Tasted at the property, the 1986 Cos d'Estournel, which was aged in 90% new oak and is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, is a vintage that I had not tasted for a number of years. It has a healthy color, quite deep with just a thin bricking on the rim. The nose is quite intense, quite voluptuous for a 1986, perhaps blind I might have mistaken it for a 1985. Red plum, licorice and graphite, there is something rounded and sensual about this 1986—although it does not have the complexity of the greatest vintages of Cos d'Estournel. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, savory and almost meaty on the mouth, nicely balanced and then...BAM! There's a real spicy, black pepper kick on the finish originating from the Cabernet Sauvignon. It does not possess the structure or persistence of the greatest 1986s, rather a Claret that I know would just shine and complement dishes at the dinner table. Drinking perfectly now, this Cos d'Estournel has another 15-20 years to offer. (NM)
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