Ausone has been awarded 96-100 points by wine critic Robert Parker after this year's en primeur in Bordeaux, becoming the only vintage to reach such levels this time around.
The high-scoring vintage hits surprising highs after a troubled season of mixed weather affected Bordeaux in the summer of 2011. A lot of credit has been given to the winemakers on the estate for producing such a good quality wine in what has been described as a complete winemakers' year.
General moods going into 2011 were pessimistic at best, but en primeur week seems to have reversed these attitudes, with Mr Parker describing the vintage as: "Much better than I first thought and could turn out to be close in overall quality to 2001 and 2008”. What does seem apparent is that top quality levels are not as consistent as they have been in previous years, and careful selection is required if you want to get the best of the bunch.
Lafite is a good example of this rollercoaster season, scoring its lowest performance since 1993. The vintage was scored at 90-93 by Robert Parker, and was ranked as the most disappointing wine in the Liv-Ex pages.
Parker's initial scores can be taken with a pinch of salt this year. In 2008 he was widely criticised for scoring too kindly, and after '09 and '10, he may be subconsciously looking to lower his scoring a tad. Scores were therefore very much based around the 95 point mark, with some slipping to the early 90s, and a select few reaching above that.
Ausone is by far the stand-out vintage this year, with Cheval Blanc and Chateaux Margaux also scoring well. James Suckling praised the expertise of winemakers in creating what he described as a very "classic Bordeaux taste", which compared to the vintages of 1986 and 1975.
Thank you for your enquiry, do you wish to proceed