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Northern Rhône


Very challenging climatic conditions – like the seven plagues of Egypt, according to Michel Chapoutier – nonetheless resulted in very promising quality, with high levels of concentration yet with fine natural balance among the Syrah. 2017 Seems to be the third good vintage in a row for the northern Rhône.


Hail in April damaged some of the crop in Hermitage, meaning yields are reduced – though quality isn’t necessarily compromised. Indeed, there is a lot of enthusiasm for both reds and whites, despite some tricky weather throughout the year. Alcohol levels are in general slightly lower than in 2015.


Universally viewed as a vintage with top quality potential. Guigal will produce their special Condrieu cuvée Luminescence for only the third time (previous vintages were 1999 and 2003). For reds, maintaining freshness and avoiding over-extraction is the key to quality with such ripe fruit.


A challenging growing season for reds in which grapes struggled to reach full maturity and particularly vigilant sorting was required thanks to the Drosophila suzukii fruit fly. A successful flowering resulted in a decent crop, swollen in many cases by rain during the summer and red wine harvest. Whites fared better and benefited from a late rush to maturity but retained good acid levels. Reds likely to be for relatively early drinking.


Very promising reds which may well have excellent longevity. Despite a slow start and problems with mildew in June, the 2013 growing season came good with fine warm days and cool nights throughout the summer. Rain prompted a speedy harvest (one of the latest ever).  


Looks good for the Rhône, against the trend of the year in Europe at large. It is defined by lower than average potential alcohol – indeed some chaptalisation was practised. Acidities are also generally below the norm, while tannins are more pronounced than in 2011.


Untimely rain in early September diluted what was otherwise a very promising crop. Quality still good, but certainly not at the level of 2010 or 2009.


Low yields of exceptionally good quality. One of the very best years in the northern Rhône - possibly the best in history!


Warmer and drier than average: volumes were down and harvest was early. Ripening was quick but complete, and quality looks to be very good.


Lots of rain gave a disappointing and dilute vintage. Some producers opted not to make their top wines at all. Largely best to avoid. 


Very wet spring, a patchy summer but the vintage was saved by decent weather in September.


Very promising. As elsewhere in France, the region experienced a very mixed August but a warm September seems to have resulted in an excitingly high success rate.


As successful as elsewhere in France. A long term prospect which may rival 1990.


A welcome return to normal temperatures but this post-2003 heatwave crop was not generous and wines have developed fast.


Some exceptional heatwave wines with enormous concentration and, we hope, a long and glorious life ahead.


Poor weather at flowering dramatically reduced the potential crop and paved the way for a thoroughly horrid summer resulting in rotten, unripe grapes. Some growers declassified a large proportion of them although the odd late-picked bottling may surprise. Reds should have been drunk. Good white wines though.


One of the most successful regions in France in 2001. Almost as good as 1999 if more elegant and less concentrated than 2000.Very respectable levels of ripeness and good acidity and ripe tannins to support them.


Good to very good if overshadowed by its predecessor. August was hot with heavy rain on 21 August. September enjoyed exceptionally fine weather allowing a particularly prolonged harvest. Both red and white wines are very charming.


Exceptional quality. A sunny harvest saw good quantities of healthy grapes - a cause for real celebration in the northern Rhône. Quality is at least as good as 1998 (some compare it with 1947) and the quantity was much higher.


Very dry summer stressed the vines. Some tough wines for the long term.


Early maturing, soft wines from an early harvest.


Solid, unexciting but ready and competently made.


Very promising vintage which is just starting to come round at the top end.


All-too familiar autumn rains before the fruit could ripen.


A great summer then rain, hail and mildew, so light, soft wines are the rule.


Heavy September rains gave a mixed bag of early-drinking wines.


A good vintage, superb in Côte-Rôtie: fragrant, forward and charming.


The heatwave slowed ripening. Côte-Rôtie suffered but the Hermitage hill produced some monster wines destined for a very long life.


A drought year, irregular in Cornas, otherwise rich and opulent.


Unfairly overshadowed by 1989 and 1990, with majestic Côte-Rôties for long ageing.


Guigal's wines are the exception to a rather lean, charmless year.


Opulent and soft, these wines were delicious but have matured relatively early.


Outstanding muscular wines now ready to drink.


Lovely soft, elegant and balanced wines that should now have been drunk.


A sensational year, highly aromatic, complex and big-framed. Now very rare.