The 1986 vintage in Bordeaux has always both intrigued and beguiled. When the wines were released in 1988 and 89, they were largely lauded for their intentisty of fruit and firm tannins. However, as the years went by and collectors began "checking in" on their maturation, the tannins failed to mature, leaving hard edged wines that were head scrtachers. Would these wines ever reach their potential?
We headed to San Francisco's famed NOPA restaurant Saturday night for a mini retrospective.
1986 Chateau Montrose
I have always loved Montrose for its brawny intensity and this did not dissapoint. Still intensly colored with copious amounts of spice and leather on nose. Medium bodied with tannins just starting to integrate. Solid showing.
1986 Chateau Cos d' Estournel
Any discussion of Cos inevitably references the "exotic" architecture of it's buildings. Interestingly it is this same vague definition of "exotic spices" that always gives the wine away as Cos. Brick rim and subtle savory aromas of coriander, coffee and leather. Soft, integrated tannins. Gorgeous.
1986 Chateau Laynch-Bages
I have rarely been as enamoured as others with "Lunch-Bag" but this bottle was amazing. Still intensly colored with dark brooding fruit and a full bodied and structured palate.
We did break the Bordeaux exploration to look to the Rhone Valley as well...1986 Chateau de Beaucastel
Absolutely gorgeous. Perfumed and delicate with etheral texture and incredible length.
I can't wait to sink some 25+ year old Meteor Vineyard into the lineup in 2030!