A great place has a great history one said and true to this is Chateau Ausone, another spot Chef Mandif Warokka paid a visit during his Eurotrip. Having been standing in the area called Saint Emilion, France, this venue has shifted the function through times. It is known to be a villa harking back to the 4th century whom the proprietor’s name, Ausonius, was later honored to dub this vineyard. Prior to its presence as a beautiful vineyard complex today, the property was designed in ancient Roman style which until now some of the pieces remain. Stories told, Chateau Ausone has been having numerous owners over centuries. Though different hands sometimes have different power to give certain touch, the vineyard simultaneously survives and even develop through times.
Wine is significant for Chef Mandif Warokka as a Executive Chef in a fine dining restaurant, Blanco par Mandif, wine plays certain role to enhance the degustation. At Blanco par Mandif Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are on the menu, served together with the main courses to create a robust flavour once touching the palate. Therefore, stepping toward Chateau Ausone was more like an observation rather than a vacation. On the hillside in the southern outskirts of the village of Saint Emilion, Chef Mandif enjoyed the 100-acre vineyard spanning grapes for Merlot and Cabernet Franc. He came to understand more about wine from the country bringing this special beverage across the globe.
As we know the flavour of wine depends on how and where the grapes are planted. Interestingly, the vine density also influences the taste in every drop. So on this productive land, the entire process including the vineyard management practices determine the output of each bottle produced. Around 7 hectares of the vineyard is planted Cabernet Franc (55%) and Merlot (45%) with a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon. Per hectare level 12,600 plants are planted organically by biodynamic farming techniques. A variety of soil ranging from clay with limestone to Asteria limestone in the soil are well-treated, characterizing the wine of Chateau Ausone to have intense mineral taste note. Not to mention the natural surrounding of these grapes to grow has to take much more concern. A combination of natural sunlight and shade is arranged to perfect the harvesting process. Direct sunlight can affect the grapes to mature before its time thus an open yard with ideal amount of southeast exposure is much needed to set.
Moving forward to the cellars, it was seen a horde of stainless steel tanks containing the fruit. Temperature and sanitary conditions are the reasons to do this before it fills a wood vat to be later readily moved with a forklift, once there is enough fruit ready to be gently poured into and to fill one of the oak fermenters. [Again] for the reason of perfect taste, the vinification takes place in traditional way where the grapes are stored in selected oak vats. French oak barrels, in this case, is opted to give character and richness of the flavours. These barrels have been a good “mom” since 1995, cooking an authentic wine specially crafted in Ausone. Not to wonder every sip of wine from Ausone has a bold finish.