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Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Chart

Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Charts & Ratings

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Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Chart 

Vintage Quality Drink Comments
2015 Drink/Cellar Winter and early spring were cold and very wet. But warm, dry weather took over after that, and from mid-May onwards, conditions were unusually hot, especially in July.  At that point, some of the vines were shutting down.  Violent storms ensued on August 13th which were generally of great benefit to the vines, though quantities varied between 24 in/600 mm in Terraces du Larzac to under 2 in/50 mm elsewhere.  Warm weather resumed on August 20th, and harvest got underway for the whites; reds were picked in early September. Torrential but localised rain on September 8th in eastern Languedoc spared most growers.  The end of September and October provided beautiful harvest conditions for later pickers, and in general, this ended as a very good vintage for both Languedoc and Roussillon, producing fresh whites and fragrant, amply constituted and lushly fruity reds with fine ageing potential.
2014 Drink Languedoc-Roussillon suffered its driest winter for 20 years, and a warm, dry spring then followed. Drought stress meant the vines set a lower yield than normal.  Hailstorms on July 6th caused crop losses in La Clape, Minervois and Corbières, and summer then turned humid and stormy.  The vine’s cycle was well advanced, though, so those unaffected by hail who were able to harvest early made good wines, including many in Roussillon.  However colossal rains and flooding hit Languedoc on September 17th and 18th, and then again between September 28th and 30th seriously compromising the harvest in later picking zones (like Pic St Loup) and for those Languedoc growers reliant on later-ripening Grenache and Mourvèdre.  It was, by contrast, a good year in Roussillon.
2013 Drink/Cellar After a very cold winter, spring was gratifyingly wet, though cool. This equated to a two-week delay in bud break.  After that, summer was generally fine, although it remained cooler than normal with many days of tramontane wind in Roussillon. This year, no drought or heat stress.  September and October were sunny and warm and a relaxed harvest took place from mid-September onwards.  This is a good and occasionally great vintage in both Languedoc and Roussillon, with white varieties, Syrah and Carignan all performing exceptionally well and producing wines of depth and poise.  Only Grenache-Mourvèdre blends (which require hot summers) occasionally lack depth and density in cooler or higher-altitude sites.
2012 Drink/Cellar Widespread frosts in April touched 131 villages (of 319). Very cold, sunless weather for flowering. Long rainless period from mid-July to September. Total yield: 9,208 kg/ha, lowest volume since 2003, ~40% below 10-year average. Highest average sugars across all varieties. Overall maturity equals 2009. A vintage year is anticipated.
2011 Drink/Cellar Hot, dry spring. Exceptionally large harvest, 13,261 kg/ha. Average sugar ripeness & acidities.
2010 Drink/Cellar Rains mid-August provoked widespread rot reducing crop substantially. High sugars for Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, highest acidities for Pinots in decade of 2000s. Limited vintage declarations. Outstanding harvest of dense, structured wines.
2009 Drink Warmest conditions since 2003, optimal maturity, healthy fruit. Balanced wines with average sugars, lower acidities. High overall maturity. Vintage year for some, principally récoltants-manipulants (individual growers). In ’09, new EU rules reduced dosage for Brut to 12 g/l.
2008 Drink Moderate yields; wines of moderate concentration & acidity. Overall sugar-acid ratio dropped to level of 1990s from higher maturities of 2000s. Declared vintage by many  récoltants-manipulants (individual growers).
2007 Drink Chardonnay performed best. Summer hail. Lowest fruit maturity of the 2000s. Non-vintage year for many négociants-manipulants (houses), typically declared by récoltants-manipulants (individual growers).
2006 Drink Cold winter, hot & dry summer. Abundant year, heterogeneous ripening. Above average pH & sugars, average acidity. High overall maturity, in line with ’09 & ’12. Numerous vintage declarations by many producers.
2005 Drink More difficult season than many French regions in ’05. Successful Chardonnay, weak Pinot Meunier. Good sugar levels, below average acidities.  Vintage declaration by many négociants-manipulants (houses) & récoltants-manipulants (growers).
2004 Drink Harvest delivered record volume & sound quality. Chardonnay, Meunier were best. Balanced, well-structured Champagnes some compare to ’98.
2003 Drink Atypically hot summer. Earliest harvest since 1822, abnormally low yields of 8,254 kg/ha. Richness & elevated alcohol levels. Numerous vintage declarations. Some examples are missing sufficient backbone.
2002 Past peak Both Chardonnay & Pinot Noir ripened well. Balanced Champagnes, a declared vintage by producers of all types. Superb prestige Champagnes, many will benefit from further cellaring.
2001 Drink Cold, wet September. Lacked maturity: low sugars & elevated acidity. Not a vintage year except for some récoltants-manipulants (individual growers).
2000 Drink Difficult summer marked by rain, widespread hail. Favorable September weather for harvest. Widely declared “millennium” vintage… some fine examples, 0thers are soft, lack intensity & should be drunk (now).

 

 

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Chart Legend

Methodology: This report has been compiled utilizing multiple authoritative sources including regional trade associations, experts in each region, wine producers, academic studies, leading journalists, and the editor’s personal notes.
Acknowledgements: E. Gabay MW (Provence); Hugel family (Alsace); D. Markham (Bordeaux); K. McAuliffe (Rhône); M. Stubbs MW (Languedoc-Roussillon).
Editor’s comment: This chart is intended to serve as a reliable guide for professionals, educators and collectors. Judgments as to the quality, longevity and current maturity of a given vintage are by definition simplified assessments describing the average profile of the year. There will always be individual wines which surpass, or fail to reach, the overall standard, or which may have a shorter or longer life than their peers. Last, these evaluations are not fixed and permanent; rather, they will be revised as needed to reflect the wines as they age in bottle.

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