It is said that a wine always resembles its owner. This is certainly true at Ausone, where the excellence of the wines is reflected in the rigorous, inexhaustible care applied at every stage of their production by Alain Vauthier, who was co-director of the property for many years and became the owner in 1997. The origin of this wine's name has never been established, but there is every reason to believe that it was named in honour of the Latin poet Ausone, a former inhabitant of the region and a great wine lover. With just seven hectares, Ausone is the only human-scale Bordeaux Premier Cru Classé; some of its plots benefit from the presence of an underlying porous rock, in close contact with the vines' shallow roots, which absorbs any excess water and then restores it during hot, dry summers. It was for this reason that Ausone escaped unharmed from the frost in 1956 that destroyed 80% of the Gironde's vines; and as a result, is one of the rare Bordeaux vineyards to contain vines that are more than half a century old. After a period of middling quality, due to some confusion as to the wine's direction, the arrival of Alain Vauthier in 1974 signalled a return to excellence. As for Chapelle d'Ausone, it is usually of very high quality, and must be included in the unfortunately short list of great second wines.
About the cuvée
When young, Château Ausone's wines have a light colour and fairly hard tannins, but the informed wine enthusiast will not be deceived: these great wines are made to have an exceptional capacity to age and will only soften after 15 or 20 years in the cellar, when they reveal a wonderful aromatic bouquet of spices, mocha, toast and minerals.
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