David Roberts MW on 2021 red burgundy
My report in October following our tasting of the white wines in the Côte de Beaune covered in detail the extraordinary climatic conditions during 2021 and their impact on style, quality and volumes for the vintage. If you wish to read this detail it is available in my October “First Thoughts” report here, but as a precis, the key points are below:
THE 2021 VINTAGE IN BURGUNDY | KEY POINTS
Like Burgundy’s white wines, yields for red Burgundy were also down in 2021, although to a lesser extent. As an average, production of Pinot Noir was approximately 50% down, primarily due to the frost. The main reason for this is that, in a normal year, Pinot Noir tends to be two weeks behind Chardonnay in its vegetative cycle. The result is that many red vineyards were less advanced than their white counterparts, so following the heat spike in March hadn’t yet entered a full flow of budding when the April frost arrived.
There is of course variation from vineyard to vineyard, with the best wines showing their pedigree and excellent terroir identity. There is a range of styles on offer, from lighter earlier drinking wines to intensely structured wines which have so much potential and a long life ahead of them. This variety makes 2021 a stimulating red vintage that will both appeal to customers new to the joys of Burgundy and prove irresistible to Pinot Noir aficionados. It is classical in the very best sense of the word. 2021 might not necessarily hit the journalistic headlines, but for wine drinkers it is an absolute joy. We have been delighted by its quality; it is just a shame that there will be so little to go around!