(Re-Furbished at the Château in 2011) Ducru-Beaucaillou has recently re-released several vintages from the era when there was some sort of TCA contamination (in my opinion) in the cellars here, such as there was in Cuné’s property of Contino. The refurbished bottles can be distinguished by a back label that gives all of the details. The first releases of 1986 Ducru had been plagued by some sort of TCA taint, but the underlying wine was always very strong, and the re-furbished bottles from the estate are stellar. The wine offers up a pure, precise and very deep nose of sweet cassis, cigar ash, a very complex base of gravelly soil tones, a nice touch of cedar and a topnote of cigar wrapper. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and tangy, with outstanding focus and bounce, a lovely core of fruit, ripe, well-measured tannins and a long, complex and very soil-driven finish. This is a classic vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou in the making, and the re-released bottles are stellar. The wine is just starting to drink, but like so many of the top 1986 wines from the Médoc, it still has room to grow and would continue to benefit from further cellaring. Drink between 2023-2075
Blackberry, mint and black pepper abound here. The palate has serious structure, with an emphasis on liquorice, restrained vanilla, cedar and earth. It's still pretty concentrated and voluptuous. Recorked at the château in 2001. The exact blend was not recorded, so the blend shown reflects the vineyard plantings, with 5% Petit Verdot. Drink between 2019-2038
The 1986 Ducru Beaucaillou was served by Bruno Borie both decanted and directly from bottle, poured blind. From the bottle, it has an attractive bouquet with plush blackberry and wild strawberry fruit, indeed, showing more fruité than I was expecting. There is a roundness to these aromatics, perhaps a little more like 1985 in some ways. The palate is medium-bodied and here the seriousness and structure of the 1986 vintages shows through. There is impressive body and though it felt firm and masculine on the finish, there is clearly sufficient fruit that counterbalances the backbone. The decanted version showed a little more volatility on the nose, but here I discerned more complexity on the palate. The 1986 Ducru poured directly from bottle felt a little more savory and strangely, more cohesive, with more of the terroir coming through on the slightly loamy, brown sugar-tinged finish. Tasted July 2016.