Haut Brion 1986
Tasting Notes Haut Brion 1986
Tasted at the La Mission/Haut-Brion dinner at The Ledbury. A second bottle from my cellar and it is almost identical with that engaging bouquet of fresh tobacco and here, a touch of Cohiba cigar! Again, the palate has a great deal of freshness and mineralite, perhaps even more cohesive than the previous bottle, with an foursquare but beautifully defined finish. Shame it is my last bottle. Drink now-2035. Tasted September 2010.
This wine continues to be backward, but the bouquet is beginning to develop secondary nuances from roasted herbs and sweet cigar tobacco to compost, leathery notes, along with plenty of sweet cherry and black currant fruit. I had somewhat higher hopes for it a decade ago. The wine is still youthful, quite pure, medium to full-bodied, but somewhat elevated, austere tannins in the finish at age 16 are starting to make me think they will never become fully integrated. As always, making a judgment call on a wine destined to have a half-century of life is sometimes difficult, given the varying stages it goes through, but I wonder if this wine will turn out to be as profound as I once predicted. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Last tasted, 11/02.