1986 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
The 1986 Pichon-Lalande has long been one of the standout wines of the decade, and served blind, this suggests that it might have the 1982 in its sights. In many ways, it is the twin brother of the Cabernet-driven 1996. It bolts out of the stable doors with intense blackberry and cedar aromas – pure Cabernet – and reveals touches of mint with time. The palate is medium-bodied and thankfully less obdurate than a decade ago; the tannins have mellowed in recent years and secondary notes of sage and graphite are now more expressive. I once described the 1986 as "broad-shouldered." It remains just that, but it has learned some grace and manners. This is a clear high point for the estate. Tasted blind at lunch at The Glasshouse in London.
Neil Martin - Vinous
Just now emerging from a very clumsy dormant period, Pichon-Lalande’s dense ruby/purple-colored 1986 still has the color of a 4 or 5 year old wine. This is the most tannic and backward Pichon-Lalande after 1975 and before 1996. The wine was completely closed down until just recently. The wine shows notes of cedar, black currants, earth, spice box, and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, intense palate with a still noticeable tannic structure, a relatively big, muscular style for Pichon-Lalande. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 5/02.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate