An uneven year in the Rhône Valley, producing a mixture of some very fine wines and some wines that were distinctly below par.
In the Northern Rhône, the summer was warm and dry and by the beginning of September growers` expectations were high. However, the heavens opened with a vengeance in mid-September and rot became a serious hazard. The harvest did not start until October 6th and even then growers had to make a very careful selection in order to discard physiologically unripe grapes and those affected by rot. The best growers have produced some excellent fruit-driven and well-structured wines that are drinking well now - Côte-Rôtie was the most successful appellation.
In the Southern Rhône, the harvest began on 6th October and went on until the end of the month. Some very good ageworthy Châteauneuf-du-Papes were produced.