The vintage chart and harvest reports provided by the Wine Scholar Guild gives you the ranking for every French wine region and vintage from 2000 to today.
Andrew Jefford, award-winning wine journalist for Decanter Magazine and author of twelve books on wine including The New France has compiled information and written the vintage charts starting with the 2013 vintage. He is also updating information for the vintages prior to 2013.
Last updated: April 25th 2019
|2017||Drink/Cellar||After a very cold winter period (with 56 sub-zero days in December 2016 and January 2017), the early spring weather turned warm, with early budburst. As in so many other French regions, frosts struck in late April (20th and 21st in Alsace), affecting 4,500 ha, with 1,500 ha of vineyards losing 80% or more of their crop. The overall harvest (907,000 hl) was 20 per cent down on 2016. The frosts struck flatland or bottom-slope vineyards particularly hard: above all Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc destined for Crémant. After that, conditions were almost perfect for the rest of the season, with a sunny summer interspersed with rain showers, cool nights, and perfect botrytis-forming conditions towards the end of the season. Summer was also relatively hot here (the fifth hottest in the last 40 years). It was one of the earliest harvests ever, beginning on August 21st, and although quantity is down, quality is high for all varieties, as well as for red wines and late-harvest wines. The wines are perfumed, complex and concentrated.|
|2016||Drink/Cellar||After an alarmingly warm January, spring was cool and fretful, and budburst came normally in April. June was intensely wet, but the weather improved for flowering at the end of the month, and summer was thereafter warm and dry, with no more rain until September 18th. Harvest began at the end of September and continued through a generally fine October with good ripening conditions, but little or no botrytis (so there will be few Vendange Tardive and SGN wines this year). The overall harvest size is normal, and 2016 has produced classically poised, fresh Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer wines.|
|2015||Drink/Cellar||A perfect weather script for Alsace: a warm, dry spring and early summer was followed by a July heatwave, to the extent that the vines were suffering by early August. Rain storms on August 9th and 10th were hugely helpful, and after that, the vines ripened perfectly for a leisurely harvest throughout September, VT and SGN included. All varieties excelled, including Pinot Noir. 2015 is considered the greatest Alsace vintage since 1990 and 1971, though quantities were not large.|
|2014||Drink/Cellar||A warm spring and early summer led to an exceptionally successful flowering and fruit set. July, though, had double its average rainfall, creating disease pressures. August was cooler than usual, leading to Drosophila suzukii attacks on Alsace’s dark-skinned grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer). Picking in mid- to late-September produced a smaller-than-hoped-for harvest of beautifully balanced wines which, like 2013, favoured dry styles over sweet. Riesling and Pinot Gris were particularly successful.|
|2013||Drink||A cool, slow spring meant that flowering was delayed until the second half of June. Mid-July to mid-August was warm and dry (though with hail in some sectors), meaning that early September rain was welcome. The rest of September was dry and sunny prior to an early October harvest. 2013 is a fine, low-yielding year for dry wines, especially Riesling but also Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer: fresh, elegant and vital. There are few VT and SGN wines.|
|2012||Drink||Spring frosts , extended flowering with isolated hail followed by very dry summer & water stress. Beneficial rains in September. Reduced harvest of mature grapes leading to structured wines with potentially long life. Some compare to 2010 or 2002.|
|2011||Drink||Early start. Cool, wet summer marked by frequent storms. Very sunny end of August. Normal volume after short 2010. Sorting key to quality. Lighter, often delicate wines of lower alcohol & moderate acidity, many with early appeal. Considerable variability.|
|2010||Drink||Challenged flowering, coulure & millerandage reduced crop. Low yields delivered concentrated wines with density & dimension: ripeness plus structure. A uniform success. Even regional Chablis will be worthy of mid-term bottle aging.|
|2009||Drink||Full, ripe wines with generous flavors rather than a textbook Chablis profile. Some forward & soft; drink early.|
|2008||Drink||Extended flowering, millerandage. Good summer, average sun hours & temperatures. Expressive, aromatic wines; a classic Chablis vintage combining substance & vivacity.|
|2007||Drink||Several hailstorms affecting Chichée and various 1ers crus. Uneven maturity. Disparate quality ranging from thin and green to fresh and delicate.|
|2006||Drink/Past peak||Successful, well-balanced wines, sometimes heavy. Clearly defined tiers of quality according to rank.|
|2005||Drink||Ripe, generous, full wines, occasionally high in alcohol. Best grands crus suitable for long cellaring.|
|2004||Drink/Past peak||Large crop. Best sites & those harvested later achieved adequate maturity. Many light, weak wines showing effects of high yields.|
|2003||Drink/Past peak||Anormal year, highly precocious. Exceptionally hot, dry, sunny August. Some grapes “burnt” on the vine. Harvest commenced 25 August. Rich wines, high alcohols, low acidity. Compared to 1893.|
|2002||Drink||Mature, healthy grapes delivered generous wines with ripe acidity. Best grands crus will have long life.|
|2001||Drink||Favour the Grands Crus only now.|
|2000||Drink||Well- balanced, mature and fairly generous wines with sound acidity harvested in good weather.|
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.
Learn more about Alsace wines:
- Alsace Terroirs with Olivier Humbrecht MW
- The Many Splendors of Alsace Riesling with Thierry Meyer
- Alsace & Food with Arnaud Valour
PiedmontMay 17 - May 22, 2020
BourgogneMay 24 - May 29, 2020
BordeauxJun 16 - Jun 21, 2019
LoireJun 23 - Jun 28, 2019
AlsaceJun 07 - Jun 12, 2020
ChampagneJun 23 - Jun 27, 2020
Languedoc-RoussillonOct 25 - Oct 30, 2020
RhôneOct 18 - Oct 23, 2020