This magnificent wine brings together the great fruit of the vintage in a complex structure. The acidity, ripe tannins and power of this dense wine are enormous, as is its aging potential. With that acidity and tannic structure, and with the perfumes from the Cabernet Franc, this wine will evolve slowly and with a measured pace. Drink from 2028.
Composed of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot aged in French oak barrels, 85% new, for 20 months, the 2015 Ausone features a deep garnet-purple color and comes bounding out of the glass with expressive plum preserves, wild blueberries and cherry pie aromas plus fragrant nuances of roses, licorice, Indian spices, baker’s chocolate, new leather and cedar chest plus a touch of underbrush. Big, rich, opulent and full-bodied in the mouth, it is laden with bold blue and black fruits, superbly supported by very firm, very finely grained tannins and wonderfully seamless freshness, finishing with long-lingering exotic spice hints.
Ausone takes its name from the Roman poet Ausonius who owned over 100 acres of vineyard around Saint Emilion. It is said that he owned a grand villa in "Lucaniac" (the ancient name for the town), although whether it occupied the exact same location as the present vineyard is perhaps a romantic notion.
The vineyard itself covers just 7-hectares on a steep southeast-facing incline, three-quarters on the actual côte and the remainder atop the cellars around the church (you can just see the vines in the photo at the top of the page.) The soil is a mixture of limestone and clay, becoming sandier on the lower reaches where the grapes exhibit slightly lower acidity. It is planted with 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc with a planting density of around 6,500 vines per hectare. Since many vines escaped the devastating frosts of 1956, the average age is an impressive 45 to 50 years.