Robert Parker 89
This is more expressive on the nose than Ausone ’97 with sweet red-berried fruit: wild strawberry, orange peel and just a faint hint of brown sugar. Full-bodied n the palate with firm structure, very Merlot-driven and lacking the Cabernet Franc to lend it an additional dimension. Attractive, but a pale imitation of a great Cheval Blanc. Would be dwarfed by the ensuing vintage! Drink now-2018. Tasted September 2006.
Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018
Medium-deep red. Plum, currant, mocha and brown spices on the nose. Lush and sweet, with moderate density and harmonious acidity. Perhaps a bit livelier in the mouth than on the nose. Not nearly as ripe on the back end as the ’98, but has sneaky finishing flavor.