Chateau Ausone draws its name from the Roman poet and vintner, Ausonius. Born in Bordeaux sometime around 310 AD, Ausonius is known to have owned land in Bordeaux, planted vines and written extensively about winemaking. Whether Chateau Ausone sits on the same land that Ausonius once planted is unclear. There was, however, a Gallo-Roman villa excavated here, which suggests the link.
Today, this St. Emilion First Growth is managed by Alain Vauthier. Along with the limestone hillside where the old vines reside, Vauthier is largely responsible for Ausone's success. He acquired the estate after years of inter-family legal battles and has poured his heart and soul into the property,
The vineyard is small but mature. Seven hectares are planted evenly with Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines a half-century old. In recent vintages the wine has been as intensely flavored, nuanced and profound as any made in the Bordeaux region. Production is also incredibly limited -- only 2000 cases per year -- which makes it easy to see why Chateau Ausone is one of the most expensive wines in the Right Bank firmament that includes high-rollers Petrus and Le Pin.