Rhône 2022 en primeur vintage rating:
Northern Rhône: 4 /5
Diverse in style and quality due to intense heat and drought. Blockages in ripening were widespread around Cornas and Hermitage, making for some lighter wines with moderate alcohol; others more robust. Côte-Rôtie tends to be soft and velvety. Whites can be overly rich but some are enjoyably powerful and exuberant
Southern Rhône: 4 /5
Extreme weather conditions produced reds that range from light and juicy to dense and powerful. Blockages in ripening caused by heat and drought made for moderate alcohol levels, but sometimes tough tannins. Whites can lack freshness. Some excellent, ageworthy Châteauneuf-du-Papes; also good in Rasteau.
‘Never before has a vintage so confounded my expectations’
While preparing for my three-week visit to taste the 2022 vintage in the Rhône, I read that the region experienced the hottest and driest growing season since 1950. Even hotter and drier than 2003 – a vintage burned into the memory of local winemakers. So I approached the tastings with a degree of trepidation. Extreme conditions rarely make for balanced wines.