Robert Parker 95
“Medium garnet-brick colored, the 1985 Cheval Blanc sashays out of the glass with provocative notes of sandalwood, cinnamon stick, cardamom, dried lavender and wilted roses over a core of new leather, cigar box, prunes, raisin cake and dusty soil. Medium-bodied, soft and silken textured, it has tons of mature, melt-in-your-mouth flavors and a very long exotic spice-laced finish.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038
(49 h/h): Very bright red. Ripe red cherry, plums macerated in alcohol and a floral element on the delicate nose. Then rich, ripe and dense in the mouth, with strongly saline, persistent flavors of dark berries, spice cake, leather and cocoa. There’s lovely sweetness to this wine, but also a slightly funky hint of earthiness at the back that falls just short of gamey. Finishes fleshy and long, with slightly drying tannins. Still, this is a lovely medium-bodied, softer style of Cheval Blanc that is a joy to drink. Though there was less water stress on the Right Bank than on the Left in 1985, Pierre Lurton told me that the hints of game (which he felt were there) and earthiness suggest a dry year. The year actually featured a cool and humid spring, followed by a rainy but warm July, then a dry, warm August. The harvest was late (October 1-17), allowing the estate to take advantage of the ideal September weather conditions.
Served blind at the end of a run of Pomerols and quite at home in this sequence but denser, more savoury, a little gamey and still so alive! Great concentration.
Anticipated maturity: 1995-2025