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Ausone 2021 (750ML)

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Saint Emilion
Right Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

97-100 WA / 96-97 JS / 95-97 WI / 95 JA / 95 DE

A blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot, the 2021 Ausone is a strong candidate for the title of wine of the vintage. Wafting from the glass with aromas of wild blueberries and raspberries mingled with rose petals, violets, exotic spices, vine smoke and blood orange, it's full-bodied, seamless and sensual, with a satiny attack that segues into a deep, layered mid-palate of breathtaking precision and intensity without weight. Built around bright acids and ultra-refined tannins and concluding with a resonant, perfumed finish, this profound young Ausone represents the essence of this great limestone terroir. I am not in the habit of drinking six-month-old Bordeaux cask samples, but this is one wine that would have sorely tempted me to make an exception to that rule if my appointment at the estate hadn't been one of the first of the day! - William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Full-bodied, but so elegant and fresh, with a silky, elegant tannin texture. Very deep and expansive. Lots going on already with plenty of perfume. Blueberries, cloves, lavender and some wild-berry notes. Dark cocoa, too. Some espresso character at the end. Wonderful interplay of spices and fruit. Long. It keeps going. - James Suckling

A blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, harvested 4-6 October, and 35% Merlot, harvested on 30 September, the 2021 Ausone is deep purple-black colored. The nose absolutely pops with bright, super-fresh notes of redcurrants, juicy raspberries, blackberries, and violets, plus suggestions of plums, baking spices, lavender, and tar with a touch of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated, well-sustained mid-palate of electrically charged red berry layers with loads of mineral accents and fine-grained tannins, delivering incredible tension and energy on the long, energetic vintage. This is an absolute triumph in this vintage. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent

Violet edging, jewel red depths. There is austerity on the tannins here, but also great depths through the palate, with controlled but juicy loganberry and raspberry fruits, and waves of saffron, creamy red-fruit puree, crushed rock, cold ash and salt-cracker salinity. Subdued, with hidden power and complexity. A tough year for this stable of wines - or rather proof of their exceptionally high standards, making a half production of Simard, no Haut Simard, tiny amounts of Fonbel and almost certainly no Moulin St Georges. The last year that Ausone will be recorded as a Premier Grand Cru Classé A, before publication of the new ranking in September 2022. Harvest September 30 to October 6, 100% new oak. In conversion to organic farming since 2020, Philippe Baillarguet cellar master. Average vine age 55 years. - Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

Vibrant red berry notes on the nose, fragranced damson, blueberry, plum, some wild flower and dried flower touches. Smooth and so silky on the palate, round and gently mouth filling with graphite edges that appear almost straight away. You get that nuance of wet stone and chalk but so well balanced with charming, juicy cherry and blackcurrant fruit on the palate. So perfectly smooth and balanced, silky tannins give the powdery finish while the well-balanced acidity gives the energy underneath. It’s incredibly captivating because you get these waves of flavour and a gentle lick of stone that reminds you you're in St-Emilion on pure limestone. Such verticality and an aerial quality to this with flavours that continue to lift the entire way through. Sustained but graceful with a shy sense of power. Brilliant winemaking for the vintage. - Georgina Hindle, Decanter

The 2021 Ausone was picked on September 30 for the Merlot and October 4–6 for the Cabernet Franc, with a higher percentage of Cabernet Franc because some of the Merlot was deselected into the Chapelle. Matured in 90% new oak, this has a fragrant and floral bouquet, more iris than violet, revealing a hint of seaweed in the background. The palate is well-defined, quite strict and focused, certainly one of the more mineral-driven Ausones that I have encountered at this stage. The limestone terroir is evident on the finish. Again, this is a little leaner and less flamboyant than recent vintages. Having tasted Ausone at this prenatal stage for over 20 years, I don’t find the thrilling "drive” or the pyrotechnics of the 2001, 2010, 2016 or 2019. Yet this Ausone is compelling in its own uncompromising way, and I wouldn't want it any different. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media



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