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Dale Williams

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WTN: A lot of Ausone,a few Figeacs, plus champers

by Dale Williams » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:46 pm

John gathered an intrepid crew (plus me) to take a look at pre-Rolland Ausone, a storied estate (that was often panned in Monkton). I think I’ve had about a half-dozen Ausone’s before, so was eager to try. We were greeted by a cheerful pup (Luna) and a couple of bubblies

2008 Henriot Brut
Seems a bit high dosage to me, fine mousse, creamy texture but with acid backbone. B+

2005 Henriot “Cuvee Hemera” Brut
I said I had never heard of cuvee and was told it replaces/renames Enchanteleurs. Full, rich, soft, good but I like the ‘08 Millesime’s zippy style as well for I assume much less $. B+

John had a nice assortment of cheeses and pates out, as we went through Ausones in flights of two

1990 Ch. Ausone
Initially tighter in nose than ‘89, soft though with structure, mocha, chalk, red fruits. B+

1989 Ch. Ausone
Open expressive nose, herbs and coffee, black plum fruit with forest floor, lots of tannic structure, young, needs time. Counting potential my fave of evening. A-/A

1988 Ch. Ausone
Great nose, coffee, herbs, mineral. Should last forever but tasting well now. A-

1986 Ch. Ausone
Tannic, but with a plush fruit palate. B+/B

One constant of night was how each of these continued to change and evolve in glass.

1983 Ch. Ausone
Slightly lifted nose, a little offputting reduction but quickly blows off. Crunchy red fruit, bright wine with lively acids. I liked more and more A-/B+

1982 Ch. Ausone
I thought nose was quite muted at first (others disagreed), but opens. Never muted on palate. Rich dark ‘82 fruit, cigarbox. B+/A-

1979 Ch. Ausone

Sweet but thin red fruit, a bit short/clipped. Consensus was off bottle (Almaden import, low to mid shoulder fill), C+

1976 Ch. Ausone
What an overachiever. Red fruit, smoke and licorice, spicy. Most ready of night. B+/A-

John served a mystery wine he had opened when he realized ‘79 was iffy. A bit reduced at first, red fruit, chalky, Ron gets its Ausone’s neighbor, the 1976 Ch. Belair. B+/B (others liked more)

1961 Ch. Ausone
This was a midshoulder fill, we knew a bit chancey. Too bad, maderized nose, better on palate, you can sense a great wine underneath.

A break for some bubbles as John finished up dinner.

NV Camille Saves “Les Loges”
Apparently single vineyard 100% PN from Bouzy. Says 4 grams dosage, I would have thought higher. Good acids, sweet white cherry and apple fruit, smoky and long. B+/A-

With orange-zest short ribs with mushrooms and carrots over rice

Ron had a mystery bottle. Plush mature, and herby, I thought VCC. Drinking great. 1982 Ch. Figeac A-

2000 Ch. Figeac (a generous gift from Mark who couldn’t attend)
Ferric, herby/menthol, black cherry, surprisingly open, not as tannic as I would have expected, good length. A-/B+

1989 Ch. Figeac
Funky nose but not really breety, herby, good finish. B+/A-

1964 Ch. Figeac
Ferric, lots of soil tones, good fruit, herbs. A-/B+

I had been spitting, but declined a taste of a ‘66 Sauternes as I needed to hit the road. Really excellent night, fun group, great food, and a really great bunch of wines. Who needs Rolland? I think everyone really enjoyed entire lineup, though there was plenty of division re preferred vintages.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: A lot of Ausone,a few Figeacs, plus champers

by David M. Bueker » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:54 pm

DAMN!!! Jealous.
"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: A lot of Ausone,a few Figeacs, plus champers

by Tim York » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:20 am

David M. Bueker wrote:DAMN!!! Jealous.


Ditto!

My only experience of Ausone was the 1959 at the RVF's millennium tasting. It was absolutely celestial in spite of its having been poorly rated by RMP.
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: A lot of Ausone,a few Figeacs, plus champers

by Dale Williams » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:43 pm

I more than doubled my Ausone experiences!
Parker's lack of regard kept prices comparatively sane for such a small estate (I think Cheval Blanc is 6-8X as big, if Ausone had gotten huge scores would have been even more expensive.
John was saying he thought Ausone was most Burgundian Bordeaux estate, which would explain Parker's disdain.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: WTN: A lot of Ausone,a few Figeacs, plus champers

by Bill Spohn » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:03 pm

Thanks for the notes.

I have managed to taste a decent range of Ausone and find it to be quite variable, sadly unlike the prices, which always seem to be high. My experience matches yours fairly well, but that 76 must have been a very pleasant surprise! I don't recall tasting that vintage.

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