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
Languedoc-Roussillon Vintage Chart
|2017||Drink/Cellar||A cold winter was followed by unusually warm weather in February, March and early April; then, most unusually for Languedoc, frost struck the vineyards (though Roussillon was spared, and in the end had a larger-than-usual harvest). Aude, Hérault and Gard were all badly hit, with crop levels down by 20-30% (around 1 million hl less than usual), and with IGP vineyards worse hit than AOP vineyards (which mainly lie on the hills, and therefore enjoy better air drainage). Summer was then bright and sunny, and the surviving crop provided an early harvest, with some Muscats being picked as early as the end of July. Quality was good, rising to excellent in the Roussillon (where more sea breezes and less tramontane wind than usual helped temper the heat and minimise grape dessication).|
|2016||Drink/Cellar||After a mild but dry winter which provoked early budburst, spring was cool enough to slow down the cycle. A shortage of water, though, made itself felt from spring onwards: 2016 was the driest season in Languedoc since 1944. A small crop of at least 10 per cent below normal was the result, while the Pic St Loup crop was hit further by a catastrophic hail storm in August. In general, conditions were warm and dry with nights cool enough to retain freshness, and quality (for those growing the well-adapted varieties generally specified by AOC rules) is high.|
|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||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||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||Hot, dry spring. Exceptionally large harvest, 13,261 kg/ha. Average sugar ripeness & acidities.|
|2010||Drink||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||Past peak||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||Past peak||Cold, wet September. Lacked maturity: low sugars & elevated acidity. Not a vintage year except for some récoltants-manipulants (individual growers).|
|2000||Past peak||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).|
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 LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON WINES:
PiedmontMay 19 - May 24, 2019
TuscanyMay 26 - May 31, 2019
BourgogneMay 19 - May 24, 2019
BourgogneJun 02 - Jun 07, 2019
ChampagneJun 11 - Jun 15, 2019
BordeauxJun 16 - Jun 21, 2019
LoireJun 23 - Jun 28, 2019
AlsaceOct 20 - Oct 25, 2019
ChampagneOct 28 - Nov 01, 2019