Bordeaux 2021 Primeurs: St Emilion Grand Cru
To conclude my reports on the 2021 vintage in St Emilion I present below my tasting notes on all the wines outside the classification. All of these wines have either the basic St Emilion or St Emilion Grand Cru appellation.
The number of tasting notes presented here – 45 at the last count – is perhaps slightly fewer than would normally be expected, and there are two principal reasons for this. The first pertains to the decision by the Vauthier family, best known for their tenure of Château Ausone of course, to reject and hold back much of their harvest. As already mentioned in my previous reports, rejection of some juices of insufficient quality meant the volume of production at Château Ausone and at Château La Clotte is lower than usual. This is despite the fact both properties are protected from frost and mildew by their positions higher up in St Emilion, giving them altitude and exposure.
On the other Vauthier properties, however, the damage – mainly from mildew, Édouard Vauthier told me – was even more devastating. “We normally produce about 90,000 bottles of Fonbel”, he told me, “but in 2021 we made perhaps 10,000 bottles. Our experience at Simard, Haut-Simard and Moulin-Saint-Georges was similar, and for the moment we are waiting until a time when we can judge the quality of these wines, to see if they are good enough to release under those labels. So we are not showing them until we have made that decision”.