On 28 June 2019, France recorded its highest ever temperature: 45.9 ̊ C (114.6°F) in Gallargues-le-Montueux, just outside the Costières de Nîmes appellation. Further north in Côte-Rôtie the mercury didn’t reach quite so high, but it was still a season marked by extreme heat.
I was worried that the 2019 Côte-Rôties might resemble the jammy 2003s, a vintage I tend to avoid. Thankfully the vines coped much better this time around, and produced some exciting, exuberant wines – but not all. Some tipped over into excessive ripeness and high alcohol, something that has become even more apparent since bottling. So was 2019 a great year? Not exactly; but it was a year with some great wines.