Vintage Guides

From Rioja to the Rhone, our vintage guide tells you which year to drink and why more.

1997 vintage guide for Washington State Merlot

1997 vintage guide for Washington State Merlot

Weather Conditions Both March and April were much cooler than normal, and bud-break was late, slow and erratic. Before panic set in, a surprising heat spell in May encouraged vine…

1997 vintage guide for Italy Tuscany

1997 vintage guide for Italy Tuscany

Weather Conditions A warm start to April brought the vegetation forward, but frost hit central Tuscany at the end of the month, causing considerable damage. The rest of the spring…

burgundy1

1997 vintage guide for White Burgundy

Weather Conditions Flowering was early if somewhat uneven. June and July were unsettled, and August was hot and stormy. Rain in early September provoked a little rot, but nothing that…

Champagne 2011

1997 vintage guide for Vintage Champagne

Weather Conditions Frost and hail marred the growing season, and uneven ripening caused further problems. After a wet June, the summer was dry until the end of August, when heavy…

1997 vintage guide for Red Rhone

1997 vintage guide for Red Rhone

Weather Conditions Flowering was early in the north, but June and most of July were cool and damp. August was hot but then unsettled weather returned. The best wines, which…

Mosel Valley

1997 vintage guide for Germany

Weather Conditions Late frost in April, difficult rainy conditions at the time of the flowering in June and localised hailstorms all caused problems. However, great heat in August and a…

1997 vintage guide for Red South America

1997 vintage guide for Red South America

Weather Conditions Weather conditions that presage the disaster of El Niño and La Niña. Still, it is technology that leads the way. There is disquiet at how dry the Andes…

1997 vintage guide for Oregon Pinot Noir

1997 vintage guide for Oregon Pinot Noir

Weather Conditions The summer conditions were cooler than usual,. but there were just enough sunny days throughout the summer to raise expectations of a bumper crop. It begin with budbreak…

Bordeaux Sauternes vineyards

1997 vintage guide for Sauternes and Barsac

Weather Conditions Very warm spring, but some frost in October reduced the crop. Hot humid August, but September was dry, and picking began around 11 September. The first pickings were…

MeursaultBurgundy

1997 vintage guide for Red Burgundy

Weather Conditions Flowering was early if somewhat uneven. June and July were unsettled, and August was hot and stormy. Rain in early September provoked a little rot, but nothing that…

1997 vintage guide for Saint-Emilion and Pomerol

1997 vintage guide for Saint-Emilion and Pomerol

Weather Conditions Flowering in St Emilion was three weeks earlier than usual, which promised an early vintage, but the summer was marked by rain and humidity. The second half of…

1997 vintage guide for Red Australia

1997 vintage guide for Red Australia

Weather Conditions Despite a perfect lead-up to summer and emerging expectations that the record levels of quantity and quality set in 1996 might even be bettered, erratic conditions thereafter reduced…

Bordeaux Graves vineyards

1997 vintage guide for Medoc and Graves

Weather Conditions The winter was mild, but May was unstable, leading to uneven flowering, especially for Merlot. There was more rain in the early summer, and tropical conditions in August.…

Decanter-33

1997 vintage guide for Italy Piedmont

Weather Conditions The year began with unsettled weather: plenty of snow and extreme cold periods. From the end of January until May the weather turned exceptionally dry and often very…

1997 vintage guide for California Merlot

1997 vintage guide for California Merlot

Weather Conditions After several short vintages, the ’97 crop was extremely large and took the pressure off the supply demand ratio. With budbreak occurring a month early, the vineyards went…

1997 vintage guide for Vintage Port

1997 vintage guide for Vintage Port

Weather Conditions An uneven year in that an abnormally warm, dry spring led to an early burst of growth and then gave way to cool, wet weather in June and…

1997 vintage guide for California Cabernet Sauvignon

1997 vintage guide for California Cabernet Sauvignon

Weather Conditions After several short vintages, the ’97 crop was extremely large and took the pressure off the supply demand ratio. With budbreak occurring a month early, the vineyards went…

rioja22

1997 vintage guide for Spain Rioja

Weather Conditions This was a mild, wet winter with healthy growth in the vines early on and budding was copious, offering the prospect of a large harvest. However, the summer…

Ataraxia

1997 vintage guide for Red South Africa

Weather Conditions Among the longest ever seasons – harvesting continued into April-May in the experience of winemakers; also among the coolest, including some mid-season showers, with long hang-times lengthening ripening.…