A Bordeaux En Primeur 2021: the “victory vintage”

Intro to vintage

Reports leading up to the release of the 2021 vintage were mixed. Damaged crops from unfavourable weather conditions resulted in low yields and forced vignerons to work tirelessly to produce what has been regarded as a remarkable vintage. 

Unlike the most recent vintages of 2018, 2019 and 2020 in which Bordeaux had produced excellent wines with big tannins, and long ageing abilities, the 2021 Bordeaux growing season left many of the wine world uncertain and in anticipation. 

We are reminded of, and grateful for, the enormous technological advancements in wine-making which allow winemakers, who are able to invest,  to vinify plot by plot, grape by grape which made all the difference in this 2021 vintage. (pls assist with wording here. Not sure how much detail we need.I want to get across how the technology is used)

“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.”

Pricing

Of the Chateaux that have released, they have kept their prices the same as the 2020 vintage or slightly cheaper – around -3%. Taking into account the current economic environment, political instability in Europe and global inflation, the Bordelaise have been conscious of pricing, despite an increase in production costs, with wages up by +50%. 

For a Bordeaux that was originally received with some scepticism, this pricing is welcomed and is believed to offer good value although not immediately obvious. This vintage will appeal to those palates that enjoy lower alcohol, cooler and classic Bordeaux’s. Upon careful selection, this is definitely a vintage to consider.

 

Wine Critic Opinions

“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.”
-Antonio Galloni-

“The best 2021 reds are better than anyone could have dared to hope.”
-William Kelley-

 “2021 is not a “Cabernet vintage” or a “Right Bank vintage” or any of the other generalizations one hears when Bordeaux vintages are stereotyped: it is a farmers’ vintage.” 
-William Kelley-

 “In some ways, the 2021s remind me of the 2014s in that they aren’t obvious wines as this stage, but in the best wines quality is there, for those who are willing to look, just as it was with the 2014s.” 
-Antonio Galloni-

Highlights of 2021 by Critic

William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

Score/100

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Score/100

Haut Brion

96-98

Beausejour Becot

95-97

Margaux

95-97+

Calon Segur

95-97

Ausone

97-100

Cheval Blanc

96-98

Lafleur

96-98

La Conseillante

95-97

Cheval Blanc

95-97

L’Extravagant Doisy Daene

96-98

Lafite Rothschild

95-97

Ducru Beaucaillou

96-98

Latour

95-97

La Gaffeliere

95-97

Leoville Las Cases

95-97

Les Carmes Haut Brion

96-98

Les Carmes Haut Brion

94-97

Les Perrieres

93-95

Laroque

92-95

Pichon Comtesse

96-98

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

94-96

Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc

96-98

Palmer

95-97

Vieux Chateau Certan

96-98

 

 

Phelan Segur

92-94

 

 

Leoville Poyferre

93-95

 

 

Palmer

94-97

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

Score/100

Neal Martin, Vinous

Score/100

Haut Brion Blanc

98

Lafleur

96-98

La Mission Haut Brion

97

Haut Brion Blanc

96-98

Pavillon Blanc, Ch Margaux

97

Domaine Chevalier Blanc

95-97

Lafleur

97

Cheval Blanc

95-97

Lafite Rothschild

97

La Mission Haut Brion Blanc

95-97

Figeac

97

Lafaurie Peyraguey

95-97

 

 

De Fargues

95-97

 

 

Lafite Rothschild

95-97

 

 

Petrus

95-97

 

 

Calon Segur

95-97

 

 

Haut Brion

96-98

 

 

Vieux Chateau Certan

95-97

 

 

La Conseillante

95-97

 

 

Figeac

95-97

Growing Season

Right Bank, Left Bank or Best Performers?

As a result of such a heterogenous vintage, there is no firm consensus on the stronger performer. Instead, it would be useful to consider factors that provided individual Chateaux with advantages such as:

  • Estates that invested in advanced winemaking technologies and modernised their wine cellars.
  • Estates that were able to afford additional labour during critical times. 
  • Experienced winemakers, owners and vineyard managers who were familiar with extreme weather conditions and how to manage them. 

Our buying tips

Buying En-Premier ensures that you are able to secure wines direct from the Chateaux at ‘release price’ with perfect provenance. This may also be your only opportunity to secure such stock.

SEND US YOUR WISH LIST

To have the best chance of securing the wines you would like to acquire, please send your wish list to info@dittonwineandspirits.com and we will treat you with priority.