A very uneven vintage but Pomerol, Saint-Julien and Pauillac performed well
After a rough three years, the weather settled into a more predictable pattern. Winter was mild and rainy, but spring started fine, although the warm weather was punctuated by a few cold spells and occasional frosts. The summer months were hot and dry, so the showers that fell in September were
particularly appreciated. The harvest, which began during the last week in September, was mainly sunny, although there were a few hailstorms.
Low yields and real heat produced concentrated tannic wines of a style not seen since ’61, but the fruit/tannin ratio has often produced overtly dry tannic wines. Where the fruit does come through, the wines now look majestic and classic. The best-balanced wines are found in Pauillac, St-Julien, Margaux and Graves.
Pauillac: Pichon Lalande is the most attractively drinkable at present, Latour is very impressive but the fruit is struggling; Mouton and Lafite are worth exploring. St Julien: Leoville Lascases is majestic but Gruaud Larose is now a little dry. Margaux: Palmer is one of the best balanced wines now, Branaire is good. Haut-Hadoc: Sociando-Mallet is most impressive. Graves: some fine, well- balanced wine especially Haut Brion, La Mission and Haut Bailly.