Le Livre de Cave, as it does every year, visited the Bordeaux region to participate in the Primeurs 2021 tastings.
If 2021 was a completely unique year, Bordeaux already had a presentiment - it’s a vintage ending in 1 - and the work of the winemakers proved to be particularly delicate. While the year began with a historic frost, it also ended with white frosts in October in several appellations. Between these extremes? Rain. In addition to providing moisture promoting the development of fungal diseases (powdery mildew, black rot, etc.), the summer rain dilutes the grapes and with them, everything that goes with: aromas, colour, structure, etc.
Needless to say, 2021 saw a lot of people cringing, and we were expecting a borderline vintage.
That's not the case.
Whether in Pessac-Léognan, Pauillac or Sauternes, there are wines with a lot of potential.
Le Livre de Cave was able to visit the Château Haut-Brion in Pessac-Léognan, which presented all its cuvées. If the reds are characterized by a beautiful minerality and bitterness that will still be patinated during the rest of the ageing, the whites are worthy of an exceptional vintage! Length, density and volume.
We also visited Pauillac with the Châteaux Clerc Milon and Mouton-Rothschild which presented wines full of aromas and structure brought by the short but powerful – and necessary – period of sun and heat at the end of August/September. At Lafite-Rothschild, we find a very soft aromatic envelope and a measured alcohol degree. The attack in the mouth is already aerial (the palate is solicited!), it promises a lot for the end of ageing. Superb.
In Pomerol, we visited the mythical Château Pétrus. The Merlot grape variety, star of Petrus, gave a creamy dimension to this 2021 vintage. Everything is aerial without ever rushing towards «alcoholic» heaviness . The graphite shade is present and the red fruit sparkle remains very elegant. A lot of delicacy for a promising wine.
Finally, we had the chance to attend the tasting organised by the Château Coutet, emblem of the Barsac appellation. The softness astonishes with its crystalline minerality mixed with a very present floral bouquet. Delicacy.
Thank you for these superb tastings and the warm welcome!