An excellent year for the Northern Rhône, but altogether more mixed and uneven in the Southern Rhône. In the North, and in particular Côte-Rôtie,Hermitage, and the northern St. Joseph vineyards, climatic conditions were ideal throughout the growing season. This has resulted in deeply coloured and concentrated wines designed for long term keeping. In the Southern Rhône conditions were less uniform and it is more a year to select your wine by grower rather than by appellation. The top Châteauneuf-du-Pape estates, such as Beaucastel and Château Rayas, overcame the difficult flowering conditions of June, and, when the warm August days arrived, were able to achieve optimum ripeness in the vineyard and thus produce wines of immense finesse.