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Vintage information 1986:
1986 Gagnard Jean-Noël, Chassagne-Montrachet MorgeotApr. 2011
(Blanc) Fast-forward ten years. The nose is deeper than than the ’76 – almost woody and a little spicy. In the mouth this is a little softer, but again shows some impression of tannin. Lovely acidity and intensity – it’s a nice acid-leaning, mouth-watering finish which emphasis a flavour of agrumes – captivating.
1986 Fougeray de Beauclair, Bonnes-MaresJul. 2010
The nose doesn’t offer the instant ‘to die for’ gratification of the Cotetidot 86 Clos de Vougeot, but it also far from disappointing; there’s a savoury, slightly saline impression that I assume has its roots in oak – although it’s a little tight, it’s also quite inviting. Given time the nose develops a more earthy depth. Silky, with grand-cru fat, this shows a little of that saline element in the flavour too, coupled to slightly oaky bitterness. The mid-palate just bursts forward with minerality and a selection of dried fruits; sweet currant and fig flavours stain your palate, eventually gaining a faint creaminess. The first of these 86s where I’m not delaying the next pour!
1986 Confuron-Cotetidot, Clos de VougeotMay. 2010
Medium, medium-plus colour. The first sniff will weaken your knees, such is the depth of dark macerated cherry, padded with earth. Like the last two 86s I’ve opened, here is a wine that seems excellently balanced – the acidity is good – yet it’s not refreshingly moreish, it doesn’t beg you to take another sip, all have somehow seemed acid-shy when they’re not – strange. The texture is silky before a fine but astringent tannin starts to take over. A high-toned fruit expands across the mid-palate before very slowly lingering – it’s a high-quality finish. This is a wine of power and still some aspect of youth, it’s a bit of a cliché to say ‘austere’ but there is still something of that about it – am I allowed to say a 24 year-old wine is too young? – the nose suggests more today than the full package actually delivers. No rush to open the last two bottles…
1986 Lamarche Francois, Vosne-Romanée Les MalconsortsMay. 2010
I guess it has been stored almost inverted as there is such a thick layer of brown mud (sediment) attached to the base of the cork. Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is understated but clean, a tight core of macerated and ripe fruit at its centre. This seems to have an almost grand cru level of fat, understated acidity and a rasp to the tannin – though not as astringent as yesterday’s Mazis. Like the nose, the flavours are clean but tight – this wine has some class, but is clearly going to make me wait if I want complexity. Even at the three hour stage the nose is a glossy but understated thing, perhaps a faint beefy depth begins to show. The palate develops a liqueur quality with a very faint suggestion of oxidation. Overall this drinks very well indeed.
1986 Rebourseau Henri, Mazis-ChambertinMay. 2010
Medium mahogany red. The nose has a hint of leaf but also the warm, slightly sweet aromas of age – it seems quite clean. Still some astringency to what was probably quite under-ripe tannin in its youth and a hesitant sweetness to the fruit – though I have the impression it didn’t give up much sweetness for a lot of years. Grand Cru? Hard to tell, I’ll just say it’s an interesting, clean, fresh and drinkable bottle, it’s not a faux-pas.
1986 Romanée-Conti, La TâcheNov. 2005
Medium mahogany in colour. The nose is little vegetal and mildewy to start, slowly mature red fruit emerges plus a little pine-needle and earth, unfortunately just a wisp of TCA too. It’s not apparent on the palate, though there must be some diminution of the experience. Despite this there is a nice soft entry and a concentration that builds to a crescendo on the palate. In this company still a little subdued, certainly mildly corked.
1986 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-CharlemagneNov. 2004
From magnum. Bright golden colour. The nose shows complex notes that include honey and lanolin. A model of freshness and power the palate has engrossing complexity and a special ‘extra’ dimension on the finish. Real class.
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