wine bottle

1986 Chateau Cantemerle

By Chateau Cantemerle

1986 Chateau Cantemerle from Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

In the rich tapestry of Bordeaux's vintages, the 1986 Chateau Cantemerle encapsulates the essence of Haut-Médoc's resilience and elegance. This year was marked by fascinating climatic patterns that bestowed gifts of complexity upon the vines and, subsequently, the wine. Aged magnificently, this red still whispers tales of that year's early promise––of ample winter water reserves and a summer that challenged with its arid fervour.


Vintage Vivacity: The Testament to Time

Such climatic trials often shape the backbone of a wine's longevity. Indeed, it's within this vintage's structured tannins and nuanced maturity that one finds a compelling argument for the meritorious investment in older wines. The 1986 Chateau Cantemerle is illustrative of how balanced exposure to elements can manifest in harmony within a bottle.


A Connoisseur's Chronicle

Thirty-plus years in repose have softened the exuberant assertions of youth into a seasoned dialogue between fruit and earth. On approaching this Haut-Médoc gem, one is greeted by an aristocratic blend of classic Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot notes––evoking ripe blackcurrants intertwined with truffles and tobacco subtleties. These are complemented by wisps of dried herbs and the archetypal graphite touchstone of its esteemed terroir.

The palate unfurls with poise, presenting flavours matured to autumnal richness. Here, remnants of red fruit persist, enlivened by tertiary qualities built over time. The velvety texture belies its age and leads to an enduringly satisfying finish – a testimony to the winemaking acumen at Chateau Cantemerle.


An Investment in Wine Legacy

For purveyors and pundits of vinous investments alike, this vintage remains a target for discerning portfolios. Its journey from vine to vault echoes the quiet confidence necessary for any long-term investment. The 1986 Chateau Cantemerle from Chateau Cantemerle is not merely an acquisition; it is an embodiment of enological heritage—a collectable piece of a wider historical narrative for oenophiles who appreciate storied libations from Bordeaux’s bedrock. Whether savoured or cellared, it stands as one of the most intriguing exemplars from a region synonymous with viticultural virtuosity.

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Scores and tasting notes


This wine is close to full maturity, but remains relatively austere, compact, and lean. With high tannins and some sweet currant and cherry fruit as well as leather, compost, and earth overtones, the wine is medium-bodied but not likely to improve. Anticipated maturity: Now. Last tasted, 11/00.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 31 December 2002

Vintage performance