Vibrant deep colour, this has masses of spice box and minerals on the nose. Of course, the 86 was famous for its power and tannic structure and this is still muscular and foursquare, but the tannins are beginning to yield and soften. Very fresh acidity and classic sweet cassis fruit with notes of minerals, underbrush and tobacco. Very pure and long. Impressively, the wine had been decanted two hours previously and was still evolving in the glass more than an hour later. Tasted at Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2015. Drinking Window 2015-2030. (JS)
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. Drink through 2034. (NM)
The 1986 Cos d’Estournel replicates the performance from my 30-year on tasting that I conducted a few months back. The bouquet is attractive with mint and juniper berries that grab the attention of the olfactory senses, later accompanied by liquorice and graphite. The palate is understated on the entry but then builds in the mouth with wonderful spice and black pepper infused black fruit that form the foundation of this Cos d’Estournel. Sure, it feels masculine and structured on the finish and perhaps translates more the growing season that Saint-Estèphe. Yet it is very well crafted and should continue to drink well for another decade. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property. (NM)
At last! This wine has come round and is really rather lovely. Lots of fruit, a suggestion of dry dustiness on the finish but beautiful balance. Earlier it had always seemed a bit austere. A rare pleasure to feel one has opened the bottle at the perfect time. 17/20 points. (JR)
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