A great year for rich and complex claret
Although wintry conditions lasted until relatively late in the year, by the time flowering took place, the weather had improved. July saw drought conditions in the area. August was changeable, with rainy, cool periods punctuated by hot intervals. A stormy and cold start to September was followed by run of hot, sunny days that lasted into the start of the harvest in October.
It was one of those years when everything seems to go right and quality was consistent in all the regions. But many new vineyards were coming into production and there was precious little selection. Result: many of these are now lean, dry and mean. Pauillac produced some outstanding wines that have stood the test of time. Saint-Julien is more variable than usual, and some Margaux have developed very well.
Pauillac: Latour is a classic which seems to go on improving and opening out. Mouton is spicy and elegant but drier, and Pichon Lalande has lovely fruit and harmony, now at its best.
Saint-Julien: Today Ducru Beaucaillou shows the best fruit and harmony. Beychevelle is very stylish and long. Gruaud Larose is now drying out.
Margaux: Palmer is consistently powerful and rich. Brane Cantenac still has body sweetness and freshness, and Giscours has done exceptionally well.