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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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.