Birthday Bottle

Apr 19, 2006

I just finished lunch at the restaurant below my house in Il Borro. It was the birthday of my colleague Jo Cooke, and I decided to try to find something special in my cellar to drink with him. I knew that Jo was a big fan of Léoville Las Cases. So I spent about 10 minutes looking in my cellar and I finally found a bottle – 1986. It’s the only bottle I have of Las Cases!

It (unfortunately for him) is not his birth year. He’s a couple of decades older. But the wine is superb. In fact, I had forgotten how good it was. Here is my note:

Superb aromas of blackberries, licorice, fresh herbs and tobacco. It’s full-bodied, thick and powerful with wonderfully silky tannins and a long, long racy finish. This is a fresh and cool wine with wonderful length and power. Beautiful now to drink. 96 points.

According to the magazine’s tasting database, the wine has always been in the 95- to 96-point range. So, Las Cases 1986 is still spot on!

The 1986 vintage is still a very impressive one. Some of the classics such as Mouton are just babies. What has always impressed me is how the wines from the vintage are cool, precise wines rather than the opulent and flamboyant Bordeaux of hot vintages such as 1990, 1989 or 1982. But that’s what’s exciting about claret…the differences in vintages and wines.

France Bordeaux
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