More on the 2002 vintage

Hail hit the Médoc on 19 September, leaving St Estèphe particularly devastated. This will have some terrible effects for individual proprietors but Bordeaux would arguably be embarrassed by a top quality vintage not. There is still lots of 2001 in the pipeline, and this is not an economic climate in which a huge price hike will be sensible or welcomed.

Those living or travelling in France, incidentally, should rush to take advantage of the current Foire aux Vins in the French supermarkets which are particularly good this year. These effectively act as outlets for over-full producers' cellars and there are more bargains than usual this year.

There's been an awful lot of weather about this year (see previous reports). Much of Spain has been hit by unusually high rainfall just before or during vintage (though of course this varies enormously in a country as big as this), as has Greece.

Good news from those who have tasted the results, however, is that 2002 looks to be the best vintage yet from Argentina.