2021 Bordeaux – The Classic Bordeaux Vintage and a Vintage of Many Challenges
To start with the conclusion – we really dig the 2021 Bordeaux vintage.
With widespread reports of frost and weather difficulties and the vintage generally being characterized as ‘cool and wet’, Vintage Issei and Vintage Joselyn got on the plane to Bordeaux to taste the 2021s with guarded skepticism. We’re happy to report, in a nutshell, the 2021 wines are much better than anticipated. The wines are harmonious; aromatically lifted, great ripeness and delicately extracted.
This vintage should be approachable soon after release and we think that some wines that have the potential of reaching the towering heights similar of the most legendary vintages. The pressing question that we asked at many of the Chateaus, ‘what vintage does 2021 most closely resemble?’ Some cellarmasters diplomatically quipped that the vintage was very unique in its own right but some veterans emphatically went out on a limb and remarked the resemblance to 1982. Vintage Issei and Vintage Joselyn might not have been born by ’82, but we like to side with veterans. To this day, Vintage Vinny claims the ’82 Margaux is still one of his top five lifetime wines.
Every Chateau had to their fair share of challenges for this year’s crop – frost, mildew, and then forecast of rain during harvest. With frost, you have to wake up in the middle of the night to heat the vineyards. With wetness, mildew spawns and can only be managed by proper pruning. With rain forecast, well, you just have to take some chances. From the budbreak to harvest, nothing was easy. It was the perfect year to make one of the worst wines of the decade, but with advances in winemaking knowledge and technology innovation, the result in the bottle is pure magic.
There are no other vintages made in this past decade with such care in both the vineyard and in the cellar as this 2021 vintage. Compared to the recent “perfect” vintages with numerous 100 point perfect scores by fake news wine critics, we think this is our favorite Bordeaux vintage of recent years.
Joselyn's Wine of the Vintage
2021 Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux
Wow, it's a month later and the magical bouquet of the 2021 Pavillon Blanc is still charmingly dancing through my head with every fleeting moment. As the second Chateau visit on day 1, the BAR WAS SET HIGH all week. This sensous gem of a wine took me a rocket ship to heaven with a poignantly rich nector of favors highlighted by apricot, peach and lilacs combined with incredible freshness, texture and length. Wow O Wow. I hope this ain't too expensive.
RUNNER UP: 2021 Chateau La Conseillante
This is a stand out red that just won’t quit. Plush red fruit flavors that are lush yet elegant with a hint of spice…ALL. DAY. LONG. Beautiful.
Issei's Wine of the Vintage
2021 Chateau Haut-Brion Rouge
It’s easy to say that the 1st growth is an amazing wine – but this wine was truly star-studded, lip smacking exceptional. In my opinion, head and shoulders above the other 1st growths. Beautifully robust bouquet of dark cherry and cassis, dancing with haunting hints of cigar and leather. Stunning - flat-out stunning. This is from a barrel sample and I can’t wait for this wine to be released to try it again after release and then again in 5 - 10 - 15 years. Well done.
WHY BUY THIS VINTAGE
This is a vintage for you to buy if you are into wines of the past generation: lower in alcohol, brilliant and refreshing aromatics and well-balanced fruit. These wines should be accessible as near and mid-terms drinkers, but we also think you may be pleasantly surprised with their longevity and cellarworthiness.
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We’re Not Going Anywhere
We’ve been doing this wine thing for nearly two decades now. I remember when we were first getting out the gate, we’d make our pitch to plenty of folks that shopped futures at other local stores. Some folks were candidly upfront and honest about things and skeptical that we would still be in business by the time the futures arrived. 19 years later, two of our biggest competitors at the time are now long gone, and I’m still on lease through 2030. We’ve come a long way and we’re still going to be here for a long, long time.