1996 Ausone - Wine Advocate #122 - Apr 1999: 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.