Robert Parker 90
Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London. Showing more maturity than the 1990, nevertheless I prefer the bouquet on the ’89, that shows less volatility and a little more cohesion and lushness. Raspberry, wild strawberry, some lovely Cabernet Franc aromas showing though with hints of green pepper and Provencal herbs (fennel and thyme.) The palate is medium-bodied, slightly coarse tannins on the entry, well balanced, perhaps almost rustic in style, more dryness than the 1990 but more composed. The finish lacks a touch of complexity, a little austere perhaps, but quite charming. Drink now-2018. Tasted December 2009.
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018
(In magnum) Already quite pale and brick-coloured with considerable evolution at the rim. Markedly light nose in this company. Sweet, chunky and dusty with a dry, inky finish. Not fine, relatively neutral in fact. A medicinal quality to the fruit and some quite dusty tannins. Diffuse, heavy.
The 1989 Ausone is a good but not great wine, certainly one that ought to have been far better given the benevolent growing season. The nose is well defined with dark berry fruit, mocha, leather and undergrowth scents, fully matured but nicely focused. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly better acidity and more freshness than the 1990. The tannins feel rather rugged – certainly an Ausone that needs to look up the word “finesse” in the dictionary, yet there is good substance and an agreeable pencil lead tinged finish. What is it missing? Just a sense of personality. Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2032