Bordeaux En-Primeur 2021

This year a longer ‘hang time’ has encouraged flavour over sugar. Alcohol levels will be a little lower while colour, acids and tannins are at ideal levels. The result of this is a more classical style; distinct, lifted and with a fine balance. So we go backwards in style but stride forward in the quest for perfection; ‘Back to the Future’.

– James Handford

There was no escaping the news of heavy frosts in many parts of France. Two events in mid-April brought vignerons from their slumber to light candles, spray water and fan air through the rows. After that, when it rained, it poured and much of May and June was grey and wet.

The second half of the season was a different game. The sun came out, the vines perked up and the fewer berries and bunches enjoyed a little more freedom to ripen beautifully.

Cabernets are as distinguished and distinctive as in 2016 with their bright, cassis and mineral tones. 2021 was not quite as kind to Merlot, a detail that is manifest in the final blends of many reds. This will please Cabernet Franc fans!

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