The 1986 Palmer has more depth than the lighter, softer 1985, as well as the most tannin and structure of any Palmer since 1975. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a soft, plummy bouquet, and a concentrated, fleshy wine with excellent length, and very good aging potential. Anticipated maturity: Now-2010. Last tasted, 11/92.
|Score: 89||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (88), January 2003|
The great 1986 Medocs have turned the corner and, while they are still young wines, they are approaching their adolescence. This wine still has a dense ruby/purple color with a bit of lightening at the edge. The nose offers up hints of minerals, sweet black cherry and black currant fruit, medium to full body, moderately high tannin, and outstanding purity in a very stern yet impressively concentrated style. The wine still tastes young, but it is budging from its very closed, dormant period, where it had rested for nearly 15 years. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2022. Last tasted, 5/02.
|Score: 89+||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), January 2003|
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. 2016 - 2028
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (May 2016), May 2016|
Tasted at an off-line dinner in Singapore. This is one of the great Palmers of the 1980s, though it is several years since I last encountered it. Here, there is one word that springs to mind-class. Wonderful definition, a little reserved at first, but wonderfully defined with cedar, sandalwood and cigar box. The palate has firm tannins as you would expect from an -86, but it is married with Margaux femininity, leading to a lovely, supple finish with graphite and blackberry lingering on the back palate. Superb. Drink now-2018. Tasted November 2009.
|Score: 93+||Neal Martin, Wine Journal, July 2010|