Saint Emilion - Alain Vauthier
The Ausone estate is anchored to the side of the hill in a place called Roc Blancan, literally “white rock”. It is a mineral stage, slowly hewn by Man, where, for the last two thousand years, life has chosen to establish itself in stone, as have the vines.
For several years Ausone was jointly owned by the Dubois-Challon and Vauthier families. After an unsettling time, feuding in the courts was brought to an end when the Vauthiers bought the Dubois-Challon shares in the mid 1990s. Alain Vauthier became managing director of Ausone, while Heylette Dubois-Challon won the right to live in the chateau until her death in 2003. Michel Rolland was appointed consultant oenologist in 2002.
The success of the wine produced at Ausone is attributed to a combination of exposure and the soil, a mixture of sand and clay on limestone unique to the district. The vineyard is 7 hectares, arranged with the grape varieties of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot, planted with a density of 6,500 plants per hectare. Due to the small scale of the vineyards, picking may be done at an optimal moment, usually in two afternoons.
These last few years, Ausone has been at the very peak of its form and with flying winemaker Michel Rolland now acting as consultant, it is now making voloptuous, fruity wines that require a minimum 10 years of bottle ageing.The winery also produces a second wine named Chapelle d'Ausone. Of both the Grand Vin and the second wine Chapelle d'Ausone, the annual production averages little more than 2,000 cases (180 hL).