We were impressed in a cheeky way to notice the colour of the wine was similar to that of the capsule...adorable whether or not intended ;-). Cherry perfume of an expensive lady with a hint of vegetation on the nose made us think of the more sophisticated scent departments of Needless Markup aka Neiman Marcus. A velvety, dark red fruit palate with fairly strong tannins after 1+ hour of breathing. We did not plan in advance so we were unable to stand up right the bottle. Sediment fairly significant. Perhaps a touch too early to drink. In any event, three cheers for the winemaker of Ausone, who is trying new and his own thing. Also, a shout out to his brother, the wine merchant from whom we bought the wine. Good folks!
Bought en Primeurs. Decanted one hour. Dark blue, red rim. Engaging nose, bright and warm. The 100% Merlot has a touch of sharpness, the fruit brings red raspberry high notes, piquant spice, satisfying length. It's in a good position now, no fatigue. Medium bodied, and cuts through a grilled lamb chop very well. Look for the 2011, FYI it is superb, and is sourced from a different Merlot vineyard, and now has the Cab Franc desired by the young winemaker who also happens to make Ausone.
Winemaker Projects with the winemaker of Chateau Ausone, Mr. Philippe Baillarguet: Project of the young winemaker from Chateau Ausone, who owns the vineyard and makes the wine. Clos des Baies is a St Emilion Grand Cru -- 95-98% Merlot, the balance Cabernet Franc -- produced from a small plot of vines (0.3HA) located near the vineyards of Chateau Pavie & Pavie Decesse. While the plot is not situated directly on the limestone plateau as are its Premier Grand Cru Classe B neighbors, the soil composition of the Clos de Baies vineyard is a mix of chalk, clay, and sand. The vines are 30 years old on average, planted to a density of 6,666 per HA. Yield is 35 HL/HA. The wine is made by Mr. Philippe Baillarguet, the young wine maker of Chateau Ausone. This is his personal project, one of two we visited in May 2009. As Ausone is 55% Cabernet Franc, this wine is not comparable in either terroir or composition, however Philippe has interest in supplementing the blend with more Cab Franc in the future should a plot become available. But, for now the wine is predominately Merlot. Fermentation is in 1 38L tank, with Malolactic fermentation in new oak. Wine will be aged 16-18 months in new oak on the lees, with traditional racking. 1,500 bottles (5 barrels). About 25€ Futures, plus VAT.
2008 Barrel Sample. Dark red vibrant color. The nose is cherry, violets, and a touch of butter from the quality barrels showing their early participation. Palate is structured, with very high quality dark red fruit, and a touch of minerality. Velvety mouthfeel. Long finish, and a disposition that should age at least 12-15 years. Also tasted 2006 from bottle, which was more drying and tannic. The '08 is a cut above. 89-91 Points.
Philippe Baillarguet has made the wine at Ausone since 1997. He also has another plot in Pomerol from which he makes Clos Payrol. His twin brother, Bruno, runs Vignobles & Chateaux wine shop in St Emilion.