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2021 Bordeaux

What was the 2021 Vintage like?

Whilst the weather conditions provided a set of challenges, the reviews from the recent En Primeur tastings and commentary show some big (excellent) surprises. It is a year to select and purchase carefully, which will mean that for the 2021 vintage we will not offer the widest range. To assist you in ensuring that what we do offer from 2021 sits amongst the highest performing Chateau from the vintage.

With regards the growing season, a report from Chateau Batailley sums it up very well

“2021, A TESTING GESTATION FOR A VINTAGE WITH A VERY HAPPY END

“After a mild, cold and rainy winter bud bursting happens in the April early days, unfortunately stopped by a terrible frost on April 7 and 8……... Thanks to an extraordinary job in the vines we have been able to pick nice Merlots that are a little less homogeneous than the right bank. Then as our grapes were superb and could wait, we have picked top quality Cabernets mid-October, with a very nice tannic structure, a superb length, a beautiful intensity and a freshness that were very well expressed on the gravel of Pauillac.”

The reviews are in for Chateau Batailley and support their delight, Terre de Vins: 95-96, La RVF : 94-95 JM Quarin : 93 and The Wine Advocate : 90-92. (We do expect Château Batailley to be released early this week)

2021 was a good year though it is one that is very different to the warmth of the past three years. Drinks Business reports that: “Bordeaux 2021 marks the return to a cool-vintage classicism that is dividing the critics and that will not be to everyone’s taste”. When you consider that comparisons are being drawn to the 2008 and 2014 vintages, this is a year that returns to the classic wines with lower abv and that are highly terroir expressive styles. All characters that we tend to adore in New Zealand.

White wines from the 2021 vintage a definite highlight, though many properties, such as Smith Haut Lafite in Pessac-Leognan had very small 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages. Unfortunately, a very small vintage with 2021.

This is a vintage to purchase, and one to put aside for early drinking. Not a year that will require decades in the cellar, rather one that will delight early on.