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1985 DRC Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tâche Grand Cru (2.5cm fill, signs of past seepage)

SKU #960077 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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)  (5/2013)

94 points John Gilman

 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).  (6/2003)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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)  (6/2006)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 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.  (4/2018)

92 points Vinous

 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)  (3/2016)


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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Burgundy

- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north.