1986 Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Still tasting as if it were only 7-8 years of age, the dense, garnet/purple-colored 1986 Gruaud-Larose is evolving at a glacier pace. The wine still has mammoth structure, tremendous reserves of fruit and concentration, and a finish that lasts close to a minute. The wine is massive, very impressively constituted, with still some mouth-searing tannin to shed. Decanting of one to two hours in advance seems to soften it a bit, but this is a wine that seems to be almost immortal in terms of its longevity. It is a great Medoc classic, and certainly one of the most magnificent Gruaud-Larose ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very youthful deep ruby-red color. Brooding nose offers perfumed blackcurrant, mineral, violet and quinine aromas. Big, dense and rich, conveying an impression of strong extract to the powerful, well-delineated blackberry and herb flavors. The long, tactile finish features chewy but polished tannins and a lingering floral note. Though ready to drink now, this wine will continue to age gracefully. One of the best Gruaud-Larose wines of the past 40 years. (ID)
Salty zesty nose with great liveliness. Sweeter than the 1986 Las Cases served blind alongside it but less dense. A very pretty wine. This has always been one of the most charming 1986s and it's still, just about, in fine fettle. Though I wouldn't keep it any longer.
94 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at The Ledbury Gruaud Larose lunch, a consistent note compared to the one encountered last year, perhaps one of the finest wines of the decade after the 1982. It has a typically backward, distant nose that does not really want to play ball, but reluctantly offers black fruits, tobacco, cedar and retains that Graves-like personality. The palate is masculine, bolstered by rigid tannins, quite tarry in the mouth with hints of mocha towards its stern, finish. Gentleman’s claret! Superb. Tasted June 2011." (1/2012)