2003 Ausone 1.5L

France - Bordeaux - St Emilion | Premier Grand Cru Classe A/ Red / Bordeaux Blend
2003 Ausone

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International Wine Cellar | 95(+?)

($650-$750) Full ruby. Black raspberry, mocha, minerals, graphite and nutty oak on the superripe nose. Extravagantly rich and sweet in the mouth without coming off as heavy. This boasts extraordinary fruit intensity and verve (it's hard to imagine cabernet franc better than this), and finishes with great palate-staining persistence. But this powerfully tannic wine may already be starting to shut down in the bottle. Like the 2005, it will need a decade of aging at a minimum, and possibly a lot longer.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 126

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Jancis Robinson | 18.5

So deep a purple it is almost black - in fact the colour lines the glass as young vintage port does. Very very rich, broad, spicy nose. Some exotic notes of fruit that it almost burnt but there is a remarkable freshness here too. Meaty depth. On the palate it is somehow absolutely not sweet but very intense, youthful and taut - all reined in and the opposite of the regulation right bank flab in this vintage. Dry finish with fine grained tannins. Classic - very serious wine. Not especially low yields apparently for Ausone: 29 hl/ha. 14 deg alcohol. One of the standouts of the vintage - certainly on this side of the Gironde.

Drink Dates: 2010-2022
Author: Jancis Robinson


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Wine Advocate | 100

Amazing! The limestone soils of Ausone appear to have been the perfect foil for resisting the extreme heat and drought of June, July and August, 2003. This black/purple-colored effort boasts a glorious nose of violets, truffles, lead pencil shavings, blueberry and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied with staggering concentration, a voluptuous texture, low acidity and well-integrated, melted tannins, this deep, multidimensional, profound Bordeaux is beginning to drink exceptionally well. It should continue to do so for another two decades or more.

Drink Dates: 2014-2034
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 214

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Wine Spectator | 96

Loads of blackberry, plum and strawberry. Intense fruit. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and layers of everything. Wonderful balance and refinement. Closed up already. Very serious wine. 1,375 cases made.

Drink Dates: 2012+
Author: James Suckling


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Score: 98
Author: Miguel L
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 10/15/2009
Drink Dates: 2010-2050
Another opportunity to taste an immortal wine. This one was brought to a special 2 bottle Ausone tasting by the wine maker himself, Philippe Baillarguet, to a restaurant in St. Emilion. The bottle was actually opened a day or two prior to this tasting, so it was a chateau bottle shared prior to being tasted today. And it was as I remember tasting the only other sample nearly a year ago. Dark as night, indescribably beautiful aromas, textures of silk that you sense immediately, seemingly endless length and beautiful structure. There is no "2003 heat wave" effect on this chateau, this is simply one of the finest young wines I can ever hope to taste.
Score: 100
Author: dave1161
Trust Rating: 14
Tasted On: 12/24/2008
Score: 90
Author: Brad Coelho
Trust Rating: 97
Tasted On: 06/18/2008
Drink Dates: 04/01/2008
Site Blog: Unidentified Appellation The darkest, deepest purple color of the flight. The color was backed by the most tight and backwardly fashioned juice that this taster sampled throughout the evening. Plenty of gravel, mineral and pure black currant loomed quietly, while spots of wild blueberry managed to poke through in the nose. Olive, tobacco, and rich black fruits lay on top of big time tannins that are certainly ripe, but their abundance seemed to clip the finish. The overall impression I was left w/ was that the wine currently is plagued by a hollow and austere impression, but I know this is only one ounce of what this 50 pounder has to offer. Plenty of upside, but don't you dare touch!
More Vintages and Sizes of Ausone:

2002 (3.0L)
2001 (750ml)
2000 (750ml)

About This Producer


Classed as Grand Cru Classe A, the best of the appellation, Chateau Ausone sits on a hill just south of St. Emilion. The chateau is named after the Roman poet Ausonius who owned over 100 acres of vineyard around Saint Emilion. The vineyards grow 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot grapes, producing approximately 2,000 cases a year. The chateau has a long history dating back to medieval times. After struggling during the first part of the twentieth century, the estate has seen a resurgence with the hires of Pascal Delbeck in 1976 and consultant Michel Rolland in recent years. Wines from Chateau Ausone require at least 10 years of bottle age after which they develop exotic flavors such as currant, black cherry and spice. Chateau Ausone also produces a second wine called Chapelle d'Ausone.

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