Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste   Grand Puy Lacoste

1986 Grand Puy Lacoste

By Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste

1986 Grand Puy Lacoste by Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, Bordeaux

In the tapestry of Bordeaux vintages, the 1986 Grand Puy Lacoste from Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste stands as a testament to the resilience of Pauillac's terroir. This vintage emerged from a year that was marked by capricious weather, yet managed to bestow upon us a structured wine of formidable ageing potential.


Epochal Vintage with Definitive Structure

The climatic vagaries of 1986 offered a growing season that tested the mettle of Pauillac's winemakers. The stern challenges led to a harvest that encapsulated depth and complexity. This defined the 1986 Grand Puy Lacoste as a vintage with distinctive elegance and a robust framework for ageing.


A Palate Reflective of Time and Territory

As this noble vintage enters its fourth decade, it exudes a charm only found in those bottles that have gracefully matured. One finds in its deep garnet hue the whispers of time passed. The bouquet is a rich amalgam of black fruits, truffle, and leathery undertones which harmoniously intertwine with Pauillac's quintessential cigar box aroma. Not to be outdone, the palate is met with an enviable balance—firm tannins have mellowed, and there's a silkiness to the texture that speaks of superb vinification and cellaring.


Rarity as an Asset

For collectors and fine wine investors alike, the 1986 vintage from Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is an asset. Its rarity enhances its desirability, not just as a sensorial experience but also as a tangible investment piece with commendable longevity. Remarkably resilient, the wine stands as one of the brighter jewels in the crown of a challenging vintage year.

This wine is an impeccable illustration of how challenging conditions can fashion a legacy in the bottle, yielding an offering imbued with both character and maturity ready for careful investment consideration.

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Scores and tasting notes


This wine is the finest Grand-Puy-Lacoste produced after 1982 and before 1995. The 1986 still possesses an impressive deep ruby/purple color, as well as a classic nose of cedar, blackcurrants, smoke, and vanillin. Full-bodied, powerful, authoritatively rich, and loaded with fruit, this wine's solid lashing of tannin is not likely to melt away for 3-4 more years. It can be drunk, although it is backward and unyielding. Certainly, it is one of the better northern Medocs of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted 6/97

Robert Parker Jr - Bordeaux Book, 3rd Edition


First tasted blind in June 2001 when it displayed its typical, cedary Pauillac qualities, but was immensely backward. Then in June 2005 at the GPL vertical. A moderate garnet rim. A foursquare tobacco and green pepper nose: very classic and traditional, though I would have preferred to see more fruit aromatics somewhere in there. The palate is very dense with great weight and hefty tannins. Less ripeness than the 1982 with a bit of astringency on the finish. A "thick skinned wine" I wrote, although it improved with an hour in the glass, becoming more supple and sweeter. Leave for another 5 years. Tasted again in May 2006 at The Arches. A lovely, very Pauillac-style nose with pencil-lead and cedar with great definition. The palate has lovely balance, quite reserved and conservative, but surfeit with vigor and complexity. Blackberry, graphite and cigar box. Good length. Classic claret, me thinks.

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal


The 1986 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has an intriguing nose, much richer and more opulent than I expected (reminiscent of the 1986 Cos d'Estournel that I tasted earlier the same day.) Whereas the 1996 is strict, this 1986 is much more plush but perhaps does not possess the same delineation. The palate leans more towards the red fruit than black with a sharp tang of a black pepper on the entry, good weight in the mouth, nicely focused with firm grip on the tarry, gutsy finish. You could broach this now of course or drink this over the next 20 years. You could argue that it is "uncouth" compared to recent vintages under Xavier Borie, but it is still certainly worth investigating (if you can find it, since there is nary a bottle left in the château bins!). Tasted July 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 30 December 2016

Vintage performance