reviewsJames Suckling 96-97
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.
Jancis Robinson 17.5
65% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot. Cask sample. Deep crimson hue. Fragrant and floral on both nose and palate. More aromatic than usual at this stage. Density and freshness through the mid palate, the fruit juicy, the tannins plentiful but very fine. Plenty of elegance and charm but there is power as well. James Lawther MW
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
Wine Advocate 97
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