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grothI was not overly impressed with this wine when it was released. The dense fruit, obvious oak, and striking acidity were overbearing making the wine seem almost rustic. But time has been very, very good to it. It is now a seamless beauty, a sumptuous marriage of elegance and lip-smacking flavor.

Deep, rich cedar frames ripe blackberry, dried cherry, and quiet fig notes. Vanilla, forest floor and nutmeg round out the complex aroma profile. The oak notes are beautiful right now, well balanced against the fruit but vibrant without commanding too much attention.

The palate features a gorgeous evolution, the fruit full and round passing into coffee and tobacco at midpalate where it quickly acquires dynamic range due to shapely acidity which enters early, and a broad, expansive foundation from well seasoned tannins, the texture a blend of powder and cashmere. The medium length finish is mouthwatering, highlighting a trace of charcoal and finally dried licorice as it dwindles with languid ease, solemnly and steadily forsaking us.

The wine moves with lush dignity, large enough to be called magnificent without being grandiose, relaxed, self-assured and large of spirit, it resonated with the lush, generous voice and melody of K.D. Lang’s Constant Craving.

Note: The 1985 vintage of this wine was the first Napa Cab to receive 100 pts. from Robert Parker. It is drinking at its peak now. It will certainly last another 5 years but may not improve.

Score: 94

Price: $123

Alc: 14.9%

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