Chateau Ausone Premier Grand Cru Classe St-Emilion 1966
We were going out to dinner with friends to SD 26 and decided to bring our own wine. Albert and I discussed the wines in advance. I said I would bring an older Chianti and he said he would bring a French wine. When we arrived at the restaurant I put my 1988 Chianti Rufina from Grato Grati on the table and he did the same with his bottle. When I picked it up, I did not know what to say. It was a 1966 Ausone, a great wine from a great year.
The wine felt a little warm. It was a very hot day but Albert had taken the wine from his cool storage the night before so that it could stand up. By the time he arrived at the restaurant it was a little too warm, so we asked the waiter to put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Albert said that he had three bottles of the 1966 and this had the best fill-it was at the shoulder. We drank the Chianti, which was showing very well and asked the waiter to decant the 1966. It was only “on ice” for about 10 minutes.
When the waiter tried to open the wine, the cork fell into the bottle. He decanted it through a filter and as I watched I could not believe the color–it did not have the color one would expect from a 45 year old wine. In the glass it looked like it was only a few years old. Holding the glass to my nose, I almost panicked–I thought it was corked from smelling the wine but the flavor was fine. In fact, it was one of the greatest Bordeaux wines that I have ever tasted. We waited and hoped for the best. After the wine was poured into everyone’s class and a few more minutes passed, the wine opened up and all the off odors had gone away.
This wine is youthful, complex, full bodied and elegant. It is traditional classic Bordeaux and I still can taste the leather and cherry! It is made from 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. The wine went very well with the roasted goat.
Albert still has two bottles of the 1966 Ausone left and I asked him to drink them only with me!
I just returned from Abruzzo where I had great wine and food and ate in a Trabocco! A full report next week.