Lynch Bages 1985
IB (In Bond): Price excludes UK duty & VAT | DP (Duty Paid): Price includes UK duty and excludes VAT
Tasting Notes and Scores
Fully mature with some amber at the edge, the medium-bodied, elegant 1985 offers notes of bay leaves, roasted herbs, black currants and sweet cherries. This vintage has always had an early appeal and seductiveness. It is unlikely to get any better, so owners should consume it over the next 5-7 years. Drink: 2011 - 2018
-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 196 Aug 2011
The 1985 has been totally disarming, seductive, and sexy since birth. Its corpulence, medium to full-bodied personality, low acidity, attractive silkiness, and copious quantities of herb-tinged cassis fruit have always made this wine a winner. It is beginning to display a few signs that it is at its peak of maturity and will not get any better. In fact, it might be best consumed over the next 5-10 years. As it sat in the glass, the 1985 faded more than any other vintage, but its immense up-front pleasure cannot be denied. This is a wine to decant right before serving, and not to linger over. It is a beautiful, elegant style of Lynch Bages. It is sure to please both connoisseurs and neophytes.
Tasted single blind at the 1985 Bordeaux horizontal, the 1985 Château Lynch Bages was pitted against two other wines, both First Growths, and it more than held its own. In many ways it is a forerunner for the brilliant 1989 and 1990 that Jean-Michel crafted, though the 1985 has always been more elegant and comely in style. The nose is impressive after three decades with melted tar, a touch of peppermint and delineated black fruit that seem to gain intensity with each passing moment in the glass. Strangely those secondary notes of bay leaf and dried herbs make way for more primal fruit-derived scents with aeration! The palate does not disappoint. Medium rather than full-bodied, beautifully defined tannins and supremely well-judged acidity, this Lynch-Bages is just so well balanced. Hints of black truffle and sandalwood unfold towards the finish that has disarming purity and great persistence. If you want to know why the 1855 Classification screwed up placing Lynch Bages as a Fifth Growth - taste the wonderful 1985 and then the 1989 and 1990 (though the latter pair have greater longevity). Tasted July 2015.
I have had great and less great bottles of this vintage over the years. The 1985 was the magazine's Wine of the Year in 1988. Today it shows loads of fruit, with blackberry, licorice and fresh herb character. Full, round and velvety. Long and delicious.--Lynch-Bages non-blind vertical. James Suckling