A 2021 vintage that required both rigour and reactivity
The most northerly appellation of Bordeaux, located on the left bank along the Gironde estuary, Saint-Estèphe has the particularity of being composed of an exceptional tapestry of soils which gives this appellation an excellent resilience during hot vintages while also successfully bringing the grapes to perfect maturity during long seasons. The 2021 Bordeaux En Primeur vintage falls into the second category, as the grape harvest was very late and the vintage required both responsiveness and energy.
A season that started early and ended late
The particularity of 2021 was that the season started early and ended late. This extended season brought about many challenges, including the frost in April and the dull, cool, rainy weather that lasted until July. Thanks to the appellation’s proximity to the river, many properties were able to survive the frost without any enduring impacts. However, mildew pressure was a challenge for everyone, but the know-how, the reactivity and the modern tools were all elements that contributed to the production of these high-quality wines.
Fine Cabernet Sauvignons in 2021
The Left Bank of Bordeaux greatly benefited from this late vintage, and particularly the 2021 Saint-Estèphe en primeur wines. The patient Cabernet Sauvignon grapes relished the lengthy end-of-season and were more resistant to cryptogamic diseases, which put a lot of pressure and strain on the teams.
What is the profile of the 2021 Saint-Estèphe en primeur wines?
The 2021 Saint-Estèphe wines are marked by very successful Cabernet Sauvignon grapes which predominantly make up the blend. The Merlot grapes that were included in the blends lend a delicious expression. Saint-Estèphe is known for producing wines that tend to be closed or even austere in their youth. This year, the wines are already surprisingly accessible and delectable. However, these pleasant Cabernet Sauvignon grapes exude a firm yet tight expression. The tannins are remarkably fine, the alcohol contents are moderate and the refinement is abundant. The ageing potential is good and the wines can be enjoyed earlier than in powerful and concentrated vintages. 2021 in Saint-Estèphe boasts a very bold and already recognisable identity.
The finest 2021 Saint-Estèphe wines
The three most famous wines from the Saint-Estèphe appellation are showcasing high-quality wines in 2021 and offer a different style to what we have seen in previous vintages.
Château Calon-Ségur 2021 has produced an impressive wine, following this reputedly difficult vintage. This estate is progressing from year to year, which is all the more striking in this vintage. The level of maturity achieved is superb and the balance of this wine is perfect. It is both ethereal in its grace and full, deeply rooted, with that velvety mouthfeel and enchantingly deep flavours.
Château Montrose 2021, Second Cru Classé in 1855, is also an impressive wine. The purity of this harmonious ensemble, a powerful style for the vintage, offers a full mouthfeel that lingers for some time.
Château Cos d'Estournel is also one of the must-have references of the Saint-Estèphe appellation and one of the most sought-after wines during the primeur campaign. Its 2021 wine is marked by a rich, spicy aromatic bouquet and an energetic mouth.
As with every vintage, Château Phélan Ségur is poised at the top of the appellation and will not fail to delight fine wine lovers who are well aware of the quality of this increasingly essential vintage.
Château Haut-Marbuzet, Château Meyney, Château Lafon-Rochet and the excellent value for money, Château Capbern, are all estate to watch out for in this 2021 Saint-Estèphe vintage.