A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE 2021 VINTAGE
- Difficult growing season, with many vineyards hit by April frosts, which ultimately resulted in lower yields
- Cooler, wetter earlier summer than recent years meant lots of work in the vineyard to keep vines healthy
- A turn in the weather later in the summer allowed grapes to ripen fully, with the winemakers we tasted with generally very happy that their hard work has paid off with good wines
- More modest alcohol levels than has been the trend across recent years
- In the north, the whites are excellent and the best reds are truly reflective of their The temptation to make comparisons to Burgundy’s single-varietal expressions of variations in soils and micro-climates is stronger than ever in 2021!
- Gorgeous, approachable wines in the south, in an open-knit and generous style
WHERE TO START?
The reduced yields have meant that some wines we offered previously haven’t been made, but we are pleased to have added a Cotes du Rhone from one of the best villages in the appellation – Côtes du Rhone Brézème from Château de la Rolière alongside an exciting new white Chateauneuf du Pape in the form of Domaine du Grand Tinel’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Les Rousannees de Charles.
We flag Domaine Garon’s La Part des Vivants every year and with good reason – it offers an incredible amount of wine at £7.50 per bottle in bond. Côte-Rôtie has once again produced excellent wines, in an accessible style. The dynamic Julien Cecillon was impressive in 2021 – we were amazed at how good the wines were again, with Crozes Hermitage Les Marguerites showing many of the qualities one would expect from Hermitage itself.
In the south, the wines show a glorious expression of fruit. Tasting component parts at Domaine du Cayron was instructive in understanding the complexity of the final blend in their textbook Gigondas, whilst Domaine du Grand Tinel’s Châteauneuf du Pape Alexis Establet is a standout. Followers of Chateau de Beaucastel shouldn’t miss the flagship Châteauneuf du Pape, it’s another knockout wine from one of the great names of the Rhône.