Médoc and Graves, 1999

1999 was an irregular year in quality, and a tricky vintage for winemakers who had to battle with the elements. Those who were successful generally produced elegant, early-accessible wines with nice ripe fruit and good balance based upon reduced yields, with low tannin. However, when buying, it is a year to judge wines on individual merit rather than appellations, as each district produced a spread of excellent, good and average wines.

1999 experienced a hot, wet growing season, which tested winemakers to the limit and Saint-Émilion was hit particularly badly by a freak hailstorm in early September that devastated much of the crop, followed by further rains when the Merlot was just reaching optimum ripeness. Those who reduced their yields by crop thinning, leaf pulling and anti-rot spraying fared the best.

As for pricing, 1999 presents some of the best values on the market, being largely overshadowed by the massive hike in hype and pricing of the Millennium vintage. It was also a good year for the dry whites of the Graves and a reasonable Sauternes vintage. 

The wines

1999 produced a crop of bright Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, yet low in tannin due to high yields. Pauillac produced variable fruit, but the top three growths really produced the goods.

Saint-Estèphe has improved in bottle yet is still under par, while Margaux was the most consistent of left bank appellations where many of the top châteaux produced their finest wines of the decade. Saint Julien was nice and steady as usual.

Médoc and Graves, 1999

1999 was an irregular year in quality, and a tricky vintage for winemakers who had to battle with the elements. Those who were successful generally produced elegant, early-accessible wines with nice ripe fruit and good balance based upon reduced yields, with low tannin. However, when buying, it is a year to judge wines on individual merit rather than appellations, as each district produced a spread of excellent, good and average wines.

1999 experienced a hot, wet growing season, which tested winemakers to the limit and Saint-Émilion was hit particularly badly by a freak hailstorm in early September that devastated much of the crop, followed by further rains when the Merlot was just reaching optimum ripeness. Those who reduced their yields by crop thinning, leaf pulling and anti-rot spraying fared the best.

As for pricing, 1999 presents some of the best values on the market, being largely overshadowed by the massive hike in hype and pricing of the Millennium vintage. It was also a good year for the dry whites of the Graves and a reasonable Sauternes vintage. 

The wines

1999 produced a crop of bright Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, yet low in tannin due to high yields. Pauillac produced variable fruit, but the top three growths really produced the goods.

Saint-Estèphe has improved in bottle yet is still under par, while Margaux was the most consistent of left bank appellations where many of the top châteaux produced their finest wines of the decade. Saint Julien was nice and steady as usual.

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  1. Château Latour, 1999 - Cadman Fine Wines

    Château Latour, 1999

    Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2017-2032
    Reviewer Rating: 93 - eRobertParker.com

    "The palate is taut and savory / minerally with very firm chewy tannins somewhat dominating the restrained fruit at this stage." eRobertParker.com

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    • Bottle
    • Case of 6
    • Case of 12
    £450.00
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