Cellar Favorite: 1988 Ausone (Apr 2019)

The 1988 Ausone shows extremely well after 31 years. It remains lucid in colour with little ageing on the rim. The bouquet is clean, with so much fruit that it comes across more like a 1989 than a 1988. It sports none of the leanness or greenness one sometimes finds with Right Bank 1988s, just lovely black plum and mulberry fruit, hints of allspice and iodine. The palate is medium-bodied, well balanced and underpinned by slightly brawny tannins. However this is compensated by endearing plummy fruit, truffle and a subtle marine influence towards the finish. Consumed over the course of a 2-3 hour lunch it improves with aeration and it never loses an ounce of joie de vivre. No, the 1988 is not the most complex Ausone, however, it is certainly the most pleasurable from the decade. Drink this now as it will not improve further, but well-stored bottles will give another decade of drinking pleasure.