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2022 in the South is more variable than the successful North,, with blockages in ripening, and some uneven wines in with the successes. Matters were extremely serious and on a high wire of doubt from the extreme drought until rain came in mid-August, which served to inflate the grapes and lower degrees.

However, the harvest was in some cases tired, and picking had to be done quickly in a few areas, with rot looming. The 15 August tornado that came from the West wrecked a path across Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s La Crau vineyard, with Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe especially hard hit.

The lower end wines will be more varied than the noble terroir wines, with merchants – négociants - struggling to find good sources this year, which is always a vintage indicator. The whites are – no surprise – low acidity wines, but attractive, pretty immediate. The reds can be high degree. 2022 is successful, and largely full-bodied at Tavel, where I have tasted fully.

I have not tasted widely, so these are very early impressions.