Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1986

SKU
LCCS198610 UCAU
  • 100 pts! - Wine Spectator "This is breathtaking"
  • Full star rating - Le Guide Hachette des Vins 2009
  • "Coup de coeur"
  • 1 or more bottles
    $1,799.00
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  • Robert Parker
    100 points
  • Neil Martin
    98 points

Editors notes

The grand vin of Léoville-Las Cases was classified as one of the original fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification. The estate sits right on the northern edge of the Saint-Julien AOC, bordering the vineyards of Château Latour in Pauillac.

The 97-hectare vineyard is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, with the vines averaging 30 years of age. Between 180,000 and 200,000 bottles of the grand vin are produced each year.

“Léoville-Las Cases is unquestionably one of the great names and wines of Bordeaux. Since 1982, it has consistently been of first-growth quality, with some vintages superior to several first growths. The wines are generally deeply coloured, tannic, big, and concentrated, and potentially long-lived. Over recent years, they have also exhibited both power and elegance in a harmonious style. These traditional St-Juliens require patience, as they are ready to drink only after 10 to 15 years’ ageing. If the 1855 classification were revised, Léoville-Las Cases would surely be a serious candidate for first-growth status.” — Robert Parker

A complex nose of vanilla, chassis, wet clay, dark berries, coffee, forest floor, milk chocolate, cigar box and some earthy aromas. Full bodied with strong, polished tannins and a sweet, fresh mouth filling finish. A big wine with dense tannins, but so elegant. Dark, intense, with layers of acidity underneath that only show through at the end. Unusually, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates this wine, a sign of the ripeness of the Cabernet fruit.

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Robert Parker

    100
    "The late Michael Delon always thought that this was the greatest vintage he had produced. We often tasted it side by side with the 1982, because I always preferred the latter vintage. Of course, the two vintages are quite different in style: the 1986 is a monument to classicism with great tannin, extraordinary delineation, and a huge full-bodied nose of sweet, ripe cassis fruit intermixed with vanilla, melon, fruitcake and a multitude of spices. The wine has always been phenomenally concentrated yet wonderfully fresh and vigorous. The wine still seems young yet it is hard to believe it is not close to full maturity. It is a great example of Leoville-Las Cases and another compelling reason to take a serious look at the top Cabernet Sauvignon-based Médocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035."
  • Neil Martin

    98
    "The 1986 Leoville-Las Cases is still so youthful in appearance after 30 years, with only a thin bricking on the rim giving away its age. The bouquet is magnificent: extraordinarily pure and delineated, bewitching black fruit laced with cedar and graphite, the latter lending an almost Pauillac-like personality. The palate is exactly as I have found the previous dozen or so bottles I have tasted: structured, delineated, intense, aristocratic, and imperious. It is less formidable than say, ten years ago, so it has probably just stepped onto its drinking plateau. The acidity is perfectly judged, lending freshness and tension, crucial to counterbalance those layers of spicy black fruit that fans out with cedar and graphite (again) towards the finish. You come away with the feeling of having consumed a wine with immense energy, yet with so much more to give over the next three decades, and knowing this property, perhaps even the three decades after that! I would agree with the late Michel Delon: the 1986 Léoville Las-Cases is the summit of the 1980s. Drink 2016-2060."

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

  1. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2017
    • Variety Cabernet Blend
    • Vintage 2017
    • Brand Château Léoville-Las Cases
    • Cellaring 15 Plus Years
    • Wine Type Red
    • Alcohol Percentage 13.0% Alcohol
    Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2017
    • Lisa Perrotti-B
      98+ points
    • James Suckling
      96-97 points
    • Antonio Galloni
      94-97 points
    • Jeb Dunnuck
      95-97 points
    • Neil Martin
      93-95 points
    $499.00
    Add to Wish List

Current auction

All current auctions for this wine & any different vintages.

Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux produces some of the most highly sought after and revered wines in the world. Located close to the coast, in the south-west of France the town and is divided by the Gironde River. Wines to the west of the river are referred to as left bank, and are Cabernet dominant. To the East of the river, on the right bank Merlot is the dominant grape variety. Throughout the 57 appellations, over 10,000 wine-making châteaux grow the red grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These are commonly blended and collectively referred to as clarets. Smaller amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in Bordeaux.

In 1855, due to the high export demands of Bordeaux wines, Emporer Napoleon III requested an official Bordeaux classification system, based on market costs of the wines at the time. The Chateaux were classified in to five ‘growths’ from first growth to fifth growth and cru Bourgois. Also in 1855 The Sauternes and Barsac classification covered the sweeter wines, with Chateau d’Yquem the only Superior First Growth, followed by Premiers Crus and Deux Deuxièmes Crus.

Medoc

Home to over 650 vineyards and spanning over 4,900 hectares, Bordeaux’s Médoc wine region comprises four of the most distinguished wine villages in the area: Saint-Estephe, Saint-Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux. The peninsula of Médoc is home to coastal lagoons, sand dunes, and pine forests. It is known to have formed into a peninsula over time as the Garonne and Dordogne rivers carried in large quantities of mineral rich silt and light reflective, well drained gravel, which turned out to be perfect for harvesting red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The main aromas of the beautifully refined red wines from this area are: spices, oak, red fruit and vanilla.

The region of Médoc is divided into three areas: the Landes du Médoc, the Bas-Médoc, and the Haut-Médoc. The Landes du Médoc is located in the entire western half of the peninsula. Although there are no vineyards here, the land is still important because its pine trees protect the grape vines from the harsh cold winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. The Bas-Médoc( lower-Médoc) runs downstream on the estuarine side of the peninsula. The wines produced here are usually more affordable than those produced in Haut-Médoc. Haut-Médoc (upper-Médoc) is the most well-known of the three sections. The wines produced here are some of the most expensive wines worldwide and were famously ranked in The Médoc Classification of 1855, which is to this day in use.

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Pairs Well With

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About the brand Chateau Léoville-Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases is one of the larger classified estates in Bordeaux, with the Second Growth Saint-Julien property totalling 98 hectares. Winemaking is very traditional, using old oak vats for fermentation, and up to 90% new French oak for maturation. While the wines can look rather austere in their youth, from great years they can resemble some of the finest First Growth wines as they reach maturity.

The Chateau also produces a second wine, Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases (from 2009), which is not to be confused with Clos du Marquis, a wine that is always produced from a separate parcel and is considered a standalone brand.

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