|2016||Drink||After mild winter weather and a mixed early spring, northern Beaujolais was hit by three separate hail attacks. The first, on April 13th, affected Juliénas and parts of Beaujolais-Villages; the second came on May 27th, and hit 1500 ha principally in the crus, with 650 ha suffering losses of more than 75 per cent; while the third, on June 24th, was the worst of all, affecting 2,250 ha again principally in the crus, with 1,000 ha suffering losses of 80 per cent or more. Overall, however, these losses in the north were compensated by an ample harvest in the south of the region. Poor weather at the start to the year was balanced by a generous summer. The result was a harvest of soft, amply fruity wines, though without the depth and density of the outstanding 2015 harvest.|
|2015||Drink/Cellar||A sunny, dry spring was followed by ideal flowering conditions. Summer veered between very warm and hot, with a series of heat spikes—all alleviated by periodic rains and cool nights. Harvest began early, August 24th. The wines are dark, generously fruity, sometimes heady and chewy; acids remained bright, thanks to the cool nights.|
|2014||Drink/Cellar||A warm spring followed by successful, early flowering gave way to a cool summer. September, though, was hot and dry, and harvest unfolded under perfect conditions. The wines are sprightly with pristine fruit characters but great depth too; more ‘classic’ than 2015.|
|2013||Drink||A cool, moist spring and early summer resulted in bud break in late April and flowering in mid-June. July and August were warm and sunny, but not enough to speed the cycle. Harvest was late, the end of September and into October. Quality was variable, but the best wines were fresh, vivid and lively.|
|2012||Drink||Smallest harvest in 40 years (509,000 hl), 40% less than 2011, yields barely 30 hl/ha. Concentrated, fresh, vibrant reds.|
|2011||Drink||Third highly successful vintage in row, combining mature dark fruit without exaggeration & fresh acidity. Well-suited to cellaring at cru level.|
|2010||Drink||Poor flowering, small crop. Small berries, concentrated reds with typical red fruits. Higher acidities than ‘09 though less homogeneous overall. Many crus need bottle age to show their best|
|2009||Drink||Atypical in best sense. Consistently ripe reds display rich dark fruit, sometimes verging on jam, uncommon generosity. Delicious early, best crus will age well.|
|2008||Drink||Rainy year, widespread hailstorms, rot & mildew. Success hinged on skill of vigneron. Nearly all to be consumed now except for a handful of top crus.|
|2007||Past peak||Lack of sunshine. Mildew problems. Crus show their superiority, fare far better than regionals.|
|2006||Past peak||Alternating extremes of climate, heterogeneous results. Better end of season. Southern Beaujolais more consistent than northern zone.|
|2005||Drink/Cellar||Hot, dry year with water stress. Fully mature, healthy grapes with excellent phenolic ripeness & overall equilibrium. A few may still improve.|
|2004||Drink||Light Beaujolais for early drinking. At its best in Moulin à Vent & Morgon.|
|2003||Drink/Past peak||Extremely dry season stresses vines. Heterogeneous wines, most successful are dense, full-bodied & tannic.|
|2002||Past peak||Typical wines though uneven; many picked in rainy period. Best have appealing fruit & charm but are meant for early consumption.|
|2001||Past peak||Large harvest. Healthy, ripe grapes crafting wines meant to be drunk young.|
|2000||Past peak||Charming wines; drink early.|
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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