Vintage report

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


Bordeaux 2022: a glimpse of the year’s potential

A shot of the vines basking in early October sun at Ch. Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion

Earlier this month I spent a day and a half zipping around Bordeaux’s top châteaux talking to producers about the just-picked 2022s. Even with some ferments not yet finished, it’s already clear that this was an extraordinary year. Anyone on social media will remember the frosts that arrived in April and the summer’s fires, with hot and dry conditions throughout – but, despite these challenges, it looks set to be a blockbuster year. As you can see from the picture above at Cheval Blanc, the vines (at most addresses) were still green and lush in early/mid-October, which is remarkable considering the year’s conditions. The only possible fly in the ointment is acidity, with the year’s notably low malic acid levels and generally high pH. Read my full post-harvest report – with thoughts from Noemie Durantou Reilhac at Eglise-Clinet/Vignobles Durantou, Philippe Bascaules at Ch. Margaux, Pierre-Olivier Clouet at Cheval Blanc and Guillaume Pouthier at Les Carmes Haut-Brion – at, here.