Tasted at the Château Palmer vertical in London, the 1986 Château Palmer might not embrace you like the 1985, and yet it remains a Margaux with pedigree. It offers blackcurrant pastilles, raspberry and cedar on the nose, violets unfurling with time in the glass, guiding the drinker to its appellation of origin. The palate is medium-bodied and well balanced, as expected, more austere and reserved than the 1985, but with fine backbone and an attractive masculine, tobacco-infused finish that is precise and long. It is not in the same class as the 1989, but it has clearly reached its drinking plateau and should continue there for at least another decade. Tasted May 2015.
Smooth and succulent, with attractive earth, tobacco and cassis aromas and flavors. Despite its intensity and concentration, it never loses its sense of balance and harmony. Drinkable now but better if you can cellar it longer.
Sweeter and more plummy on the nose than the 1985. More cedary but also cassis and dark chocolate/mocha. Seems far more youthful than the 1985. More primary dark fruit. Firmer, fuller and less perfumed but still with a fine freshness. Fine-grained tannins still have some grip though they taste fully ripe. More powerful than the 1985, less scented but more fruit. Grip on the finish is just a little dry. Drink 1997 - 2017.