Chateau Ausone   Ausone

1996 Ausone

By Chateau Ausone

1996 Ausone from Chateau Ausone, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

For the astute fine wine investor, the 1996 Ausone from Chateau Ausone beckons with a tale of Bordeaux mastery and an enigmatic season. It's no easy feat to divine the essence of Saint-Emilion's limestone heartbeat, yet this vintage manages to articulate its terroir’s whisper with remarkable clarity.


Provenance and Prowess: A Union Forged in Vines

The 1996 vintage emerged from a year marked by climatic caprice. And yet, under such trying conditions, Chateau Ausone conjured a symphony of structure and finesse. Possessing meritorious cellaring potential, this vintage has transcended two decades with the grace of a balletic performance, now resting in its plateau of maturity.


A Resonant Vintage

This distinguished 1996 merlot-cabernet franc blend articulates Saint-Emilion's character through a patina of seasoned wisdom. The opening bouquet entwines dark cherries and truffle with a sublime wisp of cigar box enchantment—a sensory prelude meticulously echoed on the palate. The medium to full-bodied texture is adorned with silken tannins that project a tapestry of blackberry and subtle oak, culminating in an extended denouement of velvety decay.

In the glass, reflections of garnet and ruby hues mingle with whispers of tertiary evolution; an ode to patience rewarded and anticipation sated. Notable for its precision amidst opulence, it’s a vintage that resonates deeply with collectors and connoisseurs alike.


An Investment in Elegance

A titan among investments, the 1996 Ausone excels as an exemplar of wealth consolidation—a wine that could entice prosperity as readily as it allures with its enigma. As a beacon within your portfolio, the 1996 Ausone from Chateau Ausone harmonises eloquently with aspirations of both liquid luxury and fiscal prudence.

To encapsulate: It's not merely about sipping wine—it's about sipping history. And in this case, history is flavoured with the patrician sophistication of the 1996 Ausone from Chateau Ausone—a vintage woven into Saint-Emilion's storied tapestry. A vigneron’s testament to overcoming adversity; a connoisseur’s passage to vinous nirvana; an investor’s vessel for timeless elegance.

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Scores and tasting notes


I do not understand the critics of Alain Vautier, who now has sole control of Ausone and is taking the estate's quality to a higher level. Moreover, the wine is consistent, with great depth and richness on the mid-palate, without sacrificing Ausone's 40-50+ years of longevity. As I suspected, the 1996 is beginning to shut down. I left it in the glass for nearly 30 minutes and was impressed with the nuances that developed. 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. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2040.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999


Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London. A dark garnet hue. The nose is more endearing than the bottle served in July, very perfumed and floral with violets, touch of liquorices and boysenberry, gaining intensity all the time, developing a touch of dried apricot. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins not quite as fine as the 1998, a little chewier, but good acidity and weight. Just a little abrasive towards the finish, quite edgy and tart and lacking the same level of persistency towards the finish. Drink now-2018. Tasted December 2009.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Nov 2010


Tasted on three occasions within a two-month period, the 1996 Ausone is an impressive wine, but one that I feel does not reach the heights that Alain Vauthier and latterly his daughter Pauline have reached more recently. Deep and more youthful in color than previous bottles, it delivered a minty, floral, almost Margaux-like bouquet whose intensity has remained undimmed in all the years I have been tasting it. The palate is medium-bodied with a heady attack on the entry, a little warmth here that slightly smudged the delineation, Merlot in the driving seat for the first half and the Cabernet Franc component imparting blueberry and cassis notes on the finish. There is something a little showy about this Ausone -- certainly a very fine Saint Emilion and very respectable considering that this was not a propitious Right Bank vintage. Then again, in retrospect one can view it as a stepping stone to the successes of the 21st century. Tasted February 2015.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 October 2016

Vintage performance