2002 was a small harvest that has yielded some first-rate, well-structured, stylish wines, especially from the Médoc and the Graves, with the best wines requiring considerable cellaring before they reach their peak.
After a mild, relatively dry spring there followed a cooler than normal summer culminating in a wet August. A major factor early in the year was the cool spring that upset the flowering, causing coulure and millerandage that distressed the early-developing and more fragile Merlot grape. However, Bordeaux was blessed with a glorious Indian summer through September and October and this, combined with the vastly improved technology available, saved the harvest. 2002 is the smallest crop since 1991, but the quality is far, far better.
The Médocs are the stars with overall quality being lower on the Right Bank (St Emilion and Pomerol) where the problems with the Merlot were more acute. But, even there, there were some excellent examples, even if they probably won't have the same longevity as those from the Médocs. The 2002 Sauternes, meanwhile, were disappointing in comparison to the epic 2001s.