Saint-Émilion & Pomerol, 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

It was a tough year for Saint-Émilion growers, and those who worked hardest in the vineyard, after the September 5th hailstorm, managed to salvage some of their crop and produced some very good to excellent wines still (silky and seductive). In general, however, Saint-Émilion produced light, slightly acidic wines across the range.

Meanwhile many Pomerol producers fared better, having escaped the hailstorm and picked before the rains came later in September, though many still suffered from being rather dilute.

Saint-Émilion & Pomerol, 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

It was a tough year for Saint-Émilion growers, and those who worked hardest in the vineyard, after the September 5th hailstorm, managed to salvage some of their crop and produced some very good to excellent wines still (silky and seductive). In general, however, Saint-Émilion produced light, slightly acidic wines across the range.

Meanwhile many Pomerol producers fared better, having escaped the hailstorm and picked before the rains came later in September, though many still suffered from being rather dilute.

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