1986 was a very good year for Italian wines. The wines produced that year are generally quite consistent and there are some great Barolos from Piedmont. The wines have reached full maturity but will last for a few more years.
1986 was a great vintage for the wines produced in the northern part of Bordeaux (St Julien, Pauillac) where many of those wineries produced deep, concentrated wines that will mature over the next decade or two. What marks the 1986 vintage is tannin. The tannins originate from the skins of those well ripened grapes which were left on the vines for several weeks before harvest - in tastings the 1986 usually stands out because of this particular quality. The wines only reached their peak recently but will remain there for many years to come. Drinking well now, these wines would make a great 36 year old wine gift for a birthday or celebration and would grace the table of any anniversary event.
A good year that produced forward, fruit packed Single Quinta Vintage port wines that are at their best now and will remain so for many years, however there was no declaration of vintage in 1986. Tawny or Single Harvest Ports will offer a great alternative to Vintage Port.