Wine Talk

Snooth User: bar1


Posted by bar1, Feb 11, 2010.

hey, im looking to get a bottle or a few bottles of whithe and red wine from 1986 to give as a present, does anyone have any suggestions to which wine i should get and where? thanks


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 11, 2010.

1986 was great in Northern California and Bordeaux in particular so there are many wines to choose from. Any budget involved here? Can the white be a dessert wine?

Reply by GhostLemur, Feb 11, 2010.

It kind on depends on whether it'll be drunk upon receipt or is the receiver likely to store it away for a while longer? Also what sort of budget are you looking at? A good place to start is vintage charts.

Reply by bar1, Feb 14, 2010.

i havnt set a budget yet, i wanted to see what is out there, the likelyhood is that the wine will be stored,ya a dessert would be fine too. all suggestions welcome, i do enjoy wine but would be an expert at all

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 14, 2010.

Shall we assume this is someones birth year?

Reply by bar1, Feb 14, 2010.

ya its a birth year

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 14, 2010.

You are lucky then, it was a pretty good year in Bordeaux, as mentioned by GDP above, so should still be good. Any Margaux, St.Julien, St. Estephe or Pauliac should be a great choice for Reds and the Sauternes will be great for delicious sweet whites. My children were born in 1980, 1984 and 1987, so not so lucky!!

Reply by dmcker, Feb 15, 2010.

Guess mine did OK at '82 and '86...

Bar1, if you cast your net wide regarding '86 Bordeaux (and California cabs) there are still a number of great bottles for decent prices out there. Search across a range of online vendors and auction sites. Much better prices for them than, say, the 2005s in Bordeaux, and they're drinking a lot better now, too.

Regarding the Napa cabs, you'll need to be selective regarding producers. And in Bordeaux, the right bank (St. Emilion and Pomerol) is also good, not only the left bank (of the Gironde River) regions that dirkw discusses. I just served an '86 Chateau Figeac on my daughter's birthday late last month that was drinking *extremely* well (round and so delicious it makes my mouth water just to remember; vanilla cream on the nose, very beefy minerality on the palate, a bit of baked cherry pie on both, making me think we chose the wrong dessert in a banana cake, but then that's my daughter's favorite, and an institution by now ;-) ; if I were a ratings kind of guy we're talking mid 90s... ). And if Charles is reading this, it was on a *Thursday* night. ;-)

Last October my other daughter got a magnum of '82 Cakebread cab from Napa. She didn't do so poorly, either....

Reply by bar1, Feb 15, 2010.

all this help is greatly appreciated, looking on the internet i find alot of options, the only thing that concerns me is whether the wines would last for a few years if stored, alot of the websites bring up 1986 wines with alot saying to drink them between now and 2015

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 15, 2010.

Any of these wines mentioned from 1986, if they were stored properly and if they continue to be stored properly could potentially last longer than us.

Reply by John E Morris, Feb 15, 2010.

Just a caution on the 86 Bordeaux. The tannins were at record levels that year, so the wines often seem much harder than you'd expect for 20+ years. If you expect something silky, you might have a surprise.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 15, 2010.

For Napa, some of the '86s I've had over the past five years or so that are still drinking well and seem to have considerable further life include:
Caymus Special Selection
Heitz Martha's Vineyard
Stag's Leap Cask 23
Joseph Phelps (Insignia, Backus, Eisele)
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill
Dunn Howell Mountain
La Jota Howell Mountain
Chappellet Napa Reserve
Groth Reserve
Charles Krug Vintage Selection

These should be fairly safe bets, as long as you can be sure of their condition and provenance. I can't remember having a Montelena from that vintage recently, and I'm sure there are others I'll remember after posting this, but I have to run out the door now, so I'll cut the list off here. They cover a range of styles, so hopefully you'll be able to find one that you and the birthday person can well enjoy...

Reply by dmcker, Feb 15, 2010.

Had a spare moment to check, and found this bottle:

I've had the '86 Pahlmeyer several times before, all with pleasure and interest, but the last time was nearly a decade ago. This is the very first vintage released of what became one of the Napa Valley icons, both while Randy Dunn was the winemaker, and after. So besides being a delicious bottle of wine, it's also a real collector's item....

Reply by dmcker, Feb 15, 2010.

Regarding a well-made wine and its ageability, whether from Bordeaux or Napa, here's a useful comparison between tasting notes for the '86 Pahlmeyer, both by Robert Parker and his Wine Advocate newsletter:

--1988 review
"91-94 This proprietary wine, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot was made by Randy Dunn, and clearly shows off his exceptional talents by virtue of its huge fruit, formidable structure, mouth coating richness and hefty tannins. This immenseley impressive wine has an outstanding depth and length, and looks like a candidate for 5-15 years of cellaring. Quite impressive."

--1990 review
"This newcomer's first vintage of red wine is a winner. Dense ruby with a bouquet of violets, mineral, blackcurrants and smoky, toasty oak, this rich, full bodied, very tannic wine needs another 3-4 years of cellaring to reach its apogee. It should last for 10-15 years."

When I drank it on a visit to Napa in 2001, I though it still would benefit from even more time in the cellar, and was wondering how it would be 10-15 or more years from that time. It just seems to keep going... ;-)

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 15, 2010.

If you are looking for an Aussie 86 - it was a superb vintage and I would recommend in no particular order of preference
Penfolds Grange - Shiraz- AUD5-600
Penfolds Bin 707 - Cabernet Savignon - AUD150-200
Penfolds Bin 389 - Cabernet Sauvignon /Shiraz Blend - AUD60-75
Penfolds Bin 28 - Barossa Shiraz - AUD40-50
Wynns John Riddoch - Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon - AUD 65-80
Wynns - Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon - AUD 40-55
Henscke Hill of Grace - Shiraz - AUD 500-600
Henscke Mt Edelsone Shiraz - AUD80-120
Tyrells Vat 1 - Semillon - AUD35-60

Hope that helps

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