Robert Parker 94
The 2018 Chapelle d’Ausone is made of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, as impenetrable as this wine’s big-brother grand vin wine is, this is the precocious, show-off younger sibling. It comes skipping out of the glass with bright, cheery scents of redcurrant jelly, black raspberries, stewed plums and Black Forest cake, giving way to suggestions of rose oil, dusty soil and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with juicy black and red berry layers, framed by beautifully ripe, finely grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. Delicious right now, if money’s no object, buy this and the grand vin. The 2018 Ausone is going to take a good few years to come around, but this second wine offers a true enough taste of that epic feast of a wine to come.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2040
50% the two Cabernets! Tasted blind. Sweet, oaky nose. Then a very drying finish and not much fruit in between. Salty finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2040
Chapelle d’Ausone might very well be the best second wine in Bordeaux in 2018, and it is certainly a lot more compelling than many top cuvées. Inky, deep and voluptuous, the Chapelle shows all of the natural suppleness of Merlot to great effect. Soft curves and silky tannins round things out in style. It is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty from the Vauthier family. Simply magnificent.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2038