The color is a dense ruby/black/purple. Reluctant aromas of blueberries, blackberries, minerals, flowers, truffles, and subtle new oak eventually emerge. Elegant on the attack, with sweet ripeness, and a delicate, concentrated richness, the hallmark of this wine is subtlety rather than flamboyance. A sweet mid-palate sets it apart from many of the uninspiring Ausones of the eighties and seventies. The wine is stylish, and presently understated, with tremendous aging potential. (RP)
Full red-ruby. Exotic aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals, smoke, clove and mint. Thick with extract, but with Ausone classic restrained sweetness and mineral backbone. Sound acidity gives the flavors superb clarity and grip. Finishes with extremely persistent, subtle fruit and noble, palate-saturing tannins. Extraordinarily fine for a right-bank wine from this vintage. (ST)
The 1996 Ausone is a vintage that I have tasted on four or five occasions. This was similar to previous examples with a very floral and outgoing bouquet, those wilted violet petals infusing the boysenberry and blueberry fruit, quite glossy in style, one of the most modern of that decade. It certainly has more intensity than earlier vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with sweet and ripe tannin, impressive acidity and weight although it does not revel in the complexity of other vintages, perhaps because the growing season did not favour the Right Bank. There is a touch of headiness on the finish that is a little otiose but otherwise this is a thoroughly enjoyable Ausone. Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London. (NM)
Complex aromas of blackberry, coffee, cedar and lightly grilled meat. Full-bodied and very structured, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. (Web Only—2007)
Notably deep crimson. Very very intense, almost burnt nose. Round and soft with lots packed in there -- but a bit awkward at present. Iron fist in a velvet glove stuff but with oddly rustic tannins on the finish. This was an interim vintage before Alain Vauthier really got into his stride I think. (JR) 17.5/20 points
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