2013 Ausone, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Probably the wine of the vintage, once again. Only 9,000 bottles of the 2013 Ausone were produced, as crop size was 50% of normal. However, proprietor Alain Vauthier and his daughter certainly have proven a truly great wine can be produced in some of the most trying conditions Bordeaux wine producers have had to deal with over the last 20 years. Yields were only 22 hectoliters per hectare and the final blend was 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. The haunting aromas of wet rocks, spring flowers, blue and black fruits and forest floor are followed by an incredibly dense, attractive wine with sweet tannin, stunning concentration and texture, medium body and a depth that is essentially unreal in a vintage such as this. The wine is a superb example of great winemaking under the most difficult circumstances. Unlike more recent Ausones, this should be reasonably drinkable in 5-6 years and yet be capable of lasting 25-30.
Barrel Sample. Although not the most powerful Ausone, this is still a serious wine, with ripe tannins and dark berry and plum fruits. It is structured, showing new wood characteristics and dense tannins, with freshness on the finish. At only 9,000 bottles, this is the smallest vintage production ever for this estate.
A balance red for the vintage with a solid core of fruit and dense palate. Silky tannins and stylish character. Full body, with a outstanding intensity and finesse for the vintage. Hazelnut and minerals. Half the normal production.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright red-ruby. Spicy pepper and oak notes dominate reticent strawberry, cedar and green coffee bean aromas. Gains in richness and density with aeration, with red fruit flavors picking up more sweetness and volume. Finishes bright and very lively, with strong but harmonious acidity giving it a light touch, although the youthfully chewy tannins betray a hint of greenness at the back. A very different Ausone from some of the powerfully structured behemoths of recent vintages.