Burgundy 2021: a wine-grower’s vintage

Our team strolling between tastings in Burgundy

When we got back from our first trip to Burgundy to taste 2021 in September, I was a bit worried. It was a fleeting visit, tasting only a handful of reds, but some of them were thin. Some village wines tasted better than Grands Crus. How was I going to muster the enthusiasm to write thousands of words about a bad vintage?

After a week in November fully immersed in the year, I was delighted to know that wouldn’t be a problem. Those early visits were perhaps unfortunate, producers who hadn’t fared as well with their reds, but the wines have also clearly benefited from additional time in barrel.

From a year that asked everything of wine producers, testing them with frost, hail, rain and endless disease, the resulting wines are a marvel. The crops may be tiny, but the whites (as they were in September) are brilliant, tight and taut with stunning concentration. The reds are old-school Burgundy, pale and perfumed with low alcohols and tannins, ethereal and elegant. They’re wines I want to drink endlessly.

Read my full overview of the vintage, and a breakdown of the year by producer on frw.co.uk/editorial.


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