2021 Burgundy En Primeur
A Classical, Refreshing Vintage
Our buying team was in Burgundy in October and November 2022 to taste and assess the 2021 vintage as it matured in the growers’ cellars. In these pages, we are delighted to present the vintage and our selections.
The 2021 Growing Season and Harvest
The first three months of the year were clement, with prospects for a normal awakening of the vines looking good. However, disaster struck during the nights between 6th and 8th April, when severe frosts, with unseasonal snowfall, did massive damage to the young shoots in many vineyards. Chardonnays were generally more affected than Pinots, as they usually bud earlier, but few vineyards were unaffected, from Chablis down to the Côte Châlonnaise. Between 50% and 80% of a normal crop was lost, and some vineyards had their 2021 production wiped out entirely.
April and May were damp and warm, then June turned sunnier, with July being mild and often rainy. This meant that treatments to prevent mildew and oïdium had to be oft-repeated. Summer weather arrived intermittently from mid-August, then mercifully persisted up to the vintage, which generally began from 20th September, in good weather.
The 2021 Reds
The growing season represented a big contrast with recent years – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – when sun and heat were plentiful. In spite of the changeable weather through the summer, conscientious growers were able to protect their grapes, allow sugars to build, and bring them to ripeness, while freshness was maintained. Careful sorting, to eliminate less-than-perfect bunches, was essential to success. Colours are generally not deeply purple, but aromatic fruitiness is clearly apparent, with structures being balanced and refreshing. The style of the vintage reminds us of red Burgundies from the years before climate change began to impinge. Low yields contribute to fruitiness being intense and pure, and skilful wine-making has produced refreshing finishes, with gentle tannins.
The 2021 Whites
The whites in this offer have beautiful fruit, showing vivacity and energy in mid-palate with refreshingly pure, splendid aftertastes. There is no touch of heaviness, these are lively wines with concentrated fruitiness. The only problem is the tiny productions.
Late Release Domaines
This offer features the 2021 wines from the majority of the Burgundy Domaines we work with. However, there are some who will release their offer to us later in the year, at which stage we will communicate the details and our notes.
The Late Release Domaines are:
- Domaine Raveneau, Chablis
- Domaine du Cellier aux Moines, Givry
- Domaine Roulot, Meursault
- Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley, Volnay
- Domaine Parent, Pommard
- Domaine Georges Roumier, Chambolle-Musigny
- Domaine J-F Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny (for the Domaine’s wines from Chambolle)
- Domaine des Lambrays, Morey-Saint-Denis
Many of the wines in this offer are made in tiny quantities and we anticipate that demand may exceed availability. To enable us to make the fairest allocations, please let us know your requests as soon as possible. For those wines where volumes are particularly limited, allocations will be confirmed by the beginning of February 2023. When making our allocations, preference will be given to loyal HH&C customers who buy a wide spread of our wines throughout the year.