet simply ethereal. The critics agree, Neal Martin giving it his top score: a near perfect 98-100.
However, the secondary market for Ausone barely exists, for one very good reason: they produce so little, even less than Petrus in fact. In 2016 only 25,000 bottles were produced, which is around 2000 cs of 12; this is one seriously exclusive club that only a few will have the great pleasure of joining.
Ch Ausone 1er Grand Cru Classé St Emilion 2016
£1,815.00 per 3 bottles IB
A sensational Ch Ausone, a straightforward blend 50/50 merlot and Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson in the glass. The complex, subtle, and savoury nose announces this as a very senior wine. It has the smoky scent of bonfire cinders and the peppery herbal tones from the top quality Cabernet Franc, with plummy richness from the Merlot. The spiralling helix of tannins that weave through the palate lead on to a lingering finish. Drink 2025-2040. 98-99 points, Goedhuis & Co
There is a palpable… stateliness about the Ausone this year. It is extraordinarily pure and articulates its terroir as well as any vintage that I can remember over the last 20-odd years. It is not as flamboyant as other Saint Emilions, more correct and precise. The palate is very elegant and precise. I adore the exquisite balance of this Ausone, the precision and fineness of the tannin, the effortlessness that it conveys. This is classy and sophisticated, satin-like in texture with a long and sensual finish. Not an Ausone that is going to blaze across the sky, this is a cerebral, intellectual Ausone that will entrance for many years to come. Drink Date 2022 – 2070. 98-100 points, Neal Martin
This is one of the most subtle and ethereal Ausones I have encountered in a while. It’s a full-bodied wine, yet one that’s very refined in texture, all the way to the extremely long finish. Shows real dignity and character. A throwback to the great years of the 1950s. 97-98 points, James Suckling
A regal, soaring wine, the 2016 Ausone is one of the wines of the vintage. Cabernet Franc aromatics meld into a core of beautifully layered, exquisite fruit. The flavors are bright, lifted and wonderfully focused throughout. Sweet red berry, blood orange, jasmine and sweet spice notes build into a super-expressive, silky finish supported by bright acids and vibrant salinity. Stunningly beautiful and precise, Ausone is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. 96-99 points, Antonio Galloni
This is one of the most aromatic and complete wines of the vintage with exquisite, fleshy, ripe black fruit and stunning oak in perfect harmony. This is not a massive wine, but a long, urgent, determined Ausone with a huge finish which never diminishes it message. The tannins are spicy but not astringent and the acidity is razor sharp and this bodes well for a very long life. On the prettier side of the fence as opposed to the monstrous side, 2016 Ausone is a superb wine with immense grace and style. 19++ points, Matthew Jukes