1986 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux

SKU #951146 93 points John Gilman

 For me, the renaissance at Rauzan-Ségla began with the 1983 vintage here, but the first vintage that really came to the attention of American claret lovers was the superb 1986, which continues to drink splendidly well at age thirty. The bouquet is deep, vibrant and very classy, jumping from the glass in a blend of cassis, sweet dark berries, tobacco leaf, a touch of bell pepper, leather, cigar smoke and dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely soil-driven in personality, with a fine core, lovely complexity and a long, poised and moderately tannic finish. This is now starting to drink very well indeed, but it has decades of life still ahead of it. (Drink between 2015-2045)  (8/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1986 Rauzan-Ségla is held up as one of the best wines of that decade. Now at 30 years old, it has an initially tightly wound bouquet that demands coaxing from the glass. It eventually offers exquisite aromas of small red cherries, cranberry jus, confit dates and briary, a hint of sandalwood tucked underneath. You would never describe the aromatics as "explosive" but it seems to gain in intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly savory entry. There is good structure here, but there is a sweet seam of fig and candied orange peel that to be honest, does not quite match the personality of the wine. My hunch is that this Rauzan-Segla is approaching the end of its drinking plateau, but any "decline" is going to be gradual and graceful. Drink now if you can, though I am certain large format bottles will have much more to offer. Tasted July 2016. (NM)  (12/2016)

92 points Vinous

 The 1986 Rauzan-Ségla is tasted from two bottles, the first showing a little oxidation. The second is similar to my note taken at my 30-Year On retrospective. Picked between 1 and 21 October, it is quite youthful at first, it clearly has more energy and focus, more cohesion than either the 1983 or 1990: blackberry, melted tar and smoke, hints of iris and violet emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, structured and dense like many 1986s but with a fine bead of acidity. This feels solid and almost Pauillac-like with huge insistent grip on the finish. Excellent, but one for those that enjoy traditional classic Claret. Tasted at the Rauzan-Ségla vertical at the château. (NM)  (4/2019)

K&L Notes

A previous Wine Advocate review by Robert Parker: "96 points. A great effort from Rauzan-Ségla and one of the finest wines made at the estate in many a decade, this youthful, exhilarating effort still reveals a dense ruby/purple color with no signs of lightening. Tasting more like a 5 to 8-year-old wine than one that is already 16 years of age, this wine reluctantly offers up a nose of liquid minerals intermixed with tobacco, smoke, black currants, melted licorice, and hints of blueberry and compost. Very full-bodied but still exceptionally tannic in an intense, concentrated, very delineated style, this wine remains an infant in terms of its development. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2040." (10/2002)

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Price: $189.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the MĂ©doc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


Specific Appellation:


- Margaux is the southern most of all of the appellations of the Haut Medoc. Located near St. Julien, it has more cru classe producers than the other four villages of the area. In addition to the legendary Chateau Margaux, there are five second-growths: Rauzan Gassies, Rauzan Seglas, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, and Brane Cantenac. While more people are probably familiar with the third growth Chateau Palmer, there are nine other wineries with the same ranking in addition to a trio of fourth growths and a pair of fifth growths. Because Margaux is comprised of five communes… Margaux, Cantenac, Soussans, Labardes and Arsac, the wines styles are diverse throughout the region with the more masculine tannic wines coming from the Cantenac side of the appellation. Because of a high percentage of Merlot planted in the region, many wines from Margaux are more round, feminine, and exotic that the other appellations of the Haut Medoc.