This years "en primeur" tasting seemed like a journey in time. Bordeaux is back to a more moderate alcohol level and the style is lighter and more elegant. One could say the wines are reminiscent of the 80s, however made with more experience and the modern techniques today. It is not a powerful vintage. The wines are elegant, however the well made ones have an excellent persistence, depth and length. They offer a convincing potential for a long ageing and promote elegance in Bordeaux again. It is a true vintage of terroir although there is a lot of talk about a vintners vintage. However, terroir was the decisive factor in 2021.
Professor Axel Marchal has presented the 10 key points of this vintage on the occasion of the Union des Grands Crus press tasting:
"1. The start of the growing season was marked by severe frost on the 7th and 8th of April.
2. Wet and gloomy weather in May slowed down the vine growth although a providential window of fine weather helped flowering unfold in ideal conditions in early June.
3. Thunderstorms in June slowed down the onset of water stress.
4: Cool, dull weather in July increased the threat of vine diseases.
5. Véraison (colour change) was observed in mid-August, while vine growth had not stopped yet.
6. Thanks to a cool summer, the dry white wines are brilliant, lively and aromatic.
7. The wonderful Indian Summer allowed the red grape varieties to ripen in ideal conditions and preserved aromas.
8. The Merlots are fresh and aromatic while the Cabernets from the finest terroirs are well-structured with good balance.
9. The development of Botrytis cinerea in Sauternes was delayed by the cool summer and eventually triggered by rainfall in mid-September.
10. Despite low yields, the botrytised sweet white wines are of excellent quality."
It will be exciting to see the evolution of this vintage which produced in many cases yields on a very low scale. Arguably it will be a vintage praised for it finesse in the future. A vintage rated on finesse and persistence rather than on sheer power and opulence.”
1m 16d ago
The 2019 vintage was tasted under pandemic conditions in spring 2020. At that time, the samples were sent to Essen and tasted within 48 hours after arrival. Now the vintage has been bottled and it is possible to double check the impressions just a year and half later. Overall the quality was excellent, proving the excellent style of the vintage. Some wines were performing better than during the primeur tastings, however most of the wines confirmed the quality already on show in spring 2020. As there are still samples coming in, there will be more tastings over the coming days and I will publish a second set of wines shortly before Christmas and in January some "late arrivals".”
6m 16d ago
2020 – the paradox vintage - part two”
1y 1m ago
2020 – the paradox vintage
2020 began with mild temperatures even breaking temperature record highs at the beginning of February. These conditions led to a premature budbreak. Budding developed unevenly, very much depending on the locations although the coo and humid weather in April had not a very significant impact on slowing down the growth of the vines. Finally all the vines came into bloom at the end of May without any significant coulure or millerandage. At the start of June, frequent rain intensified the pressure of mildew. From mid-June, the weather changed. The whole Bordelais saw a period of very dry weather for two months. However, the earlier accumulation of water reserves prevented water stress. Around July 18 a heat wave began to build up but the cool nighty prevented water stress on the wines again. The veraison started at the end of July and went on till the beginning of August. The heatwave in August accentuated water stress, but shorter rainy episodes avoided a complete block. The dry and sunny weather in September encouraged the grapes maturity and harvest started on September 10 with a rather mild weather. Towards the middle of September, rain prevented the fruits from wilting but as its frequency was quite concerning, the haves was pushed forward. "Le diabolique" is the title given to this vintage by Véronique Sanders. It is a very special French word, which is not correctly translated with “diabolic” in English. In France, the expression means to overcome the devil. And the vintners succeeded. 2020 is clearly a vintner’s vintage which asked a permanent reinvention of the wineries, struggling hard with this difficult vintage. However, the vintage surprises with excellent wines, exemplary freshness and elegance and very dense structure. In former times it was said that the vine has to suffer to make exquisite wines, in this vintage the people have suffered to make a great wine. The first part of notes for this tasting with over 800 wines you will find today. More notes will follow over the coming days.”
1y 1m ago
The second part of the arrivage tasting of the 2018 vintage from Bordeaux features a wide array of wines with some great surprises. The quality of the vintage 2018 is fully confirmed with a number of wines performing better than they did before en primeur.”
1y 5m ago
A great surprise just before the weekend: a pallet with over 120 wines from the Grand Cercle arrived. So another long tasting day is waiting for me.”
2y 22d ago
On April 6, 2020 over 90 samples from Bordeaux were arriving. This huge selection was allowing a more deeper insight into the 2019's qualities. The tasting showed for Lalande de Pomerol overall ripe qualities with silky tannins. Fronsac was comparable to 2018 however with more freshness. The wines from Saint-Emilion displayed wines with very firm tannins. The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation where various in style.”
2y 2m ago
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