The 2021 vintage promises to be different and atypical
The 2021 en primeur campaign promises to be as exciting as the year was stressful for winemakers. The latter are the real stars of this vintage, the choices made throughout the year have rarely been this decisive with regards to the final quality of the wines. If the 2021 vintage was fraught with pitfalls, the end of the season and the exceptional Indian summer made it possible to carry out quality harvests. In Bordeaux, as in the Rhône Valley and in Burgundy, the 2021 en primeur wines promise many gems, some of which will be uncovered with the help of our advisors.
2021: A challenging year for winemakers
Major weather-related hazards
In 2021, winemakers had to be on their toes for most of the year. The historic spring frosts hit all the French vineyards. Here and there, some plots were spared more than others and some professionals will say that in 2021, the good terroirs are those which had little to no frost. Although some plots of land were trying to catch up with the delay accumulated throughout the season, other vines showed signs of resilience and took off again. However, the entire wine industry already knew at the time that yields would be strongly impacted and that the 2021 wines would probably be rare.
The beginning of the very rainy summer months did not give time for the estates to breathe. The pressure of the vines being impacted by cryptogamic diseases is high. It is necessary to evaluate the situation and to anticipate as much as possible, creating suspenceful conditions that the winegrowers could have done without.
The 2021 vintage saved by a providential end of season
The 2021 primeurs benefited from a remarkable, even healthy end of season. In Bordeaux, a few rainy spells occurred during a sunny end of season, which were beneficial for the grape’s ripening period. The cool nights ensured a superb aromatic profile and an excellent acidity.
2021 Harvest: back to a traditional calendar
Following numerous sunny years marked by early harvests, in 2021 the winemakers resorted to a traditional harvesting schedule. Due to the particular weather conditions throughout the year, choosing the harvesting dates was a real headache. From one parcel to another, the teams had to follow the evolution of the grapes as closely as possible in order to harvest at the right time. Depending on the style sought by the estates, the progress of the grapes, the necessary selections to ensure the highest quality... there was no obvious choice, compared to what can sometimes be the case during more simple vintages.
2021 en primeur wines: fine white wines and good, even great red wines
Modern tools and current know-how have made this a very good vintage in terms of quality. There are some very nice grapes in 2021, the hard task being to make them stand out from the crowd, which the estates manage to do perfectly.
What is the profile of the 2021 en primeur white wines?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the 2021 en primeur white wines are very fine. Superb tension, intense and elegant aromatic profiles – all the signs of a successful vintage are well and truly there. However, these will be rare wines as quantities, particularly in Burgundy, are historically low.
What is the profile of the 2021 en primeur red wines?
Regarding red wines, the alcohol levels are lower than in other years and the 2021 en primeur wines are notable for their delicious, elegant and fine tannins combined with excellent freshness. This is not a powerful, concentrated vintage like those we have come to expect from Bordeaux or the Rhône Valley over the last few years. Silk rather than velvet.
2021 en primeur wines: a quality vintage with a distinctive yet rare identity
2021 has some very nice in store with estates that have managed to rise to the challenge of this demanding year. In addition to offering lower alcohol levels and more refined structures, this special vintage has coincided phenolic and aromatic ripeness in many places. This has become a rarity in recent years as the aromatic ripeness is often far behind during harvest time. The aromatic profiles in 2021 are therefore enchanting.
With very limited quantities, the rarity of this vintage, up to -60% or even -80% in some of the French appellations, makes buying en primeur wines an unmissable opportunity if you want to secure and enjoy this alluring and charming vintage.