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Bordeaux 2021 En Primeurs

       

May 2022 - Report by Neil Pinel, Managing Director

We are very pleased to announce the start of the highly anticipated 2021 Bordeaux En-Primeur campaign, one which promises to be as exciting as it is different in our new post-brexit, climate-changing world. Before I continue, if you're wondering what En Primeur is, click HERE for a brief explanation.

Jane and I travelled to Bordeaux in April for the private and UGC Tastings (Neil's 31st year visiting Bordeaux, Jane's 15th!) and after a trio of warm vintages (and higher alcohol) 2021 appears to be a throwback to the late 90s and early 2000s with lower-alcohol and well-balanced tannins and acidity. There were however many obstacles to overcome to get to the excellent, all-round vintage we were treated to.

The French agriculture minister called April 2021’s frosts “the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the century”. They certainly affected yields, which are small but not catastrophic. Proactive use of heat-blowers and candles in the vineyards reduced losses in many areas.

After a cool and wet June and July, those who looked after their vines through to August and September were better-prepared and with generally dry conditions from the second week of August through to mid-September this late summer came to the rescue.

The smaller volumes helped enable the vines to focus on ripening and many left picking as late as they dared going down to the wire in the quest for maturity. A real nail-biter!

Alcohol levels will inevitably be lower this year which is not a bad thing. High acidity levels will hopefully make for some excellent age-worthy wines.

All-in-all we loved tasting this vintage. There were definitely areas that have performed better than others and Chateaux that have been luckier (they may say it was skill and judgement) than others but this vintage is definitely worth a good look at.

We will be offering a smaller selection of Chateaux, ones we feel really hit the mark.

If you'd like to view our video highlights from the trip, please click HERE

WHAT THE CRITICS THINK

"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. Indeed, I suspect that the best 2021s are destined to be described as “better than expected” for most of their lives—except that the writing is, in fact, already on the wall. 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

"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. Restrained alcohols and mid-weight structures will remind readers of Bordeaux pre-2000s. The best wines offer a striking combination of old-school classicism with modern-day precision. Quality is inconsistent though, so choosing carefully is essential. Even so, there is much to like in the 2021s." Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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All purchases are subject to the following Terms and Conditions:
Delivery - Spring or Autumn 2024 (depending on release date, please note we will not ship wines in the summer months)
Prices - Include Freight, Duty & GST. No further discounts apply
Allocation - On a first-come-first-served basis.
Payment - As per our normal T&Cs.
E&OE - Errors & Omissions Excepted

This page will be updated as and when Chateaux release their offers.

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