A very good vintage in the Rhône Valley (especially in the Southern Rhône) though one that had greatness snatched from it by the September rains. Winter was very mild, ensuring that bud break occurred early in March and then temperatures fell, resulting in flowering being delayed until the end of May. June and July saw good weather, leading through to August when temperatures soared to over 40 degrees Celsius. The mid-September rains hit the Northern Rhône growers hardest, although the vineyards on steep slopes (e.g. those in Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage) were not unduly affected. Some excellent wines have been produced but they have been overshadowed by the richer and more opulent 95s. In the Southern Rhône many growers managed to harvest their grapes before the rains hit and some very fine wines (particularly in Châteauneuf-du-Pape) have been produced.