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1986 vintage guide for Medoc and Graves


A particularly good vintage in the Medoc, with a number of fine wines

Weather Conditions

Winter was harsh, although the frosts were not as sharp as the previous year. Growth was slowed by a cool, damp spring, but the vegetation caught up as a result of the fine weather in late spring/early summer. Flowering

took place in exemplary conditions, and conditions continued hot and dry until the middle of September, when heavy rains fell, particularly on the 23rd, when some 10cm of precipitation fell during the course of one day. Temperatures picked up for the October harvest.

Best Appellations

A great Cabernet vintage, particularly in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe. The size of the crop was colossal – one of the largest hitherto recorded. Cru Bourgeois wines are still drinking nicely but the finest of the Grands Crus have yet to reach full maturity.

Best Producers

(Pauillac) An exceptionally good vintage throughout; Haut-Bages-Liberal, Lafite, Latour, Lynch-Bages, Mouton, Pichon-Longueville Baron and Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande all produced wines notable for their depth and intensity. (St Julien) Beychevelle, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Gruaud-Larose. Lagrange shows excellent form under new ownership. Leoville-Barton and Leoville-Las-Cases are also good. (Margaux) Margaux, Palmer, Rausan-Segla. (Graves) Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, La Mission, Pape-Clement.

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