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1985 continues to be one of wine's best years

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Some of the most exciting news in wine is not new but rather confirmation of old news _ that 1985 was an exceptional vintage. That year somehow produced harvests of great quantity and quality in most of the world's wine regions. California winemakers were particularly impressed with the promise of the 1985 reds.

Some 1985 cabernet sauvignons released in the last two years proved that the vintage would drink well when young. The best cabernets, however, are aged longer before selling and reach their best five to 10 years after bottling.

Only now are wineries starting to release the better cabernets from 1985, the reserves, meritage blends and others that have aged at least four years.

And they're terrific, even better than the young'uns. The just released '85 cabs at the Disney tasting all had deep color, full aroma and rich taste. They were Beaulieu, Chappellet, Clos Pegase, Clos du Bois, Guenoc, Markham, Sterling, Stevenot, Robert Pepi, Merryvale, Geyser Peak.

If it's not the vintage of the century, 1985 still looks like the vintage for the century, the one to buy for the year 2000.

Better yet, buy more than one so that you can check on it through the decade.