Letter from the Languedoc

First, a very brief overview of recent, and current, vintages in the Languedoc:

2004 – far too early to be definitive of course but it has been a strangely late, stormy summer. Disease pressure, as they say in Australia, is a concern.

2003 – that hot, hot, hot summer produced musts with so much sugar that many a cuvée simply refused to ferment to dryness. Many whites are just too alcoholic to be refreshing and there will be some pretty bizarre reds on the market eventually.

2002 – there are some good, well-balanced, fairly elegant wines but all that rain...