1986 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Still backward (frustratingly so), this wine shows a very dark ruby color with a hint of pink at the rim. The aromatics are beginning to emerge from just pure fruit-driven notes to secondary characteristics. Sweet earth, truffle, black currant, underbrush, and licorice emerge with coaxing. In the mouth, the wine is powerful, dense, with high tannin., impressive concentration, and a formidable, sort of old-style personality. The best 1986 Medocs are terrific wines, but have never been wines that show a lot of charm. Like so many of its siblings from the Medoc, one admires the wines more than actually enjoys them,. I still have high hopes that everything will come together. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030. (RP)
Locked up tight with dense currant, spice and cedar flavors framed by tannins. On the finish there are hints of elegance and grace.
Still young-looking and young-smelling. Very full and rich nose. Opulent. Slightly dusty. Even more robust than most other vintages. 17.5/20 points. Drink 2005-2018.
94 points, Wine Advocate's Neal Martin: "Tasted with Anthony Barton at the Saint Julien restaurant, this behemoth of a wine is definitely starting to pump on cylinders. As before, it needs considerable decanting, but it unfurls beautifully in the glass to reveal blackberry, dark plums, a touch of sandalwood and warm gravel. Coming direct from the property, there is a touch more fruite compared to other bottles. The palate is medium-bodied with great depth and breadth: less masculine than before, mellowing nicely with layers of lifted blackberry, plum, wild strawberry and cedar that leads to an extraordinarily long finish. There is a sense of harmony and composure to this wine that makes it utterly beguiling. Top class. Tasted November 2011." (Wine Journal, 3/2012)