This wine has the dark garnet color so typical of our Cabernet. The nose has the quintessential Montelena character of black cherry, loamy earth, and spice. 'Layered' is the best single term to describe both the bouquet, with chocolate and oak undertones, and the flavors which follow, earthy-berry fruit and many spicy complexities. Since 1985 was a cooler season the body is moderately textured. The wine is bright and bold in the front, tasty and smooth throughout, with lingering fruit on the finish, resulting in excellent balance. We feel this Cabernet is a very classical and traditional expression of our vineyard and though it drinks well now, it holds only greater promise for further development as it ages.
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International Wine Cellar
July 199893+ Deep ruby-red; barely a sign of development. Floral, cedary aromas of crystallized berries (raspberry, cassis, mulberry) and graphite; extremely youthful. Thick, large-scaled and very strong in extract; layered and deep. Strong but harmonious acidity gives the wine a vibrant character. Conveys a sense of totally expressed soil. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and superb sweetness. From a rather low-alcohol year with high natural acidity and lower-than-average yield.
April 199592 Consistently a low to mid-ninety point Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Montelena's 1985 remains frightfully backward at nearly ten years of age. The 1985, 1987, and 1991 have the potential to be three of the longest-lived Montelena Cabernets this fine winery has ever produced. In this tasting, the 1985 was unevolved and youthful, with an opaque ruby/purple color, and a closed but promising nose of cassis fruit, earth, minerals, and oak. Full-bodied, marvelously concentrated and pure, this highly extracted, muscular, blockbuster effort requires a minimum of 5-6 more years of cellaring. A candidate for 20-30 years of longevity, it should prove to be one of the great Montelena Cabernet Sauvignons, but patience is required.