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1986 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou

September 8, 2010

Popped and decanted over dinner at Prive restaurant on 7 Sep 2010 with Angelina of Bordeaux Index. Along with the trio of 1988-90 from this estate, the 1986 is also known to be afflicted by serious cork taint that plagued the cellars of Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, and I’d certainly experienced this once before. As such, I was relieved when this sample seemed to taste alright just before the sommelier proceeded to decant it.

Still a dark semi-transluscent red. But I wasn’t quite entirely correct earlier, for I managed to detect a faint cork taint from the more substantial quantity that was poured into my glass. However, it didn’t detract from the positive vibes that greeted the palate, the wine mellow, soft and medium-bodied, imbued with complex notes of dried leaves, earth, tobacco and, most importantly, vibrant flavours of blue- and blackberries indicating that the wine was far from over the hill. It began evolving quite rapidly, the cork taint eventually disappearing after almost an hour to morph into an intense weighty wine of immense depth and complexity, more full-bodied with more fruit to the fore, with velvety sweet tannins caressing the palate in broad strokes, bathed in a harmonious glow, gaining in power yet maintaining superb focus and balance all the way to its lengthy finish. This is the third time I’ve tasted the 1986 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, and certainly the best experience. Superb but, alas, none left.

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