A wonderful vintage throughout the Rhône Valley with pride of place going to the gloriously ripe and succulent northern Rhône reds. The winter was long and hard and was followed by a cold but dry spring. After unseasonably cold weather at the beginning of May the weather improved and the vines enjoyed a healthy flowering in early June. The summer was hot and dry (with the exception of some rain on the 15th August) and the harvest began on September 16th and lasted through to October 11th.
The wines from the northern Rhône, and in particular from Côte Rôtie and Hermitage, were forward, ripe and seductively fleshy in youth. The best wines have aged very gracefully and are now marvellously smooth and, while lacking the depth and extract of the 78s and 83s, will continue to give pleasure for many years to come. The southern Rhône reds were rich and powerful in youth - most should have been drunk by now. The top Châteauneufs du Papes from Château Rayas and Château Beaucastel are still drinking superbly well.