98 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2020
The deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Ausone is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. It sashays out of the glass with gregarious scents of baked red and black plums, wild blueberries and boysenberries plus touches of violets, espresso, licorice and melted chocolate with wafts of iron ore and tilled soil. Medium-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise, featuring beautifully ripe, silken tannins and bold freshness to support the fragrant multi-layers, finishing very long and very minerally.
Because of the frosts, there is no Simard this year. On the bright side though, the flagship wine here is blow-you-away extraordinary. “I think now we are making wines that have the ability to drink now and also age,” Pauline Vauthier told me. “I think the technique of the winemaking has changed. We are becoming lighter with extraction. Now it is about maceration...like a tea bag,” she smiled. With absolutely no frost damage to the 2017 crop at Chateau Ausone this year, Alain and his daughter Pauline have nailed the expression of the 2017 vintage, revealing the disarming beauty of this year with layers of perfume and wonderfully “sweet,” super ripe tannins, plus the arresting intensity that the best examples possess. Bravo/brava!
- Lisa Perrotti-Brown