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Robert Parker 100/100
The late Michel 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, with the 1986 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 Medocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035.
The Grand Vin is the product of exceptional terroirs from the former Léoville estate. These terroirs are located mainly in the Clos Léoville Las Cases, which you pass as you leave Saint- Julien village for Pauillac. They extend over nearly 60ha producing Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs with a complex, polished expression and characteristics which are totally unique to the Grand Vin of Léoville du Marquis de Las Cases and have been widely recognized for years.
Château Léoville Las Cases is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Médoc known since 1707. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Second Growths in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Today’s Léoville Las Cases was once part of a much larger estate until the time of the French Revolution when a portion of this estate was separated into what is today Château Léoville-Barton. In 1840, the estate was again divided and land that would eventually become Château Léoville-Poyferré was split off. When the 1855 Classification was completed, all three properties from the original Léoville estate were classed as Second Growths. Since the mid 20th century the Delon family have been owners of this estate.
The soil of St Julien is ideal for vines, due to its geographic situation and its climate; every element is present to produce wines of exceptional quality and elegance. Léoville Las Cases' 97 hectares of vineyards are superbly sited on gravelly-clay soils with the largest plot being surrounded by a stone wall and stretching between the village of St-Julien and Château Latour.
Following a cold, wet winter, the slight delay at budburst was already caught up for the colour change. The nice weather continued through to the harvest, with just a touch of rain at the end of September. The Cabernet Sauvignons boasted an exceptional concentration and ripeness.