1985 Gruaud Larose, St-Julien
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fully mature, the dark garnet-colored 1985 exhibits notes of tapenade, earth, sweet berry and black currant fruit, and possibly a hint of black truffles. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, and fleshy, with no hard edges. Sweet fruit, plenty of glycerin, and a very seductive style make for a very sumptuous, complex, fully mature Gruaud-Larose. (RP, Bordeaux Book)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium-deep ruby-red, with only a hint of amber at the rim. Straightforward nose offers hints of redcurrant, orange zest, clove and faded flowers, but this is less complex and deep than the 1983 or 1986. The floral quality gains with aeration, becoming fresher and more perfumed. Smooth and suave on entry, with delicate, pure red berry, orange, spice and cedar flavors, then a tad chunky on the back half. This Gruaud seems to lack a little concentration and refinement, but I like its sweetness and fleshy texture. A very good food wine that's drinking beautifully right now and won't gain much by further aging.
92 points Neal Martin: "Tasted at The Ledbury Gruaud Larose lunch, the 1985 is a lovely Saint Julien although it is not quite as convincing as it was five or six years ago. It is still remarkably tight on the nose and it takes ten or fifteen minutes to unwind. It blossoms nicely with tertiary aromas, cloves, brown sugar and sage. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of brettanomyces perhaps. I like the acidity here that seems completely in synch with the fruit, touches of rosemary and dried blood inflecting the decayed red fruits with a long, languorous finish. Lovely. A point. Tasted June 2011." (Wine Journal, eRobertParker.com, 1/2012)