Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Chart

Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Charts & Ratings

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Vintage Quality Drink Comments
2012 Pending Weather extremes, variation across L-R. Very hot spring, very dry summer. Wide disparities in outcomes. Grenache, Syrah profited from conditions, excellent Corbières, Fitou, La Clape, Terrasses du Larzac. Weaker dry whites: Picpoul, Sauvignon Blanc. In Roussillon, Tramontane wind strips fruit from vines, a rare occurrence. Healthy reds from small berries, excellent Roussillon Villages, but generally not for long cellaring. Banyuls, Maury, Rivesaltes stand out. Lowest recorded overall harvest, down 40% from average.
2011 Drink/Cellar top wines Languedoc commenced the season with good water reserves in. Dry, warm/hot spring. Cool, humid summer with attacks of mildew, oidium. Improved conditions and wind for harvest. Heterogeneous ripening. Fruity & fresh wines to drink young. In Roussillon, a hot, dry spring was offset by May rain. Below normal temps in early summer, hot & humid August with hail on 5th damaging 1,000 ha in Les Aspres. Winds played positive drying role in September. Successful & healthy overall results: aromatic wines with defining acidity. Promising VDNs. First vintage in many without shortfall in volume.
2010 Drink/Cellar top wines Generally hot, dry year for both L&R. Warm spring without rain, favorable conditions for flowering. Languedoc had an extremely hot July with cooler temps  in late August to regulate maturation.   Roussillon experienced cool nights until mid-August. Roussillon reds, from small berries, have good color, substance. Severely reduced harvest: 30% below average.
2009 Drink/Cellar top wines Relatively humid & wet for L-R. Rainy April in Languedoc. Typical summer sunshine, very hot August accelerates ripening. Roussillon saw warm spring & good conditions for flowering. Advanced ripening, similar to 2003, small crop with irregular quality. Full whites & reds, low acidities, high alcohol. Uneven phenolic maturities.
2008 Drink/Cellar top wines In Languedoc, abundant sunshine, a hot summer without rain. Ripening slowed by cooler nights. More varied weather in Roussillon, beneficial May rain. Staggered harvest depending on variety, zone. Heterogeneous results: fresh, expressive reds & whites with sound acidity.
2007 Drink/Cellar top wines Season began with dry conditions, rectified partially by spring rain. Little summer rain in Languedoc, even less in Roussillon. Reduced harvest of generally healthy grapes yielded concentrated wines--most notably the reds of Corbières, Pic Saint-Loup & whites of Limoux.
2006 Drink/Cellar top wines Very hot June with precocious flowering in Languedoc. Heat continued through summer, with no precipitation, nearing water stress. Rain in September restored balance enabling a healthy harvest of mature grapes. Corbières & Fitou performed well. Budding delayed in Roussillon, rainless from May to September. Very hot July, cooler August. Challenging harvest, uneven ripening & phenolic maturity.  Best wines resulted from careful selection of ripe fruit.
2005 Drink top wines/Others past peak Beneficent growing season with balanced temperatures & rainfall in Languedoc. Many locales attained maturity by late August. Wines with attractive fruit & equilibrium; fine tannins in reds. Roussillon recovered from early oidium & harvested healthy grapes, especially fine Carignan.  A rival to 2001’s quality, perhaps a notch lower in red.
2004 Drink top wines/Others past peak Year of seasonal norms without extremes across L-R. Typical, hot summer carried on to Indian summer in October. Healthy fruit, optimal & sound ripening unless picked too early. Corbières shines. Roussillon dependable across all types, a notch below 2003 in red.
2003 Drink top reds/Others past peak Water-retaining soils, higher elevations coped better with heat wave. Hot summer days & nights stressed vulnerable vines. Long, extended, reduced harvest. Conditions favored Grenache: deep, rich fruit. Carignan, Mourvèdre also withstood heat; Bordeaux varieties struggled. Languedoc produced many dense reds, heavy whites with elevated alcohol & low acidities for early drinking. Roussillon benefitted from cooling of sea, mountains & winds to produce excellent dry reds, Banyuls, Maury.
2002 Past peak Dry spring, cool July, uneven August hindered maturation & delayed harvest. Heavy rainstorm affecting Gard & Hérault on 9-10 September. Lack of substance, concentration. Roussillon generally more successful than Languedoc in dry wines & VDN.
2001 Drink top reds/Others past peak Beneficent season across L-R. Ideal flowering. Abundant sunshine, typical heat, no rain from mid-July to mid-September. A benchmark year for reds, deeply colored & tannic, suitable for cellaring. Roussillon Villages, Banyuls, Collioure stand out. Many place this as one of the finest modern vintages in L-R.
2000 Drink top reds/Others past peak A largely sun-filled, dry spring continued into summer. Brief cold snap in July in Languedoc. Fine hot weather in August/September, enhancing grape maturity. Good weather at harvest, large crop overall. Very successful reds possessing fruit, balance.

 

Quality Poor Poor-to-Fair Fair Fair-to-Good Good Good to Excellent Excellent Excellent to Exceptional Exceptional
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); E. Hugel (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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