CHATEAU PALMER > 1985

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Characteristics of the vintage

A generous and excellent vintage, producing truly exceptional quality and a classic expression of Bordeaux's terroirs. The wines are often compared to those of 1953 in terms of their great balance, harmony, finesse and elegance.

During the winter months, the weather was particularly cold and this caused damage in some vineyards. However, after a damp spring the weather improved and flowering took place in perfect conditions.

The fine weather continued until the end of October, so that after the véraison or turning of the colour, the grapes reached optimum maturity, with a somewhat unusual difference in ripeness levels between the Merlot and the Cabernets. July was hot with some rain, August was cooler but dry and September brought record-breaking levels of drought and temperature.

At harvest time, the grapes were ripe and healthy with low acidity and very soft tannins.

Harvest dates: from 09/30/1985 to 10/13/1985

Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon: 57%
Merlot: 33%
Cabernet Franc: 6%
Petit Verdot: 4%

Ageing potential

2025++

Tasting

Tasting notes from Enrico Bernardo, 12/01/2011:

Limpid, garnet-red colour.
Forward, generous, Mediterranean, and mineral bouquet, reminiscent of ripe fruit, jam, cherry, bay leaf, and graphite.
Fine, round, classic wine that is very likeable and easy to digest. Beautifully complex and elegant. Fine tannin and a fresh aftertaste.

Tasting notes from Georges Lepré, 02/04/2009:

The beautifully intense garnet color is delicately trimmed with orange.

The bouquet seduces with rich and ripe black fruits, numerous spices, notes of cedar, amber, fresh mint, cigar box, cocoa and violets.

Crisp and juicy fruit surrounds silky, rich tannins in the full-bodied mouth. A light acidity carries the wine through a particularly long finish with fresh notes of licorice.

This truly great wine is easily able to wait until 2025 before being enjoyed.

Press Review

, George SAPE, 01/11/2010
« Ripe and rich, smoky and spiced aromas, with caramel, chocolate, and mocha aromas, black pepper, and deeply scented sweet black fruits; sweet, smooth, silky and beautifully polished textures; first rich black fruit flavors and then boosted with the addition of red fruit freshness; this wine borders on the opulent, but manages to stay in balance throughout; perfectly balanced and integrated, this is turning out to be one of the wines of the vintage along with its neighbor Ch. Margaux.  »

http://www.jancisrobinson.com, Jancis Robinson, 09/14/2009
« Deep brick-rimmed garnet. Bright and healthy. Plenty of leather and old furniture and undergrowth but still has a fine floral note - a violet fragrance – as well as the headiness of dark fruit in alcohol. An attractve note of dusty stones. Light lavender. Very perfumed. Touch of mint and cigar box and liquorice. Complex and fresh. On the palate, mouthwatering freshness, completely dissolved tannins and scented on the mid palate. Fine and long and really mouthwatering, Opens up to more capsicum on the nose and tobacco. Lots more liquorice on the finish. Going back at the end of the evening: meaty and gamey with aromas of truffles but in no way falling apart. Silky and fresh and lots of liquorice.
Drink 1995-2015  »

http://www.jancisrobinson.com, Jancis Robinson, 09/14/2009
« Deep brick-rimmed garnet. Bright and healthy. Plenty of leather and old furniture and undergrowth but still has a fine floral note - a violet fragrance – as well as the headiness of dark fruit in alcohol. An attractve note of dusty stones. Light lavender. Very perfumed. Touch of mint and cigar box and liquorice. Complex and fresh. On the palate, mouthwatering freshness, completely dissolved tannins and scented on the mid palate. Fine and long and really mouthwatering, Opens up to more capsicum on the nose and tobacco. Lots more liquorice on the finish. Going back at the end of the evening: meaty and gamey with aromas of truffles but in no way falling apart. Silky and fresh and lots of liquorice.
Drink 1995-2015  »

Weinwisser, René Gabriel et Wolfram Meister, 09/01/2006
« Aufhellendes Weinrot, leicht ziegelrot-bräunlicher Rand. Offenes, pflaumiges Bouquet, zarte Cabernet-Würze, an der Luft permanent zulegend, nach einer Viertestunde nussige Noten. Im Gaumen Charme pur, weich, samtig und sensationell balanciert, rotbeerig, aber auch Maulbeeren zeigend, gebündeltes, enorm langes Finale, gleichauf mit Château Margaux für ein sehr spannendes Kopf-an-Kopf-Rennen fûr die nächsten Jahre. »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 02/01/2005
« Ce vin accessible et épanoui, qui manque quelque peu de précision, présente une robe grenat foncé légérement ambrée. Actuellement à son apogée, il se caractérise par un nez de douce cerise, de prune et de groseille nuancé de réglisse, de champignon et de terre humide, qui jaillit littéralement du verre. Ce bouquet prélude à un ensemble assez massif, très parfumé et fruité, qui n'a pas la persistance ni la concentration des vins vraiment grandioses, mais qui est incontestablement séduisant - comme d'ailleurs nombre de crus de ce millésime.  »

La Revue du Vin de France, Pierre Casamayor, 09/01/2003
« La robe est encore très jeune. Grande complexité au nez sur des notes fumées (havane), sous-bois et fruits noirs. Grande fluidité et fraîcheur de tanins en bouche, avec une parfaite harmonie d'ensemble et un équilibre superbe. Grande longueur en finale, ce 1985 surpasse son prestigieux voisin Margaux par sa densité et sa maturité de fruit. Il reflète parfaitement la profil solaire de ce millésime.  »

Weinwisser, René Gabriel, 12/01/2002
« Sehr reife Farbe. Nussiges, an einen grossen, reifen Côte de Nuits erinnerndes Bouquet, gekochte Erdbeeren, dezente Kaffeenoten, gleichzeitig ein feiner Hauch grünwürzigen Cabernets, Lobeerblatt. Im Gaumen tänzerisch und wieder burgundisch, dezente Leder - und Pfifferlingnoten, im Finale berauschende Margaux-Süsse, feiner La-Tâche-Dattelwürzton.  »

Rogov's Ramblings, Daniel Rogov, 10/01/2002
« As always the precise blend of the Palmer varies from year to year depending on the winemaker's decision. This year the blend was 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby-purple in color, starting to show a bit of brick red, but with a still complex and spicy nose, and with flavors that include cassis, tobacco and licorice, this full bodied and intense wine is now shows great harmony. With a remarkably long finish on which you will find cedar wood and vanilla, the wine is drinking very well now but should continue to cellar comfortably until 2012 – 2015  »

The Vine, Clive Coates, 01/01/2002
« Mature, fullish colour. Soft, aromatic, classy and seductive on the nose. Now mature and velvety. This is in total contrast to the 1986 but equally good. Medium-full body. Now round and even mellow. Splendidly complete and harmonious. Great subtlety and class. It doesn't have the size of the 1986 but it has lots of dimension and complexity. very long. Lovely finish. Very fine.  »

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, 09/01/1997
« Ce vin, qui s'est toujours montré élégant et fruité, présente une robe d'un rubis profond légèrement nuancé d'ambre et d'orange sur le bord. Il est précoce grâce à sa faible acidité, mais il n'a ni la profondeur, ni la richesse en extrait que l'on attend de Palmer dans les grands millésimes. Il s'agit néanmoins d'un ensemble bien fait et richement fruité, très parfumé aussi, qui s'exprime tout en rondeur et qui sera parfait dans les prochaines années. A boire jusqu'en 2004.  »

, Michael Broadbent, 06/01/1991
« Robe opaque, intense. Nez somptueux, doux, vif, parfumé, fruité. Fruit tendre, mûr et riche en bouche, mais finale tannique. Délicieux. En évolution. »

BORDEAUX Aujourd'hui, Franck Dubourdieu, James Lawther et Christophe Tupinier, 11/30/-0001
« Palmer a besoin de temps pour s'épanouir et ce 85 en donne une belle illustration dans un style d'une extrême finesse. Le fruit est à la fois frais et plein de gourmandise. »

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