12 December 2022
The Burgundy market and the 2021 vintage
Soaring prices set the stage for release of the low volume 2021s
The release of the 2021 Burgundy vintage comes on the heels of another stellar year for the regional market. We wrote a year ago about the boom times in Burgundy, and the region’s wines continued to fetch ever higher prices in 2022.
The annual Hospices de Beaune auction on 20 November set records left, right and centre – the EUR31 million raised was roughly double the previous total and marked the highest figure for any charity wine auction ever. The Pièce des Présidents, sold in memory of the late-Louis-Fabrice Latour, sold for EUR810,000, also a new record.
However, not everything comes easy for top Burgundy producers; the new 2021 vintage conjures up memories of a challenging growing season. Some of the Cult Wines’ team recently visited Burgundy, tasting the new wines and meeting with producers. Here, we summarise their views.
Winery of Domaine Louis Jadot
Views on the 2021 vintage
True Burgundy devotees will appreciate the charm of a vintage like 2021. You’re likely to hear 2021 referred to as ‘traditional’ or ‘classic’, terms that can cover a wide range of views. In this case, ‘traditional’ references the pure Burgundian nature of the 2021 vintage, when cooler temperatures and variable weather recalled decades past rather than the hot, dry summers in 2019 and 2020 (and again in 2022).
Traditional can also reference Burgundy’s calling card – the patchwork of unique micro terroirs and vineyard parcels. 2021 tested the skills of winemakers and magnified the strengths (and weaknesses) of individual terroirs. The multitude of expressions that emerge from 2021 will delight Burgundy fans who seek out its nuances even if the vintage as a whole is not as crowd pleasing as its warmer predecessors.
Some of the 2021 success stories
One of the brightest stars in Gevrey-Chambertin, Pierre Duroché has produced some top-flight Grand Crus in 2021. While volumes may be down, quality is high, especially in the Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and Latricières-Chambertin, which display all the power, depth and finesse one wants in the Grand Cru.
Faiveley’s wines have really hit their stride after the completion of the new winery in 2018. The 2021 range of Premier Cru and Grand Cru reds displayed the level of precision, tannin and concentration of a great vintage. The Nuits-St-Georges Les Saint Georges Premier Cru really stood out. Among the whites, Batard Montrachet, as expected, was a delight.