Another outstanding vintage, immediately after 1985. But as much as 1985 was full of charm, 1986 was austere. Seldom has a vintage (until the 2000 and of course the 2005) been from the start as powerful and concentrated. We would have to go back to the legendary 1961 to find a previous vintage with such richness and such balance. 1986 is an astonishing vintage; its very slow development in a way reminds us of the previous generation's wines. Its tannic structure is very tight-knit, very dense and softens only very slightly from year to year. The bouquet is starting to open out; however, we feel that it is still only showing a limited part of its enormous potential. It is full and rich on the palate, still a little bit firm.
The very fine summer weather was hardly affected by the brief spell of rain around 20th September, which in the end, may have been more beneficial than we first thought. Immediately afterwards, the fine weather came back and stayed with us for the whole of the harvest time, bringing the grapes to superb ripeness. (The picking began 1st October)