The 1986 vintage has produced a fine, fine example of Château Beychevelle, but this wine is still several years climbing and needs more time in the cellar to really blossom. The bouquet is deep, pure and vibrant, offering up scents of red and black cherries, cigar smoke, a fine base of soil tones, cedary oak, coffee and a nice topnote of tobacco leaf. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and starting to stir and show the first signs of the generosity to come, with a sappy core, fine soil inflection, ripe, firm tannins and a very long, very classy finish. This should prove to be a very long-lived vintage of Beychevelle.
Remarkably complex with rich, concentrated, tannic currant, spice and anise flavors, wrapped in smoky, cedary oak that gets tastier with every sip.
The 1986 Beychevelle, which I tasted from magnum at the château, has what you might describe as a light-hearted nose with joie-de-vivre. Even from a larger format, among many 1986s tasted, this is one of the most approachable with wild strawberry, mulberry, cola and graphite aromas that unfurl in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with spice and clove on the entry. It comes across as fleshier than I was anticipating and atypically for the vintage, tapering towards the finish. Arguably rustic compared to some of its Saint Julien bedfellows, it nonetheless has charm and a sense of classicism. Tasted July 2016. (NM)
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