Bordeaux En Primeur 2021
Our team spent a vibrant week in Bordeaux to taste the much-anticipated En-Primeur 2021 Vintage. We visited the Top 20 estates and tasted a hundred of wines produced by Bordeaux’ iconic Chateaux. We are glad to share with you our first thoughts on the vintage. The story of the 2021 is impressive : the main words we commonly heard describe the vintage as a “Victory”, “Inattendu ”, “A winning vintage”, “The Surprise”, “The big old vintages style”, etc. Quoted by Decanter as “One of the most interesting and talked about vintages of recent times”, the 2021 vintage is a triumph that had required from producers an exceptional human dedication: The result is promising as wines show great elegance. Growing a fine wine collection can lead to more than wonderful and convivial tasting experiences. Investing in wine is also the opportunity to diversify your assets by growing a portfolio that is independent of the tribulations of bonds or the stock market.
The 2021 En Primeur kicked off with the release of big names from the Right bank such as Châteaux Angélus, Cheval Blanc, Pavie, Palmer, Lafite Rothschild Carruades, Berliquet and others. Here are our Sommelier’s Coups de Coeurs for the releases of May 2022.
Château Angélus, Saint-Emilion
The Icon of Saint-Emilion released its 2021 vintage named “The Unexpected” with a stand-out quality and world-acclaimed critics. Angélus 2021 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with half of the old-vine Cabernet Franc maturing in foudres rather than barriques, resulting in a fantastic intensity and energy at this early stage. The 2021 Carillon d’Angélus is no longer a “second wine” but it stands on its own as a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. Heady and aromatic on the nose, medium to full-bodied, remarkable acidity, refined tannins, and a long-penetrating finish.
Château Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion
Marks another relatively early release for 2021 En-Primeur. Owned by LVMH, Château Cheval Blanc is a legend among Bordeaux’ icons, and is one of the most in-demand wines of 2021. Deep dark color, revealing the aromas of ripe red fruits, wild berries, with floral notes of violets, spices and a subtle oakiness. The finish goes on with a good length and leaves an impression of remarkable freshness.
Cheval Blanc’s second wine, Le Petit Cheval, was released as well. Very structured due to the higher-than-normal Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, the nose is charming, and the palate is medium with dark berry fruits.
Château Palmer, Margaux
Among the Stars of the appellation, its 2021 vintage scored! A blend of 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot. Striking bouquet of blackberries, exotic spices, and violets; full-bodied with a concentrated fruit, ripe tannins and concluding with a long finish.
Chateau Palmer’s second wine, Alter Ego is absolutely outstanding this year due to its unusually high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%). It reflects the essence of the Margaux appellation, between subtlety and aromatic persistence.
Les Carruades de Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
A very attractive wine. One of the world’s most collectable wines was released in the 2021 campaign. The 2021 Carruades, very Lafite in style is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Deep and impressively intense, exhibiting aromas of energetic fruits, sweet berries, warm spices and delicate oakiness.
In a nutshell, the 2021 En Primeur is pure, elegant, and balanced with aromatic quality and rounded tannins. It’s one of the best vintages in modern history, scoring a triumph over mother nature’s climatic events. “What is clear is that, were the 2021s transposed to the decade of the 1990s, they would be considered the product of a superb vintage.” – William Kelley
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