Bordeaux 2021 Primeurs: Primeur Picks

As is customary I conclude my primeurs report with some final pointers as to the best wines and best buys. Picking out my favourites in this vintage is easy. Picking out specific buying recommendations is more of a challenge.

First of all, before I continue, let me park the white wines – like those from Château Cos d’Estournel pictured below – to one side for a moment. There is good quality there, and what I write in the next few paragraphs does not apply to those wines. I will come back to them further down the page. For the moment, let’s stick with Bordeaux’s red wines.

Bordeaux 2021

Having already presented a detailed description of the 2021 growing season, I don’t want to rake over old ground again, but some context to the following comments is nevertheless required. This was a difficult season in Bordeaux, a viticultural Tough Mudder assault course, as I phrased it within a previous report. There was frost, rain, mildew, a cool and drizzly summer and yet more rain – although not as much as some feared – during the harvest. Taken alone such events are part and parcel of modern viticulture; after all 2017 was also frosted, and 2018 saw rampant mildew, and both produced excellent wines (you have to be selective in 2017, but the quality is there). Combine all these in one season though, and it is quite different. It was only a burst of benevolent late season weather, those few weeks of sunshine that came in September and October, which brought the fruit to a fragile, crunchy and crisp state of just-about-there ripeness.

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