It is no secret that the Burgundy 2021 vintage will be one of the smallest in recent history, largely due to a series of frosts that hit the region from the 6th to 9th of April.

This snap drop in temperature ravaged the more precocious Chardonnay vines, which were already in budbreak. Even the vines which survived were greatly stressed by the conditions, and were overall less productive than on average, even with the warm and sunny September which welcomed the harvest. By and large, the appellation of Meursault has taken the biggest hit with some producers reporting losses of up to 90%, while other appellations in the Cote de Beaune such as Saint Aubin and Puligny Montrachet have suffered average losses of around 60%. In Chablis, where budbreak is often a few weeks behind the Cote d’Or, losses have been reported of around 50% from most growers. Thankfully the later developing Pinot Noir vines in the Cote de Nuits managed to avoid the worst of the frost, however, by no means produced an abundant crop in 2021.

A return to classical Burgundian nuance and elegance

While quantities may be crushingly small in 2021, it is important not to misjudge the quality of the vintage based on the negative press surrounding the low yields. As Jancis Robinson underlined in her early report on the vintage, “I fear the reputation of 2021 is likely to be dogged by the record small quantity and ungenerous summer. […] 2021 is likely to be a vintage in which we can enjoy a return to the sort of burgundy that was typically produced before climate change took full effect.” Unlike recent vintages in which growers had to take great care to prevent a rich and solar quality from overpowering the individual nuances of each site, 2021 is a far more heterogenous vintage, in which the individual terroir of each wine is able to shine through with ample amounts of freshness and elegance.

The low white grape yields have produced a superb level of ripeness and complexity in the wines, which is deftly balanced by a bracing level of acidity and vivacity. The best white wines can be characterised as pure and generous, with an abundance of intoxicating perfume and aromatics.

With regards to the red wines, there is reason to celebrate the return to classicism in 2021, as highlighted by Jancis Robinson, “The last few vintages in Burgundy have been so warm that the Pinot Noir grapes especially have reached almost dangerous levels of ripeness, making concentrated wines more alcoholic that the Burgundian norm. […] It’s quite possible that those connoisseurs who treasure the delicacy and perfume that used to distinguish red burgundy will find 2021 particularly to their liking.” The best reds from the Cote de Nuit are a welcome return to the silky, perfumed and elegant style of wine that will offer a delicate nuance in the short term, than the far more opulent 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages.

Including releases from

Antoine Jobard
Ballot Millot
Bernard Moreau
Berthaut-Gerbet
Bitouzet-Prieur
Bouchard
Bruno Clair
Clos Frantin
Comte Armand
Didier Larue
Domaine des Lambrays
Faiveley
Felettig
Follin Arbelet
Francois Lumpp
Herve Sigaut
Jean Fournier
Joseph Colin
Joseph Drouhin
Louis Jadot
Marc Colin
Michel Lafarge
Robert Chevillon
Taupenot Merme
Tawse
Tollot Beaut
Vincent Girardin
William Fevre

And more.

Register your interest

Global demand for Burgundy has reached unprecedented heights in the last year, so with the devastatingly reduced yields of the 2021 En Primeur vintage ahead, we anticipate that the demand for allocations will be greater than we have ever seen before. Explore the wines available to buy (updated daily with new releases) or speak to the team for tailored guidance today.

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