1986 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

1986 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

1986 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

Saint julien, Bordeaux, France, 750ml
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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.
  • Decant Time: 2 hours
  • Taste: tannic, classic, austere, dark plum, blackberry, graphite, oyster shell, ripe black fruits
  • Food Matching: roast lamb, grilled steak, mature cheeses, mushroom risotto
  • Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot ,


Tasting note


The 1986 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou is a testament to the classic and savory character of Saint-Julien wines. With a history of variable bottles due to past cellar conditions, this particular vintage has aged gracefully. The bouquet offers a delightful complexity with notes of dark plum, blackberry, and graphite, complemented by a subtle hint of oyster shell. The oak is well-integrated, adding to the wine's depth. On the palate, it presents medium body with supple tannins and a generous amount of ripe black fruits leading to a long finish. While it may not possess the precision of more contemporary vintages, this wine still delivers a truly enjoyable experience, especially after a recommended two-hour decanting. Perfectly paired with dishes like roast lamb or grilled steak, it also complements mature cheeses and a hearty mushroom risotto.

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