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.”
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