Château Léoville-Las Cases 1986
The grand vin of Léoville-Las Cases was classified as one of the original fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification. The estate sits right on the northern edge of the Saint-Julien AOC, bordering the vineyards of Château Latour in Pauillac.
The 97-hectare vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, with the vines averaging 30 years of age. Between 180,000 and 200,000 bottles of the grand vin are produced each year.
“Léoville-Las Cases is unquestionably one of the great names and wines of Bordeaux. Since 1982, it has consistently been of first-growth quality, with some vintages superior to several first growths. The wines are generally deeply coloured, tannic, big, and concentrated, and potentially long-lived. Over recent years, they have also exhibited both power and elegance in a harmonious style. These traditional St-Juliens require patience, as they are ready to drink only after 10 to 15 years’ ageing. If the 1855 classification were revised, Léoville-Las Cases would surely be a serious candidate for first-growth status.”
— Robert Parker
Château Léoville-Las Cases 1986
$2,220.00 per bottle
Notes and Reviews
Robert Parker (100)
The late Michael Delon always thought that this was the greatest vintage he had produced. We often tasted it side by side with the 1982, because I always preferred the latter vintage. Of course, the two vintages are quite different in style: the 1986 is a monument to classicism with great tannin, extraordinary delineation, and a huge full-bodied nose of sweet, ripe cassis fruit intermixed with vanilla, melon, fruitcake and a multitude of spices.
The wine has always been phenomenally concentrated yet wonderfully fresh and vigorous. The wine still seems young yet it is hard to believe it is not close to full maturity. It is a great example of Leoville-Las Cases and another compelling reason to take a serious look at the top Cabernet Sauvignon-based Médocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035.
Neil Martin (98)
The 1986 Leoville-Las Cases is still so youthful in appearance after 30 years, with only a thin bricking on the rim giving away its age. The bouquet is magnificent: extraordinarily pure and delineated, bewitching black fruit laced with cedar and graphite, the latter lending an almost Pauillac-like personality. The palate is exactly as I have found the previous dozen or so bottles I have tasted: structured, delineated, intense, aristocratic, and imperious. It is less formidable than say, ten years ago, so it has probably just stepped onto its drinking plateau. The acidity is perfectly judged, lending freshness and tension, crucial to counterbalance those layers of spicy black fruit that fans out with cedar and graphite (again) towards the finish.
You come away with the feeling of having consumed a wine with immense energy, yet with so much more to give over the next three decades, and knowing this property, perhaps even the three decades after that! I would agree with the late Michel Delon: the 1986 Léoville Las-Cases is the summit of the 1980s. Drink 2016-2060.
|Grape Varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc|
|Age of Vines||30 years old|
|Vinification||12-20 days' fermentation in wooden, concrete and stainless-steel vats.|
|Elevage||24 months' ageing in oak barrels (50-100% new oak)|
|Soil Type||Siliceous gravel with clay and limestone underlay|