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Following a number of trouble free years in Space Exploration the Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after take off watched by people live on TV around the world. The Internet Mail Access Protocol defined which opens the way for E-Mail and the same year the Human Genome Project is launched to understand the Human Makeup , this will open the way for great advances in the treatment of many illnesses. The worst ever Nuclear Disaster occurs as the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Explodes causing the release of radioactive material across much of Europe. In the UK (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease is identified which causes many deaths over the next few years and a major reform in farming practices. 

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Vintage Report

Bordeaux: The 1986 vintage was the largest since the Second World War. It started in poor, cold and wet spring delaying the bud-break. After this the weather improved at the level of 1985 with hot and dry summer lasting until the harvest. The quality remained good although the quantity was large. The heavy rains in latter part of September caused difficulties for producers.

Dry whites were diluted as well as thin skinned Merlot. Thick skinned Cabernet Sauvignon was handling the rains and humidity better. While 1985 was superb in the right bank especially in Pomerol, 1986 was great in left bank especially in Médoc. The best experiences have been Yquem, Margaux, Mouton and Léoville-Las Cases. Generally speaking the vintage produced firm, tannic and powerful red wines.

The wines still have the potential for longer maturing. To buy a wine that is enjoyable just now, Lafite-Rothschild is a good choice. Pétrus was a surprise with its modesty.

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Vintage Report

Champagne : Generally, a good vintage and even excellent in places.

   The mild and rainy spring turned into summer fairly early, and the flowering began in late June in good hot and sunny conditions. At the turn of August and September, the weather turned rainier. Molds took over the vineyards and caused problems in the quality of the grapes. At the same time, rains delayed pickings, and they took place from late September to early November. Many producers hesitated to begin the harvest hoping the weather would dry out. The result, however, was a fairly abundant harvest, from which the wines produced by careful selection are excellent. The best example of this is Philipponat’s Clos des Goisses, which with its heaviness, tropical fruitiness and richness in nuances represents the best of the vintage. 

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Vintage Report

Australia / Barossa: A very dry year with below average growing season rainfall and a warm vintage, again with with no rain, provided ideal conditions for ripening and reaching good Baumes, although this is recorded as a very bad year for oidium. The vintage conditions resulted in rich, generous red wines. Highlights Government regulated grape pricing was abolished and a base price for all varieties of $190/tonne established for dry land areas (Riverland $170/tonne). Grape prices put economic returns for growers at an all time low and led to reduced inputs and vineyard development. The SA Government Vine Pull Scheme was launched, reimbursing growers who removed old vines or unwanted varieties and left their land unplanted. 1986 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon was turned into sweet sherry! No grapes were crushed at Leo Buring, with contracted grapes processed at Peter Lehmann Wines. Since 1983 Leo Buring had reduced its grower base from 200 to 25 growers, and its crush was cut from 9000 tonnes to 2500 tonnes. Increasing salinity in the underground water supply led to a recommendation to proclaim (or control) the Barossa irrigation water supply. Quality became an increasing issue for grapegrowers and winemakers, as Yalumba promoted objective grape load quality assessment. In the wineries Yalumba first used cross-flow micro filtration, and Seaview opened the largest champagne facility in Australia at Nuriootpa. Australian wine consumption was at an a record high of 21.6 litres per head. Increasing brandy excise had a severe impact on the brandy industry. Greenock Creek Wines was started by Michael and Annabelle Waugh. John Duval was appointed Chief Winemaker and custodian of Grange, at Penfolds. "A heritage resumed", is the motto of Heathvale, the name of the original 1850s home of William Heath, one of the first wine producers in the Eden Valley. It was 140 years later in 1986 that Trevor and Faye March arrived and replanted the vineyard, providing the stimulus to start their Heathvale wine label.
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Italy Vintage Report by Tb: 1986 provided another excellent crop year right on the heels of 1985. Indeed, 1986 kept producers on tenterhooks. The second extremely cold winter in a row turned into a rainy spring. In May the whole of Italy was subjected to a heat wave, which was followed by variable summer weather and ruinous hailstorms in Piedmont. The most unfortunate producers lost their entire crops to the hail. Late summer and autumn were hot and dry. Chiantis and Super Tuscans enjoyed greater success than Montalcinos and Montepulcianos. In general these wines have matured quickly are ready to drink right now.

 

 

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Napa and Australia Vintage Reports: Weather Conditions Another year with early budbreak, but it occurred after nasty winter floods in Napa and Sonoma. With a cool early season and few heat spikes, the growing season was long and seemed to resemble its predecessor up to and including a warm September. However, for whatever the reason, this vintage went its own way to reveal a sleek, polished fruit side and only moderate tannins. The successes were widespread and again shared by Napa and Sonoma. Inviting in their youth, the Cabernets promised a long and glorious future. But with rare expectations, most petered out within a decade. Those lasting longer lack the structure and pizzaz of 85 and the fatness of 84. For Merlot the vintage turned out to be almost as fine as 85. The mild summer weather enabled the fruit to reach a plump, ripe stage with forward flavors. When the Merlot from this vintage was offered, Merlot was increasing in popularity as a soft, drink-now red. However, the 86s were capable of moderate aging and a few held up well for close to a decade. Overall, the Merlot was slightly more impressive than 86 Cabernet.

 

 

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The best wines of the 1986 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Chablis Grand Cru Clos 97.0 Domaine Raveneau Burgundy, France
2 Lafite-Rothschild 96.5 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
3 Montrachet 96.3 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
4 Château Mouton-Rothschild 96.1 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
5 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 96.0 Domaine Raveneau Burgundy, France
6 Musigny 96.0 Domaine Georges Roumier Burgundy, France
7 Bâtard-Montrachet 95.8 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
8 Batard-Montrachet 95.7 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
9 Léoville-Las Cases 95.5 Château Léoville-Las Cases Saint-Julien, France
10 Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 95.3 Joseph Drouhin Burgundy, France
11 Château Margaux 95.3 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
12 Art Series Chardonnay 95.3 Leeuwin Estate Margaret River, Australia
13 Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 95.0 Henri Jayer Burgundy, France
14 Montrachet 95.0 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
15 Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles 94.7 Louis Jadot Burgundy, France
16 Vieilles Vignes Françaises 94.7 Bollinger Champagne, France
17 Clos des Goisses 94.7 Philipponnat Champagne, France
18 d'Yquem 94.6 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
19 Chevalier-Montrachet 94.6 Domaine Michel Niellon Burgundy, France
20 Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet 94.6 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
21 Musigny V.V. 94.5 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Burgundy, France
22 Château Gilette 94.5 Château Gilette Bordeaux, France
23 Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet 94.5 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
24 Meursault-Perrières 94.5 Coche Dury Burgundy, France
25 Corton-Charlemagne 94.5 Louis Jadot Burgundy, France
26 Corton-Charlemagne 94.5 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Burgundy, France
27 Cabernet Merlot 94.5 Cullen Wines Margaret River, Australia
28 Grange Hermitage 94.4 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
29 Unico 94.3 Bodegas Vega Sicilia Ribera el Duero, Spain
30 Cristal 94.1 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
31 Barolo 94.0 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, Italy
32 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot 94.0 Domaine Raveneau Burgundy, France
33 Château Clerc Milon 94.0 Château Clerc Milon Bordeaux, France
34 Château de Fieuzal 94.0 Château de Fieuzal Pessac Leognan, France
35 Musigny 94.0 Domaine Leroy Burgundy, France
36 Château Musar 94.0 Château Musar Ghazir, Lebanon
37 Château Climens 94.0 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
38 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 94.0 Château Rayas Rhône, France
39 Belle Epoque Rosé 94.0 Perrier-Jouët Champagne, France
40 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Meurgers 94.0 Henri Jayer Burgundy, France
41 Brunello di Montalcino 93.8 Soldera Montalcino, Italy
42 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 93.7 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
43 Château Léoville Poyferré 93.5 Château Léoville Poyferré Bordeaux, France
44 Château Haut-Bailly 93.5 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac Leognan, France
45 Lafleur 93.5 Château Lafleur Bordeaux, France
46 Pol Roger vintage 93.3 Pol Roger Champagne, France
47 Dom Pérignon Rosé 93.3 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
48 Krug Clos du Mesnil 93.2 Krug Champagne, France
49 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 93.2 Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
50 Hill of Grace 93.1 Henschke Eden Valley, Australia
51 Insignia 93.0 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley, United States
52 Château Beychevelle 93.0 Château Beychevelle Bordeaux, France
53 Chateau La Tour Haut Brion 93.0 Château La Tour Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
54 Brokenwood Hermitage Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 93.0 Graveyard Vineyards Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
55 Meursault Les Casse-Tête 93.0 Coche Dury Burgundy, France
56 Echezeaux 93.0 Henri Jayer Burgundy, France
57 Château de Figeac 93.0 Château de Figeac Saint-Emilion, France
58 Steinberger Riesling Eiswein Auslese 93.0 Kloster Eberbach Rheingau, Germany
59 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 93.0 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
60 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 93.0 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Bordeaux, France
61 Sorí San Lorenzo 92.8 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
62 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques 92.8 Domaine Armand Rousseau Burgundy, France
63 Le Pin 92.8 Le Pin Bordeaux, France
64 Château Rauzan-Ségla 92.7 Château Rauzan-Ségla Bordeaux, France
65 Château Gruaud-Larose 92.7 Château Gruaud-Larose Bordeaux, France
66 Montrose 92.6 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
67 Château Latour 92.5 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
68 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 92.5 Château Montelena Napa Valley, United States
69 Château Filhot 92.5 Château Filhot Sauternes, France
70 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 92.5 Domaine Georges Roumier Burgundy, France
71 Richebourg 92.3 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
72 Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 92.3 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley, United States
73 Château Cos d'Estournel 92.2 Château Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux, France
74 Comtes de Champagne 92.1 Taittinger Champagne, France
75 Château Haut-Brion 92.1 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
76 Château Palmer 92.1 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
77 Black Label 92.0 Wolf Blass South Eastern, Australia
78 Grands Echézeaux 92.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
79 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 92.0 Penfolds South Australia, Australia
80 Recioto della Valpolicella 92.0 Quintarelli Giuseppe Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy
81 Clos de Tart 92.0 Mommessin Burgundy, France
82 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 92.0 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
83 Barbaresco 92.0 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
84 Pol Roger vintage rosé 92.0 Pol Roger Champagne, France
85 Cheval Blanc 92.0 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
86 Chateau de Fieuzal Blanc 92.0 Château de Fieuzal Pessac Leognan, France
87 Chateau Lynch-Bages 92.0 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac, France
88 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 92.0 Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz, United States
89 Blanc de Blancs Vintage 92.0 Billecart-Salmon Champagne, France
90 Château Talbot 92.0 Château Talbot Bordeaux, France
91 Château Pape Clément 91.8 Château Pape Clément Bordeaux, France
92 Montrachet 91.8 Marquis de Laguiche Burgundy, France
93 Pétrus 91.6 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
94 Sassicaia 91.5 Tenuta San Guido Tuscany, Italy
95 Comtes de Champagne Rosé 91.3 Taittinger Champagne, France
96 Pavie 91.0 Château Pavie Bordeaux, France
97 La Grande Rue Grand Cru 91.0 Francois Lamarche Burgundy, France
98 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 91.0 Jacques Selosse Champagne, France
99 Chevalier Montrachet Demoiselles 91.0 Maison Louis Latour Burgundy, France
100 St Henri Shiraz 91.0 Penfolds South Australia, Australia

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