Bordeaux Satellites, 2002

2002 produced a mixed bag of wines in what was an irregular year due to damp, cold conditions, with the best wines offering finesse, structure and refreshing acidity. Like 2004, it was not a year for up-front, blockbuster wines, and the finest wines came from the Médoc, as Cabernet Sauvignon fared better than Merlot.

A cool spring meant poor flowering and subsequent coulure and millerandage (poor fruit set resulting in small and varied size grapes respectively), particularly with the more fragile Merlot grape, and a cool, wet summer brought the constant threat of rot in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Bordeaux growers say that June makes the quantity of grapes and September the quality, and a cool June kept yields low, while lovely weather throughout September and October turned a potentially poor year into a good one.

As for pricing, like 2001, it is a great year for wine drinkers to secure a bargain rather than investors, especially when compared with the stratospheric pricing of vintages from 1995-2000. However, the wines are not as charming as 2001.

Bordeaux’s dry whites also had a goodish year, being crisp and fruity in style, while Sauternes had a good, strong year once again, with d’Yquem showing why it is one of the world’s finest wines. 

The wines

2002 was not a good year for the satellite districts, following the hugely successful 2000 and 2001 vintages, yet this is not surprising given the conditions. That said, there are some real bargains to be found at the top end, especially in Castillon, which produced some particularly attractive, fruity wines in a difficult vintage for those with less resources than the big labels to counteract the conditions.

Bordeaux Satellites, 2002

2002 produced a mixed bag of wines in what was an irregular year due to damp, cold conditions, with the best wines offering finesse, structure and refreshing acidity. Like 2004, it was not a year for up-front, blockbuster wines, and the finest wines came from the Médoc, as Cabernet Sauvignon fared better than Merlot.

A cool spring meant poor flowering and subsequent coulure and millerandage (poor fruit set resulting in small and varied size grapes respectively), particularly with the more fragile Merlot grape, and a cool, wet summer brought the constant threat of rot in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Bordeaux growers say that June makes the quantity of grapes and September the quality, and a cool June kept yields low, while lovely weather throughout September and October turned a potentially poor year into a good one.

As for pricing, like 2001, it is a great year for wine drinkers to secure a bargain rather than investors, especially when compared with the stratospheric pricing of vintages from 1995-2000. However, the wines are not as charming as 2001.

Bordeaux’s dry whites also had a goodish year, being crisp and fruity in style, while Sauternes had a good, strong year once again, with d’Yquem showing why it is one of the world’s finest wines. 

The wines

2002 was not a good year for the satellite districts, following the hugely successful 2000 and 2001 vintages, yet this is not surprising given the conditions. That said, there are some real bargains to be found at the top end, especially in Castillon, which produced some particularly attractive, fruity wines in a difficult vintage for those with less resources than the big labels to counteract the conditions.

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