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1997 Red Rhône
Just as in Bordeaux, 1997 brought a vintage of many parts. The northern Rhône enjoyed ample sunshine, and a ripe, extrovert harvest was brought in with few problems. Many of its wines showed a lush black fruit quality, in contrast to the crisper red fruits from a typical year. In the south, the picture was mixed and with September rains growers reliant on early-harvested grapes produced light wines. Late-harvested Grenache and Mourvèdre - the components of some notable châteauneufs - excelled and such wines remain enjoyable.
1997 White & Rosé Rhône
With elevated temperatures throughout, and rain during harvest in the south, 1997s are not for long cellarage. The wines show a pleasing fleshy roundness but many exhibit soft acidities and a lack of aromatic complexity. In the north both Condrieu and Hermitage were opulent, the latter perhaps having the depth and weight to mature well.