1986 Margaux, Margaux
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A magnificent example of Chateau Margaux and one of the most tannic, backward Margauxs of the last 50 years, the 1986 continues to evolve at a glacial pace. The color is still a dense ruby/purple with just a hint of lightening at the rim. With several hours of aeration, the aromatics become striking, with notes of smoke, toast, creme de cassis, mineral, and white flowers. Very full-bodied, with high but sweet tannin, great purity, and a very masculine, full-bodied style, this wine should prove nearly immortal in terms of its aging potential. It is beginning to budge from its infantile stage and approach adolescence. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2050. (RP)
The 1986 Chateau Margaux was even more emotionally moving. Still incredibly youthful, it showed incredible focus and depth, all backed up by considerable structure. As hard as it may seem to believe, on this night the 1986 appeared to still be some years away from peaking. It was striking in every way. 98+ (AG)
This has matured fully but still clings to a slightly rugged feel, with a briar patch note framing the core of dried currant, blackberry and bitter cherry fruit. Twinges of alder, plum skin and cedar fill in the finish, which shows a decidedly grippy edge of smoldering charcoal. Impressive for depth and power, though this very tannic Margaux may never yield fully to the inherent elegance of its terroir. It can certainly handle more cellaring. (JM, Web-2014)
Deep red, no sign of maturity; closed on nose, a touch rubbery, lacks finesse, minty; rich dense, chunky, still closed, very concentrated and sweet fruit comes through on finish, powerful, fine acidity, impressive but needs time; very good length.
Very tight and unyielding. Mineral with a slightly dry end. Still very taut. I would wait awhile for this. Drink 2010-2025. 17+/20 points
96 points Wine Advocate's Neal Martin: "The Chateau Margaux 1986 is one of many great wines under Paul Pontallier during the 1980s, perhaps one overlooked compared to the 1982, 1983 or 1985. It has a glorious bouquet of blackberry, truffle, violets and wine gums that gains great volume with continued aeration. The palate is voluminous with great structure and dimension, real substance and power, allied to the finesse that is the signature of this First Growth. It retains that silky, glycerin-rich finish that lacquers the mouth, yet retains immense precision and clarity. This is how First Growth's ought to be. Drink now-2030+ Tasted January 2012." (Wine Journal, 7/2012)