Bordeaux 1985: Tasting in 2002
The 1985 vintage was just one of many successful vintages for Bordeaux during the 1980s. Both 1982 and 1983 had their excellent wines, the former across the board, the latter particularly in Margaux. The 1981 vintage also has its merits, and in 1980 there were some excellent Sauternes produced. Only 1984 disappointed.
The year began with a cold snap, and this was followed by some cool, damp Spring weather. July was hot but also wet, whereas August was cold but at least it was dry. To some, the 1984 vintage may have begun to look more attractive. The wise, however, kept their hands in their pockets, and they received their reward in September, harvest month, which was the driest and hottest it had been since the weather records began. Harvesting took place towards the end of the month, taking full advantage of this wonderful end to the growing season. The Merlot grapes were ripe and of good quality, but the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon were less impressive. Those that delayed the harvest of Cabernet into October reaped further rewards.