Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon 1985: Drink now

A generally good, but unexciting, vintage

Weather Conditions

Washington came of age in the 1980s, but even by 1985 its total production was a modest 40,000 tons harvested. It was a warm and dry year by local standards – white grapes were more widely cultivated than reds. The growing season was characterized by ample sunshine in July and August and there was virtually no rain until December.

The Cabernets were tough and tannic in their youth, but the best evolved well over their first decade. Washington red wines from this vintage should still have some youthfulness left today. Overall, 1985 was better for reds than white wines. In retrospect, winemakers maintain it was the third best red wine vintage of the decade after 1989 and 1983.

Best Appellations

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Best Producers

Leonetti Reserve, Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon, Columbia Winery (Red Willow Vyd) Chateau Ste. Michelle.