Languedoc-Roussillon vintages

2013 was a tricky vintage in the south of France with yields of coulure-afflicted Grenache down 50-60%. Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan fared better and an Indian summer compensated for the cold wet spring, bringing the grapes to full ripeness. Cooler conditions generally resulted in fresher than usual whites from Viognier, Vermentino and Roussane.

2012 has been described as the worst the Languedoc has seen for 22 years. Yields were low thanks to drought at one stage and mildew at another. Late, uneven ripening resulted in wines without fully developed varietal character in many instances. It certainly was not a complete disaster but overall the feeling is one of disappointment.

2011
A rainier year meant that volumes were finally back to normal after three lean years - however, it also created a problem with rot in the vineyards. A difficult year.

2010 Quantity is down - again - but quality is good, with minimal rot thanks to dry, windy conditions in August and September.

2009 A warm and smaller than average year, especially for whites. Quality is very high quality across the region.

2008 Variable weather and drought in the summer made this a challenging year, but has created some concentrated, fruity and aromatic reds.

2007
Very cool, grey summer left grapes struggling to ripen properly.

2006 Relatively soft wines for medium-term drinking.

2005 Almost great but rain at harvest time diluted the potential somewhat.

2004 Traditional growing season. Very good, well-balanced wines that lasted well.

2003 The heatwave resulted in some very strange musts with such low acids and such high sugars than some fermentations got stuck, resulting in sweetish wines. Definitely not for the long term.

2002 Extremely variable. An unusually grey summer ended with disastrous floods in the Gard département in the far east of the region although many growers in the hills managed to make good wine.

2001 Summer was so hot and dry that some vines shut down and stopped ripening. Rain in September was a relief for those who picked after it although the wines picked too early may be uncomfortably tough. White wines are particularly concentrated.

2000 Devastating floods in November 1999 damaged some vineyards, as did storms in June and July but the summer was warm and dry (though not excessively so) and was followed by a prolonged harvest with some very good quality wine. Lovely, round, supple wines with ripe tannins.

1999 An exceptionally dry winter was followed by heavy rainfall, and some hail in Roussillon, at the end of April. Wines are respectable but not as exciting as the vintages immediately before and after.

1998 Very good, small crop.

1997 Large crop, difficult season.

1996 Large crop and a rainy summer which affected reds more than whites.

1995 Excellent ripeness and concentration in reds, especially in the hills.

1994 Probably France's most successful region: a small crop with real richness and concentration.

1993 After a wonderful summer this was an exciting vintage.

1992 Irregular quality inevitable after localised autumn downpours.

1991 A really outstanding year of rich, dense and big-structured wines, especially in Roussillon.

1990 Generous weather gave excellent wines that were fruity and delicious.

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