BURGUNDY 2021 EN PRIMEUR

2021 was a year like no other, where the vignerons battled a once-in-a-lifetime frost to produce classic, crystalline wines with total terroir transparency. Sadly, the difficult conditions of the year mean there is very little of these beautiful wines to go around. 2021 is a vintage in which to broaden your horizons, trying new appellations, new domaines and new cuvées.
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BURGUNDY EN PRIMEUR 2021 BROCHURE

BURGUNDY EN PRIMEUR 2021 BROCHURE

Welcome to the Goedhuis & Co Burgundy 2021 En Primeur Brochure. Packed with tasting notes from Goedhuis Buying Director David Roberts MW, producer information and on-the-ground reports on the vintage and developments in Burgundy.

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BURGUNDY 2021 | BROWSE BY DOMAINE
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BURGUNDY 2021 | BROWSE BY APPELLATION
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THE VINTAGE IN A NUTSHELL

the wines

The red wines show the character of a later ripening year. The colours are wonderfully radiant, generally brick red rather than deep, dark and opaque. Similarly, the fruit flavours are beautifully crystalline, full of summer fruits, red rather than black in nature. The alcohol levels, as I have commented, are not high. But the secret to their success is the quality of the tannins: they are exceptional and some of the finest that I have tasted in an En Primeur vintage. They are not powerful or overpowering: they sit beneath the fruit in a lovely, controlled manner, providing subtle tension and great balance. Stylistically, the white wines can be characterised as very traditional, and recall some vintages of the early 2000s. They embody the best qualities of a cooler year and I have been very impressed by the clarity, purity and immaculate fruit. They have good balance and a bright freshness, with alcohol levels between 2.5% and 13%. A more forward drinking style which will give a lot of pleasure.

yields and pricing

Buying the 2021 Burgundy vintage has been a frustrating experience. The growers made some stunning wines despite the impact of the frosts, and the bitterest pill for them is the miniscule quantity. We, as merchants, have never experienced such small allocations from our growers as this year. Consequently, we are offering many wines in three bottle cases and many of our Grands Crus in single bottle cases, so that we can share the allocations as fairly as possible. In addition, many growers have found yields so low that they have had to blend certain Premiers Crus or lieux- dits together to create a combined cuvée in their place. This is not going to be a vintage with guaranteed allocations of a specific cuvée; in some instances they simply don’t exist. Prices are also up on the 2020 vintage and, whilst it does reflect demand, more importantly, if an estate has only made 15% of a normal harvest, it cannot be expected to maintain its prices.
2021 IN THE VINEYARD

2021 IN THE VINEYARD

  • Exceptionally early bud break due to a freak week of hot weather, averaging 25°C in mid-March.
  • Extreme winter frost over three days between 6th-8th April, exacerbated by snow on thesecond night hitting the early budding vines (particularly Chardonnay) with a huge impact on bud development and potential yield.
  • The vines went into shock and shut down for almost three weeks after the frost before showing signs of any further vegetative development.
  • A cool and damp early summer in June and July, so vigilant vineyard work was imperative to protect the frost-stressed vines against potential disease.
  • A dry August, but not excessively hot, with average temperatures of around 28°C.
  • Harvest in excellent conditions from mid-September onwards, instead of the early Augustharvest that would have been expected prior to the impact of the frosts.
  • Dramatic yield reduction for the white wines in Côte de Beaune: between 60–80% and, in the later-budding region of Chablis, a 50% reduction. Yields for Pinot Noir also down approximately 50%.
  • For some vineyards, yields have been so low that growers have had to make blended cuvées combining more than one Premier Cru vineyard together.
  • White wines with precise, pure fruit. The best have fine terroir identity.
  • Classical red wines, with lower alcohol, exceptionally fine tannins and plenty of energy. Pinot Noir at its very best.
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    THE EVER-CHANGING FACE OF BURGUNDY
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    WHAT THE CRITICS THINK

    "Some have assumed that the 2021 vintage, in which grapes were threatened almost constantly by both mildews and such grapes as survived struggled to ripen, would necessarily produce disappointing wine but I firmly believe they are wrong. I have really enjoyed the classicism of the great majority of the 2021 reds I have tasted so far. These are not blockbusters. They may not last for decades but is that necessary? Many of those from conscientious producers are full of energy, refreshment and terroir expression and are already giving great pleasure. And the 2021 whites, as so regularly, seem to have managed to be blessed by both fruit and refreshment, even if they are available in tiny quantities, thanks to the devastating April frosts." Jancis Robinson


    "In many cases, they can rightly say that they triumphed over Mother Nature thanks to their tenacity, experience and tireless work ethic, and the finest wines are singular in their purity, freshness and uncommon resonance... If a château has noble terroir, an entirely dedicated team, state-of-the-art technology (to sort out the clean, pure, ripe fruit from the weaker berries) and a slice of luck, then there is no excuse for not making fabulous wine... this is a classic example of a vintage where every single wine must be tasted individually... Suffice to say that I found some exquisite wines in 2021, and they are all pure, long, refreshing, pristinely elegant and refined, and the epitome of the plots of vines from which they were harvested." Matthew Jukes
    Given everything thrown at vineyards and winemakers in 2021, how come so many of the wines are blooming deliciously?... The fact is that a similar season 15-20 years earlier would have been calamitous. Conditions that not so long ago would have yielded barely palatable and vegetal wines instead give rise to a raft of inexplicably pretty, fresh and delicious Burgundies thought impossible back then. That’s partly down to the quirks of the season, not least the depleted amount of sunshine focused on a depleted volume of fruit, but mostly it is a testament to winemakers that had the fortitude to never give up, from the morning after the first frost hit to the day they were safely in barrel." Neal Martin
    "A horrible growing season, which was contested with vigour and intelligence by an impressive number of vignerons. Really, I take my hat off to them. There were so few who threw their own hats in and succumbed. Grumbled, they may have, but the work ethic and effort was remarkable, and well rewarded." Jasper Morris
    first thoughts | the whites

    first thoughts | the whites

    Every autumn, once the most recent harvest has been completed, we return to the rolling landscapes of Burgundy. Traversing from Chablis down through the Côte d'Or, we meet with growers to taste the past year's vintage. Earlier this October, we headed out to get a view of the 2021 white Burgundies. David Roberts MW, Goedhuis Buying Director, reports on a classic vintage, with wines full of fine brightness and energy, but sadly only in tiny quantities.

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    first thoughts | the reds

    first thoughts | the reds

    After two weeks of intensive tasting of the red wines throughout the Côte d’Or, our Buying Director David Roberts MW has returned excited and energised by the style and quality of Burgundy 2021. The vintage tells an extraordinary story, showing the strength of the vine following these adverse conditions and the fortitude and dedication of the very best vignerons working all hours to make some beautiful wines, despite everything that nature threw at them.

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    BUYING EN PRIMEUR
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