Comet tales | Château Lafite Rothschild 1985

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Château Lafite Rothschild 1985 has an embossed comet on the bottle to commemorate the visit of Halley’s Comet that year…. 🍷 💫

On 13th March 1986, the European Space Agency spacecraft Giotto approached the nucleus of Halley’s Comet at a distance of 596 kilometres. The comet had been visible from earth since late 1985.

“Comet years” have often been great French wine vintages: 1811 (Halley), 1858 (Donati), 1861 (C/1861 J1 [sic]), and 1985 (Halley again). Halley also passed by in 1835 but that’s not known as a good vintage.

Back on planet Earth, the 1985 Bordeaux winemaking year began with an exceptionally cold January, which (unlike 1956) didn’t damage the vineyards much (because the vines were dormant). Many château gardens were not so lucky.

In February, a meeting was held of château owners, merchants, and brokers at which it was decided that the 1985 wines would be released at the same price as the 1984s (which were nearly twice as much as the superior 1982s).

It was the driest September on record and hotter than 1959 or 1982, though not as hot as 1961 or 1964, and the largest red wine crop to date, exceeding 1982 by 12%.

In those days there was no green harvesting (removing grape bunches to boost the quality of the remaining bunches).

Château Lafite Rothschild 1985 was offered to UK consumers at about £400 per case, which made it the then most expensive vintage in real terms of the 20th century.

Depending on your taste, 1985 – not 1982 – is the finest vintage of the 1980s.

Lafite 1985 is a perfumed fine wine with a beautiful flavour and texture – absolutely perfect for drinking now now now.

No need to wait until the next perihelion of Halley’s Comet in July 2061… ☄️

  • Château Lafite Rothschild wine for sale at Arden Fine Wines
    Château Lafite Rothschild 1985 (1 x 75cl) PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THIS WINE!
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