1986 Gruaud Larose

FRANCE / BORDEAUX / SAINT-JULIEN
abv 12.5%
  • 96 WA
  • 89 WS
  • 95 IWC
  • 17 JR
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend
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SKU: 51407-1986
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 17

    Salty zesty nose with great liveliness. Sweeter than the 1986 Las Cases served blind alongside it but less dense. A very pretty wine. This has always been one of the most charming 1986s and it's still, just about, in fine fettle. Though I wouldn't keep it any longer.
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    Still tasting as if it were only 7-8 years of age, the dense, garnet/purple-colored 1986 Gruaud-Larose is evolving at a glacier pace. The wine still has mammoth structure, tremendous reserves of fruit and concentration, and a finish that lasts close to a minute. The wine is massive, very impressively constituted, with still some mouth-searing tannin to shed. Decanting of one to two hours in advance seems to soften it a bit, but this is a wine that seems to be almost immortal in terms of its longevity. It is a great Medoc classic, and certainly one of the most magnificent Gruaud-Larose ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Last tasted, 10/02.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Bordeaux Book(1998) | Rating: 94

    There seems to be no doubt about the quality of the 1986 Gruaud-Larose, which in 20 years should rival the extraordinary 1990, 1982, 1961, 1949, and 1928 made at this vast estate. From the first time I tasted this wine in cask, I have thought it to be among the blockbusters of the vintage. It has a black/purple color, mammoth structure, a fabulous wealth of fruit, and a finish that seems to last several minutes. This is indeed first-growth quality, but then, when, in the last decade, has a Gruaud-Larose not matched the quality of the first-growths? Given the enormous structure, impressive concentration, and massive tannins, one must wonder when this wine will be ready to drink. That may preclude a number of consumers from actually deciding to buy it. For many readers, this is probably a wine to lay down for their children, rather than for them to realistically consider drinking in their own lifetimes. Last tasted, 7/97
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Rating: 95

    Very youthful deep ruby-red color. Brooding nose offers perfumed blackcurrant, mineral, violet and quinine aromas. Big, dense and rich, conveying an impression of strong extract to the powerful, well-delineated blackberry and herb flavors. The long, tactile finish features chewy but polished tannins and a lingering floral note. Though ready to drink now, this wine will continue to age gracefully. One of the best Gruaud-Larose wines of the past 40 years.
    Author: Ian D'Agata
    Issue: May/June 2013
  • Rating: 89

    Tight, flat, closed nose, with a cedary, tobacco nuance. Firm, dense structure, dusty with tannins. Fruit suppressed but roundness emerges, with a hint of cassis. Should be a big wine.--Gruaud-Larose vertical.
  • Self | Rating:

    Drink Dates: 2000-2030
    Author: Ron C815
  • Self | Rating:

    Author: Lulu SF
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: BORDEAUXLICIOUS
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: Tj R
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: copiron
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: gubarra
  • Self | Rating:

    Drink Dates: 1995-2016
    Author: colinrasmussen
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Drink Dates: 2002-2022
    Author: Jito72
  • Self | Rating: 92

    cigar box,long finish, forest floor
    Author: Wakely
  • Self | Rating: 86

    Dead fruit and petrol smell. Quite acidic, with lackluster fruit and ever present tannins. May be past due.
    Drink Dates: 1995-2006
    Author: Pierre T184
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Great earthiness with just a touch of brett (not in a bad way) and dark fruits and spiciness on the nose. Long finish. Classic Gruaud.
    Author: Jeff
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Ruby robe with not too much browning at the edge; a bit dusty on the nose in the beginning but it opened up to notes of fruit and spices; quite soft and elegant on the palate with minimal acidity and notes of red plums and cinnamon; finish was not too long; needs drinking
    Author: TAs Super Cellar
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Very approachable now, shouldn't wait much longer
    Author: Scooter
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Wonderful, needed 1/2 hour decanting and then warmed up with great blueberry blackberry, ceder and pencil aromas...
    Author: Jim W NYC
The phrase "The King of Wines..." adorns its label, but this isn't Bordeaux Budweiser. In fact, St. Julien's Second-Growth-classified Chateau Gruaud Larose was known as "the wine of kings" back in the late 1700s and continues this legacy today. The most notable recent example is President Chirac serving 1990 Gruaud Larose to President Clinton at Parisian bistro L'Ami Louis in June, 1999.

The chateau occupies 84 hectares on a gravel-rich plateau in St. Julien neighboring Chateau Beychevelle. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the wines are often complex, opulent and flamboyant and always age worthy. The finest examples of Gruaud Larose in recent memory are 2010, 2000 and 1990.
Located in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is the single largest fine-wine-producing region in the world, with more than 15,000 growers spread over 57 appellations and more than 700 million bottles produced annually. The region boasts a two-thousand-year winemaking history and some of the wine world's most recognized and highly sought-after names. Red Bordeaux blends comprise eighty percent of production, but dry and sweet whites are also well-known. The region is divided into the Left and Right Banks (of the Dordogne River); Cabernet Sauvignon prevails in the former and Merlot in the latter.

White Bordeaux blends are most commonly composed of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and come in a range of dry and sweet styles. Sémillon contributes body while Sauvignon Blanc adds high acidity, a characteristic that is particularly important in the sweet wines of Bordeaux.

Sauternes is one of the world’s most prestigious regions for sweet wine production, made possible by Sémillon’s affinity for noble rot. Wines from world-renowned Château d’Yquem are fermented and matured in new oak for up to three years and can age for decades in bottle. These wines display complex aromas of melon, honey, apricot, citrus peel, mango, and butterscotch and develop added complexity and aromas with age.

The best dry wines from this blend come from producers such as Château Haut-Brion, Château Pape Clément, and Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan and Graves. These wines are typically fermented and matured in new oak and display a full-bodied richness with concentrated nutty flavors overlaying the fruit.

Due to its freshness and flavor profile, dry white Bordeaux blends pair well with almost any white food, including all types of fish, poultry, veal, and pork. The sweet wines of Bordeaux pair well with foie gras, oysters, blue cheese, spicy food (particularly Asian cuisines), any dish with sweet notes, and of course, dessert.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 2725 bottles owned
  • 424 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 93
    (Out of 424 collectors)