Representing nearly half of the production, this estate’s second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle d’Ausone, is an extraordinary effort.
The fact that this second wine is so remarkable tells readers just how stupendous the grand vin must be. The dense purple-hued 2010 Chapelle d’Ausone offers a perfumed nose of blue, red and black fruits, licorice, incense and crushed rocks. Deep, full-bodied, round and generous, this wine will offer magnificent drinking over the next 20-25+ years.
The Chapelle d’Ausone has an intense bouquet with vibrant, slightly dusty black fruit that are very well defined and develop intriguing earthy, almost graphite aromas with aeration. Leaving it in my glass over five minute it offers some gorgeous, yet subtle floral notes. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and a degree of composure and refinement. One feels that they could have easily tried to extract more from this wine but resisted temptation and consequently produced a better wine. Everything in its right place.
From the famous Château Ausone stable, Fonbel is made with the same meticulous care and attention as Châteaux Ausone and Moulin St George, which quite frankly, is a steal and comes highly recommended. A blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Carménère. The palate is medium-bodied with fine focus and balance with very fine tannins too.
From the famous proprietor Denis Durantou, this blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc from a vineyard just adjacent to its more famous neighbor, Pomerol, is a terrific 2012, one of the best Les Cruzelles I’ve tasted, right up there with some of the impressive Lalande de Pomerols of 2009 and 2010. This wine is supple-textured, opulent and full-bodied, with a dense ruby/purple color, loads of mocha, black cherry and currant fruit. Long, full-bodied, rich, it is best drunk over the next 10-12 years. A sleeper of the vintage.
The Montlandrie was picked between 9th and 12th of October, a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak. The bouquet is more sedate and more reserved than the Les Cruzelles or La Chenade at this stage – you have to coax out the aromas more. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite supple tannins. The acidity is just about perfect and there is great poise on the grippy, saline finish.
One of the strongest efforts I have ever tasted from Alain Vauthier, his small St.-Emilion estate, Moulin Saint-Georges, has turned in a gorgeous 2005 with an opaque purple color and a sweet nose of blueberry and black raspberry fruit along with spring flowers. Rich, full-bodied, and still moderately tannic, this is a wonderful sleeper of the vintage and a wine capable of further evolution for at least another 10-15+ years.
Another sleeper of the vintage from Moulin St.-Georges, the elegant 2008 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, aromas of crushed rocks, graphite, blueberries and raspberries, excellent concentration and a long finish.
Proprietor Alain Vauthier has turned out a solidly constructed wine that is dense purple in color and exhibits subtle smoke, graphite and blue and black fruits in a medium-bodied, relatively linear style. Drink it over the next decade.
Owned by the Vauthier family, this wine receives much of the same attention as the historic Ausone vineyard. Open-knit with lots of ripe black cherry and black currant fruit as well as crisp acids, a hint of chalky minerality, and a medium-bodied finish, it can be enjoyed over the next 7-8 years.