Superb vintage. Can be drunk young (from 2022) and has a great ageing potential.
The reds are displaying great concentration, purity of fruit, fine tannins and good acidity. This is definitely a vintage that will hold well in the cellar, but it is also very approachable when young due to its freshness of fruit and ripe tannins.
Early spring witnessed plenty of rain which allowed most vineyards to resist the summer drought – Temperatures climbed over 40°C in late June. That said, the vines started to get very thirsty by mid-August, and there was a danger that ripening might block. Fortunately, late summer rains came to the rescue, followed by several days of Mistral winds which kept any potential rot at bay.
Good flowering in late May produced healthy grape bunches. The summer days were hot, but nights were cool from August and this allowed the grapes to hold on to their acidity and bring freshness to the wines – so important for the ageing potential of the wines.
Excellent vintage though very low yields. Drink from 2020 with medium ageing potential.
Flowering was much better than 2017 which initially gave the growers hope that they would produce a bigger crop than in the prior year. However, very rainy days in June were intermixed with hot, still days which produced the perfect conditions for downy mildew to take hold of the vines. Rain is normally followed by Mistral wind in this part of the world which usually prevents humidity and the fungal diseases that feed of it. Not this year. Mildew was rampant.
Fortunately, dry and hot conditions allowed the non-affected berries to ripen producing highly aromatic wines with soft tannins and good concentration, though acidity needed to be corrected in the winemaking.
Excellent concentrated vintage with small yields on Grenache. Drink reds from 2021 and has good ageing potential
Heavy rain during flowering in May led to poor fruit-set on the Grenache and was the major reason why Grenache yields were ultimately 25 to 65% lower than normal. The summer was very hot so ripening caught up for lost time, particularly the Grenache as there were fewer berries to be ripened by the vine. However, the cool Mistral winds that blew in late August slowed things down by reducing day and night-time temperatures. This helped to preserve acidity in many wines. The harvest ended up being a couple of weeks later than normal for most growers.
Wine styles were also different to normal as the lower quantities of Grenache (poor fruit set in the Spring) resulted in many wines having a higher proportion of Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Blockbuster vintage. Can be drunk young (from 2018) and aged, and the top wines can be aged for decades. Remarkable!
Things started well with good weather during flowering and this was followed by near-perfect weather conditions for ripening. Hot days with cool nights preserved a wonderful acidity in the wines and rain came just when it was needed, and not too much. Yields were not at maximum but very good nonetheless. Red wines have great concentration with wonderfully fine tannins which is why the wines could be drunk quite young. The top wines will last for decades but it is hard to keep the cork-screw in the draw.
Superb vintage though needs time to open up. Drink from 2019 and will age very well.
Good rain over winter and into the early months of Spring provided a decent water table for what was a very hot and dry summer. There we a few problems with flowering on the Grenache, so yields were lower but this resulted in extra concentration in the final wines.
The hot and dry summer caused concern that ripening would block, particularly on the young vines with shallow roots. However, late summer storms brought things back to normal and the cool Mistral winds that followed the storms reduced the night-time temperatures. The cool nights and warm dry days of September allowed the grapes to reach perfect levels of ripeness.
The concentrated red wines need a little more cellaring than normal to open up. You will be able to start drinking the 2016’s before the 2015’s.
Decent vintage with some variability. Stick to the good producers and drink earlier than normal.
Growers were delighted with good flowering in May after the dismal yields of 2013. However, the frequent summer rains, accompanied by a lack of sunlight made it difficult to sufficiently ripen all the grapes on the vine and the tight packed bunches were susceptible to mildew and later, rot.
Good wines were produced by the growers that cancelled their brief August holidays in order to thin the bunches (allowing the remaining grapes the chance to fully ripen) and the vine canopies to improve air circulation and thus chase away humidity and fungal diseases.
Most wines are lighter than normal and do not possess the tannin and acid levels that would allow them to age well. However, many top producers opted not to bottle their top (old vine) wines in order to blend them into their main wine. As a result, the canny buyer was able to get some great value wines! That said, the wines should be drunk young to appreciate their wonderful fruitiness. Lower alcohol levels are also no bad thing!
Variable quality, some excellent. Drink in the medium term.
A cold and wet winter continued into the Spring which was disastrous for flowering, particularly on the Grenache. Losses of up to 60% were reported by growers. Real heat only arrived in July but it continued through the harvest which continued well into October.
It is difficult to generalise about the quality of reds. As ever, you need to stick with your tried and trusted producers in difficult vintages. Many top producers opted not to bottle their top (old vine) wines in order to blend them into their main wines. Together with higher levels of Syrah and Mourvèdre in the blend, these “main” wines could if anything, be a little more chunky than normal.
But in general, the reds wines are mostly lighter than normal but with good acidity (due to the cooler summer). Higher acidity means the wines will be a little austere in their early years. From an ageing perspective, this partly makes up for the lack of tannin. That said, I recommend drinking the reds in the medium term to get past the early austerity and into the fruit before it fades with not much else coming after it.
Fantastic for the whites that rejoiced in true white wine growing conditions!
Excellent vintage. Drink from 2015 and will age well.
A cold and wet Spring caused irregular flowering and ultimately lower yields, but not drastically so. The summer weather was ideal with hot days, cool nights from mid-August and just enough rainfall. Persistent Mistral winds from mid-August saved Provence from the poor weather that affected the harvest in other regions.
Fruit flavours are precise and the tannins give just enough grip without being overbearing. The wines are well balanced and should age very well.
Good vintage with some variability. Drink from 2014 and drink in the medium-term.
A warm spring ensured decent flowering, but a cooler and wetter July delayed the onset of veraison (ripening). Fortunately, August and the Autumn was hot and dry which allowed the grapes to ripen, though the tannins are a little hard on some of the wines following bottling. These tannins should soften out nicely with age.
The wines are fruity and of medium concentration so most of the wines are best drunk in the medium term. Top cuvées will last longer but less long and less interestingly than 2009 and 2010
Marvellous vintage with great concentration and fruit. Drink from 2013 and will age very well.
The cold and windy conditions in Spring was bad news for the ever-sensitive flowers of Grenache which drastically reduced the yields. Flowering was late, as too was the veraison (ripening), so grapes finished their ripening slowly through the dry, warm days and cool nights of the Autumn. This allowed the juice to hold on to acidity and the grape skins to ripen fully resulting in finely grained tannins.
These concentrated but well-balanced wines should age very well, particularly the top cuvées.
Excellent vintage. Drink from 2012 and will age very well.
Benign Spring weather allowed for decent flowering and ultimately decent yields. July and August were very hot with some issues about water stress but the rain eventually came in August followed by the Mistral wind which banished any thoughts of humidity.
The wines are full-bodied and powerful with a lot of wines hitting 15.5% alcohol. The aromatics are excellent with many wines exhibiting distinctive stewed red fruit characteristics. The wines should very well and it will be interesting to see how the 2009 fruit flavours evolve.
Average vintage though some bargains can be found. Mostly lighter wines that should be drunk young to appreciate the fruit.
A very difficult year which required a lot of work in the vineyards to harvest healthy well-balanced grapes. As a result, there was a lot of variation in quality. Many top producers have opted not to bottle their top (old vine) wines in order to blend them into their main wines, so some great value wines can be sourced.
Plenty of rain, particularly into September threatened to wipe out the harvest but the Mistral saved the show from mid-September. It was not soon enough to prevent rot installing itself in the vines but three weeks of major Mistral stopped the rot from spreading. Hand harvesting was essential in order to discard rotten and unripe grapes.
Superb vintage. Drink from 2009 and for another 10 years, more so for top cuvées.
A wet spring led to a hot and dry summer and a long Indian summer. The wines are rich and concentrated and showing off lovely fine tannins. The fruit flavours of fresh and ripe. This is a wonderful vintage which can either be drunk young for its freshness and supple tannins, or aged for more than ten years to observe how this classic vintage evolves. Buy plenty!
Excellent vintage. Drink from 2009. Could age very well.
Thanks to a cooler than normal August, the young wines I have tasted are displaying very bright fruit with plenty of freshness in addition to good concentration. These wines should hold very well into the late 2010’s and longer for top cuvées.
Superb Vintage. Drink from 2009 and keep for up to 10 years for most reds and up to 20 years for top cuvées.
The Spring rains were followed by perfect (warm and dry) conditions for flowering. The heat kicked off early in June and lasted until the first week of August when the Mistral winds cooled things right down. This was essential as it slowed down ripening to allow the grapes to retain a level of freshness and acquire their full aromatic complexity.
The wines are showing great concentration and fruit. This is a big vintage both in quality and in quantity. I expect the top wines to last for up to 20 years.
Very good vintage though yields are low. Drink from 2007 and into the medium-term.
Another year of low rainfall resulted in reduced yields, but the wines are showing good purity of fruit even if they lack a little tannin. The quality appears to be more consistent across the region than was witnessed in 2003.
The wines are very approachable in their youth. The cru wines can be drunk up to 10 years from the vintage date, depending on the quality of the cuveé but I would tend to drink them around the 5 year mark.
Good vintage if you like dry tannins. Demands fatty food. Variable quality. Wait until 2008 and then drink up.
The summer was crazy hot and dry from June right through to mid-September. The winds were straight off the Sahara and it felt as if you were living in a blast-furnace. Sugar levels climbed quickly in the grapes during August which presented growers with the dilemma of either picking early to avoid excessive alcohol, or waiting to allow the fruit flavours to develop and the tannins to soften…. oh, and the Gods to answers prayers for rain.
Most growers picked early but the wines have come in with some pretty harsh tannins – sold locally as “spicy tannins”. No, just hard! I am not convinced that these tannins will soften enormously with age.
The wines are powerful and very ripe.
Growers in cooler parts like in Gigondas and daredevils who waited for the late September rain produced some great wines. When to drink? I would wait for four or five years for the tannins to calm down a bit where you still have the opportunity enjoy the primary fruits with a bit of secondary fruit evolution. That said, I will keep a few good bottles for a lot longer – as research! Very much demands a fatty food to absorb those tannins.
Poor vintage. Some bright spots. Drink young.
Mon Dieu! It was all going so well. The summer was warm and dry, then the heavens opened in the second week of September. Rainy days were mixed with hot, still days. The Mistral winds were nowhere to be seen. The grapes gorged themselves with water. Rot was everywhere. You could smell it the moment you entered the vines.
Most growers sold off their production in bulk to negotiants. Some growers managed to produce some decent wines from highly filtrant soils and with ruthless selection.
Excellent vintage with decent acidity. Drink from 2005 and can be aged up to 20 years for top cuvées.
Grenache suffered from poor flowering during May which reduced the yields. The summer was very hot and dry. The Mistral winds kicked in at the end of August and blew for two weeks. Alcohol levels are higher than average but the acidity is reasonable for most of the wines I have tasted. The hot summer had the effect of speeding up the grape maturity before the skins had a chance to fully ripen, so the tannins are a bit hard on the young wines. These will soften with age and the decent acidity means the top cuvées should age for many years.
Good vintage though variable in quality. Drink from 2003 and into the medium term.
Good flowering helped contribute to big yields. Growing conditions were excellent during the summer with hot days and just enough rain. A good proportion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape had picked before heavy rains arrived in the third week of September resulting in mostly powerful, rich wines (from this Cru). Results are little bit more mixed for those picking after the rains but still plenty to enjoy.
Decent vintage with variable quality. Drink from 2002 and into the medium-term.
This was a difficult vintage for the growers and the best wines come from those who put the hours into their vineyards. Heavy rainfall in September compounded the problems. Good growers have managed to produce some very enjoyable wines but there is a little too much variation in quality. I would drink the top cuvées five to ten years from the vintage date.
Wonderfully dense, rich reds with very fine tannins. Grenache was on top form. What a relief after the insipid offerings of 1997 and 1996. The top cuvées should age for 20 to 30 years.