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.
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).
Depending on your taste, elegant 1985 – not exuberant 1982 – is the finest vintage of the 1980s.
The 1985 Mouton Rothschild label was by the Flemish Expressionist Paul Delvaux (1897-1994).
It shows two young girls in a vineyard, drawn together by the lure of a bunch of grapes (vineyards in Pauillac, not pubs in Knightsbridge or Borough)…