Poured from magnum, the 1985 La Tache is surprisingly paler in colour than I might have expected. The nose is very refined with touches of maraschino, limestone, strawberry preserve...the quintessential pure Pinote really. The palate is medium-bodied and perfectly balanced. This is an understated Grand Cru with filigree tannins and a refined finish with nuanced lapsang souchong embroidered on the finish. It is not La Tache that boldly goes out to prove itself. It is not the great ever produced. But it is an absolute masterclass in understatement. Tasted November 2012. (NM, Wine Journal)
1985 is a wonderfully complex La Tâche for current drinking, though as is the case with the 1989, the vintage’s lower acidity levels robs the wine of just a bit of the inimitable “tang” found in the best vintages. The bouquet is deep, beginning to develop secondary elements, and shows off the plummy and dark berry side of La Tâche found in riper years. Scents of plums and berries are augmented by notes of pheasant, coffee, fresh nutmeg, sous bois, earth, herb tones and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, lush and elegant, with excellent focus, a big, broad brush stroke, plenty of plummy fruit at the core, and a long, complex and velvety finish. The 1985 is now into its apogee of maturity and is drinking marvelously, though with all the constituent components in place to continue cruising along marvelously for two or three more decades. The 1985 is a more complete wine than the 1989 La Tâche, with better mid-palate depth and a just a touch better structure. However, like the 1989, the lower acidity of this vintage makes the wine seem to be missing just a bit of the sizzle of brighter vintages. Still, this is very, very fine juice. (Drink between 2000-2025).
Red to brown center, orange edge. Seductive fruit and spice bouquet, with fleeting notes of cherry, kirsch and rose. Warm and spicy on the palate, elegant yet sumptuous, showing fine length and harmony. This turns more acidic and fragile after about an hour in the glass.--La Tâche non-blind vertical. (BS)
While I have heard and read that brilliant bottles of the '85 La Tâche exist, I have never experienced one and I have had this wine more than 25 times including twice in April, 2018. So while I concede the possibility that such profound bottles do exist, I am frankly dubious. A highly complex nose offers lovely spice on the completely mature aromas with equally complex and fully resolved medium-bodied flavors that deliver a long, fine and pure finish. There is no benefit to holding the '85 further and even from magnum format (see herein), I would be inclined to begin looking for occasions to enjoy it; to be clear, it's not in decline but it is as good as it's ever going to be.
The richness and intensity of the flavors marries nicely with the 1985 La Tâche. Now fully mature and quite pretty, the 1985 is peaking and not likely to improve from here. Exotic spice, dried herbs, rose petal and mint are all laced into the subtle finish. (AG)
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