'86 Bordeaux

My wife and I just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary—our wedding year is 1986. We enjoyed an '86 Mouton at yesterday’s dinner at Providence (L.A., excellent). The wine was outstanding, but I feel that I should hold the rest I have for a while. Question: What '86’s should I buy for drinking for the next five years of anniversary celebrations? They don’t need to be first growths, etc. Thanks in advance.

Just drank the Du Cru…should be good for another 10 to 15 years, but wonderful now.
This depends on storage, of course.

Gruaud Larose


But get the 1986 Mouton for your 40th. It’s exceptional. Probably the one of the two best Moutons made in the last 50+ years, along with the 1982.


Another great 1986 is the Leoville las Cases.

Just had an idea…Sauternes…yquem might be a little pricey but maybe Rieussec or Nairac.

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My best QPRs of 86: Rausan Segla and Talbot.

86 Rieussec is indeed very good, and not all that expensive.

I like the Pichon Lalande a lot, though some bottles still seem closed. Some bottles of Gruaud also seem backward, though it’s always impressive.

Meyney is nice as well, and relatively cheap.

I wouldn’t ignore the right bank. I’ve had some very enjoyable wines and they can be fairly cheap since the vintage wasn’t thought to be that good there.

Yes, Gruaud and Talbot are still fantastic!

Better take Talbot (not because it´s the better wine - but due to the better maturity …).

Rausan-Segla (then still with an “s”), Palmer, Cos d´Estournel, Clerc-Milon and Duhart-Milon, Beychevelle (!) … Chasse-Spleen, Poujeaux …
Right bank is more difficult: but L´Eglise-Clinet, L´Arrosée, Vieux-Chateau Certan, Certan de May, Tertre-Roteboeuf … are vg …

All 1986s need a lot of airing time ( better slow-ox …)

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Leoville Las Cases, Ducru Beaucaillou (provided it’s not corked) and Pichon Lalande have all been good in the past year although need air - particularly the Las Cases.

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Ducru B. between 1985/86 and 1990 had a problem with solvents/varnishes (?) in the cellar … smells like cork taint, but it regards huge parts of the production …
I´d say the odds are 2 out of 3 are tainted more or less …

I agree with Gerhard. I would not touch the Ducru B. Risk is too high. My last one was quite tainted.

A well-stored 1986 Cos is drinking very well right now.


My favorite 1986 sweet wine that is not d’Yquem is Climens. 1986 Lafaurie-Peyraguey also is quite good.

Agreed. I love Ducru generally and have had the opportunity in recent years to buy Ducru from that period at good prices. I have not taken the bait.

Congrats on your anniversary! You’re lucky to have been married in a good wine year. Mine is 1984, which makes for slim pickins’.

I’m a huge fan of the 1986 vintage in Bordeaux, both in the reds and the sweet whites.

For reds, here’s my list: Lynch Bages, Sociando-Mallet, Pichon Lalande, d’Issan, Gruaud Larose, Cos d’Estournel, Beychevelle. All of these are drinking really well and will for a number of years to come.

For sweet whites, here’s my list: d’Yquem, Climens, Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Rabaud-Promis, Rieussec. These are the ones I’ve had recently that are all excellent and still have many years of good drinking in them. There are many others, as this is an excellent vintage for sweet white.

Canon and Haut Bailly.

Thinking about the 1986 Gruaud brings to mind my 5th grade report card: a world of potential but real doubt it will ever be realized. Every bottle I have had has been a “this is going to be fantastic in 5 years” experience. Starting in the late 90s

Leoville Las Cases '86 has been great on the two bottles opened. Still seem young to me with lots of time left. I quit Ducru after 3 corked bottles in 6 months.