Bordeaux 2021

I think the market has already spoken. The 2019s are priced much higher now than EP and 2021s are lower than EP (and lower than 19). Of course the market may have more to say yet.

It seems to me that the key point being made by Jeff and some others isn’t that this vintage will be more like 81/83/88 than 82/85/89, but that it may (for a careful selection of the best wines) be more like 85 than 16/18/19/20/22.

More like 1988 or 2004 in style for the better wines and similar to 2007 in style for the next level below. Though the best 21s are better than 88 and equal to, or better than most 2004, though the few, top 04s exceed the best 21s.


Shoot, that would make 2021 pretty damn good for my palate. Lots of interesting comments above, almost suggesting that some of these vintages are mutually exclusive. When you have quality vintages like 2016, I don’t think so, how can any Bordeau lover not love that vintage? I’ve bought quite a lot of Bordeaux in 2016 and 2019, it is only the more extreme vintages that I avoid (think 2018 and 2015).

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Never had that many 1988s, but I liked a number of 1981s (esp. Ducru) and of 83s (esp. Chateau Margaux).


Interesting comparison, I have a '88 Cos I’m about to open.

You, and your gang of Yaks will love most 21s. They are more charming than 88, They’re also approachable early. The best 21s are better than the best 88s. It’s not the best vintage I’ve ever tasted. And as you might surmise, it’s not in my wheelhouse stylistically.

As you know I’m a big fan of 2016, as well as 2009, 2010, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022.

But one size isn’t supposed to fit all. Wines are about character and style.


Thanks. I had in mind your comment comparing the 2021 La Conseillante to the 1985. My impression was also that many chateaux had a fairly light touch with tannin in 21 (LPB spoke about that in the Livex interview that someone posted upthread). Is that accurate?

1985 and 2021 have one thing in common. Early accessible. But I think the 85 were riper and rounder.

Most Chateau handled the 2021 well and did not try to make more than possible with extraction, oak and so forth. That is good. I did not taste tannic or oaky monsters. If you will the better wines of the vintage can be described with the word elegance. But for many the wines may lack substance, intensity and length.

BTW: 2021 is not a vintage for the so called lesser wines. In many Crus Bourgeoise the problems of the vintage are too obvious. There may be the one or other exception but overall this is a vintage for the top Chateau.

If money is the issue I think the best deals can be found in wines like Domaine de Chevalier, Leoville Barton, Brane Cantenac, Clinet etc. But to be honest: the same quality can be had in a vintage like 2019 for less money.

What I mean? I really liked Leoville Barton 2021. But Gloria 2019 is the better wine IMO.

I am trying to understand the logic here. I think you are saying that because you don’t like the wines, us yaks will.
I thought we had dispensed with arguments like this in logic 101.
Therefore -P>-R

(Can’t find arrows so used the greater than symbol)

2021 is lighter and not at the level of 1985. For an older vintage, perhaps, 1981 or 1979 are closer. 21 is better than 1987. I can only guess that what LPB means is the extractions were not pushed. The chateaux got the wines nature intended. They did not try to get more than they could. This is normal.

I’m unclear if these numbers include the 2021 vintage, but the BDX volumes certainly track with a weak vintage, combined with declining consumption at the low end.

1985 is one of the great unsung vintages of Bordeaux, excellent young, never closing, and forty years later, still going strong. It has been compared to 1953, another of Bordeaux great successes, which went through the same cycle.

I have always enjoyed 1979 Bordeaux, which was particularly strong in Margaux and Pomerol. All have peaked, but few show signs of fading.

I have done any comprehensive tastings of 1981. I have had a few lately, most recently DDC, which I really enjoyed.

Most of that would encompass 2020 vintage. Very little 2021s made it to the US before the end of the year. The vast majority of mine are finally coming in the next few weeks, and I’ve been hounding them for months to take delivery.

That could also point to an issue though. Delayed shipping.


The volume declined, but did the value increase? With steep prices increases I’m sure they expected that the numbers of bottles sold would go down.

Not really that I saw. I think it was just lack of general interest.

The importation of Bordeaux in the US continues to be a mess. The smart ones import Bordeaux themselves. I’m sure that gets counted, but most of the importers are not buying EP, nor are they going to go long on a vintage like 2021 since it’s not heavily lauded.

Also since Brexit, the paperwork of getting wine from continental Europe to the UK has become much harder. At lower levels, it means European wines are having problems retaining the UK market as merchants look elsewhere for value.

Give us some hint–maybe some price range or appellation?

my guess is Haut Brion probably blanc or DDC blanc

Those would be my guesses, too. Mmmmmaybe Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc?

Assuming you’re referring to the red wines, my guess would be Ducru Beaucaillou.