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Red Burgundy Vintages: 1986


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The enormously successful 1985 vintage was not repeated in 1986. It was a vintage of large yields and many problems caused by rain at harvest, especially rot. Most wines were not worth buying and most wines have long been over the hill. But a secret that few know is that it was actually a very good vintage on the northern part of the Cote de Nuits: Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-St-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Fixin and the then-newly created appellation of Marsannay. I don't come across 1986s very often any more, but a bottle of Musigny from Jacques-Frederic Mugnier drunk last summer was absolutely delicious and seemingly still had plenty of life ahead of it.

Best regards,

Claude Kolm

The Fine Wine Review

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Claude,

Nice to see you round these parts---welcome, and thanks for the tip on 1986.

Burgundy from top producers and vineyards never come cheap, but the 1986s are certainly priced dramatically lower than their 1985 counterparts. I saw Roumier Bonnes Mares, for example, offered on Winebid at a $100 reserve price (although the bid is up to $150 now), which is probably a small fraction of what the '85 would sell for, if you could find it.

Any tips on particular wines to chase from '86?

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Claude,

Nice to see you round these parts---welcome, and thanks for the tip on 1986.

Burgundy from top producers and vineyards never come cheap, but the 1986s are certainly priced dramatically lower than their 1985 counterparts.  I saw Roumier Bonnes Mares, for example, offered on Winebid at a $100 reserve price (although the bid is up to $150 now), which is probably a small fraction of what the '85 would sell for, if you could find it. 

Any tips on particular wines to chase from '86?

Hi, Marty,

I haven't had Roumier's 1986s in quite a while, but they were spectacular when young. I've recently seen good reports on some Dujac and de Vougue wines, and as I said, Mugnier's Musigny is a gem. Serafin (this is pre-Bobby Kacher and all new wood) was very good (under the Pacific Wine Company label, he is not identified as the producer there), and so was Philippe Naddef, but I haven't had those wines in a very long time.

OTOH, despite the general rule for northern Cote de Nuits, Ponsot's wines should be avoided (in fact, he eventually recalled them).

Keep in mind, also, that there were many fewer top flight producers back then than there are now.

Best regards,

Claude Kolm

The Fine Wine Review

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