Touted as a “classic vintage”, and a “winemakers’ vintage”, it is impossible to generalise 2021 in one sentence. It was a year that tested the skills of vignerons across the region and terroir shined brightest. It clearly was a challenging and revealing growing season, where those winemakers blessed with enviable terroir and armed with top winemaking techniques stand clearly above the rest.
What we can all agree on is that this is a vintage for the whites, which have been unanimously praised and were a pleasure to taste. “Chiselled and intense, they exhibit considerable potential.” (WA).
This is a return to a “classic vintage” and we at Cru Wine are excited about what we’ve tasted. There are some exquisite wines, but there are less of them. Yields across the region are much smaller, with estimates of a harvest at 25-30% lower than the average, which means that allocations will be tight.
If you’re new to En Primeur, you’ll find our detailed guide to the process in our article “Buying wines En Primeur”.
From the Experts...
“The 2021 Bordeaux have turned out to be such a surprise. Weather conditions were challenging, and yet the top properties turned out gorgeous, classically built wines that will absolutely thrill readers who appreciate freshness and energy… The best wines offer a striking combination of old-school classicism with modern-day precision.”
“There are wines that will offer drinking pleasure and wines whose evolution in bottle will be fascinating to monitor. It’s a frustrating and complex growing season with the potential to become, at least at its best, the most intellectually-stimulating to drink despite the absence of undisputable masterpieces. The 2021 vintage is enticingly fallible in nature.”
“The fact that the wines show so well and are so clean and balanced highlights the viticultural and winemaking prowess of Bordeaux… What we know now is that 2021 produced some pretty and lively young reds wines and some fantastic whites. And one day in the near future, or many years ahead, they will be opened and enjoyed.”
“The real takeaway from what I tasted is that 2021 is an absolutely brilliant vintage for white Bordeaux, whether dry or sweet, which I had the pleasure of tasting… The dry whites, all picked before late September’s heavy rain, were delightfully aromatic and full of fruit and zest – with great mastery of oak, and none of the flab seen in some riper vintages… I would suggest you look very seriously at the whites, which are already delicious but should have quite a future too.”
“Anyone who enjoys the great benchmark Bordeaux wines of the 1980s and 1990s should seriously reflect on what the 2021s may have to offer in 10 to 15 years’ time. It’s a style of wine that could come from nowhere else… And if the 2021s’ balance is reminiscent of a vintage from yesteryear, the best wines benefit from all the precision of modern winemaking, displaying beautifully refined, polished tannins.”
William Kelley – The Wine Advocate
September releases from La Place to have on your radar September sees the release of the latest vintages from some
Day One – A broad view of the region & Right Bank As the team boarded the flight last month