There seems to be just a little Cabernet in this wine, wonderful lift and sense of clarity, airy even, dark cherries, boysenberry and an odd scent of lime cordial that vanishes after five minutes in the glass. The palate is citrus-fresh on the entry, very pretty and feminine with filigree tannins and touches of fresh apricot and white peach interlacing the cassis and dark cherry fruit towards the finish.
Possibly the “wine of the vintage,” the 2008 boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, camphor, truffles and crushed rocks. With great fruit on the attack and mid-palate, a medium to full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like finish, this prodigious effort over-delivers, even for this phenomenal terroir. Give it 5-8 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 40-50 years.
A masterpiece in the making, proprietor Alain Vauthier’s 2009 Ausone boasts a dense purple color along with notes of powdered chalk, crushed rocks and wild blue, red and black fruits. Extravagantly rich with great minerality, precision and freshness as well as a voluptuous texture (unusual for a baby Ausone), this is an extraordinary wine.
This terroir is superbly situated between Beausejour Duffau and Beau-Sejour-Becot, with Angelus within shouting distance. Predominantly Merlot (96%) with Cabernet Franc making up the remaining 4%. Modern, full-bodied, dense and brooding. Black fruits dominate the palate, incredibly pure and high but ripe, well-integrated tannins.
92 Points - Robert Parker
The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2008 Branon displays chocolatey, earthy undertones intermixed with black currants and Asian plum sauce. Medium to full-bodied, rich, impressively endowed, supple and evolved, it can be drunk over the next 10-12 years.
Tasting like a liqueur of rocks interwoven with crème de cassis, espresso roast, toasty oak, and enormous levels of tannin, it is neither out of balance nor astringent. It is a concentrated, backward, impeccably balanced St.-Emilion made with an uncompromising view of the craft of winemaking. It displays superb intensity, a fabulous texture, a foreboding, tannic overlay, incredibly ripe, pure fruit, and perfectly aligned acidity and tannin.
The Clos l’Eglise 2006 is showing so well with exuberant dark berry fruit, orange blossom, a touch of star anis and hints of liquorice. The palate is beautifully balanced with ripe, succulent dark cherry, Dorset plum and summer fruit. Like the previous vintage it is silky smooth in texture and very harmonious. This is an outstanding, vivacious Clos l’Eglise that dares run the 2005 close!
***Available Summer 2017***
From the Vauthier stable comes this Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Château Fonbel, which quite frankly is a steal and comes highly recommended at £105.00 per case... The ’08 is regularly selling at £150.00.
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. A little deeper than Carruades. Very light nose indeed. Quite a strong palate impact. Very firm and quite complex. Veering towards St-Estèphe austerity. Admirable restraint. Hums on the finish. I do like this. Suave.75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Inky with black core. Sweeter smelling than the Carruades. Light oak spice. Then cedary and so silky on the palate. Just glides though there's plenty of tannin there. Creamy long finish.
***Available Summer 2017***
93 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of blackcurrants and sweet tobacco. Wet earth to boot. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Needs three or four years to soften. Try drinking in 2021.