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Barrels

Bordeaux 2021 En Primeur Tastings April 2022

13th May 2022

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.

Neil and Jane travelled to Bordeaux in April 2022 with Maison Sichel for the private and UGC Tastings (my 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 would like to sincerely thank Max and Sophie from Maison Sichel for their incredible organisation, plethora of amazing Chateaux visits, their hospitality and kindness as well as to all other guests who joined us. It was amazing to meet everyone.

We will be offering a smaller selection of Chateaux, ones we feel really hit the mark. As they are released they will be add to our dedicated Bordeaux 2021 section of our website.

See below for numerous videos Jane created to show a few highlights from the trip...