Much younger than the three previous vintages of Spottswoode with much more acidity showing through (a characteristic of this vintage). Dark ruby with more purple in the color, a nice layered attack with licorice, cedar wood, tobacco leaf and black and red currants, the wine has terrific aromatics and is by far the most perfumed of the first four vintages. There is a slight abruptness in the finish, no doubt caused by the noticeable acid. This was an identical blend to the 1984, with 4% Cabernet Franc with a balance of Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine still has some upside, but seems largely at its peak of deliciousness where it should stay for another 15 or so years. (RP)
The California wine community rejoiced with the picking and first tastings of the 1985s because it appeared that we had found a French-like year in which elegance and balance with lovely, refined fruit would give us some of the finest wines ever seen. Well, it has not turned out that way in the long run, but Spottswoode's '85 does come closer to Bordeaux in its tobacco-scented maturity than we normally see in these parts. It is to be drunk up now and will yield real pleasure in its atypical complexity. Two stars when first reviewed.
Medium red with a hint of brown. Evolved, balsamic aromas of currant, black tea and coffee grounds. Still some fruit left, as well as a brown sugar sweetness, with strong juicy acidity and firm tannins keeping the wine alive. (ST)
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