The 2021 vintage: A year of unexpected challenges

  • 2 October 2023

2021 was a tricky year right from the start, with some devastating frost on 7 April, followed by a particularly rainy summer and some violent hailstorms over Gevrey-Chambertin. This led to the development of both powdery and downy mildew, the first causing the grapes to dry out, and the second leading to rot.

This unfortunate weather pushed back the harvest, and meant the grapes had to be particularly well sorted, resulting in lower-than-normal yields down 50% on a normal year. Picking began on 6 September in the plot of Bourgogne Les Cornillots in Premeaux-Prissey for our sparkling Fête de Famille Crémant de Bourgogne.

Then from 17 September onwards, we had to work at lightning pace to bring in the crop before the rain came.

Despite the low yields of Pinot Noir, the quality was good, setting the tone for what was to come. The vats filled slowly because of the lack of fruit, but there was a lovely surprise in store. When we pressed the reds, we were delighted to see the yield surpassing our expectations.

The white grapes were generous but again, quantities were disappointing. However, the aromas were very expressive. The juice was a lovely color and exceptionally aromatic. The Bel Air was all about cherries while the Charlemagne was citrusy fresh.

Sugar levels were low so chaptalization was essential. And the wine was in rush, with the first cuvées going into the barrel just 11 days after the start of the harvest.

Fewer macerations in whole bunches but good quality nonetheless

During ageing, just one third of the barrels were new oak, even less than in previous years. Some 90% of these were made from wood from the forest of Cîteaux, to showcase the wines’ finesse, delicacy and subtle expression, all underpinned by a moderate alcohol content.

The generous harvests from splendid vines in Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyères, Corton Clos du Roi, Bonnes-Mares and Musigny with lovely millerandage, Vougeot Premier Cru Les Cras, and Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Corvées Pagets, all promised exceptional wines.

As tradition dictates, bottling began in July 2022 for the Bourgogne Pinot Noir Terres de Famille, and was completed in April the following year with our monopoles including the Vougeot Premier Cru Clos du Prieuré, the Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot, and the Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot Clos de la Chapelle.

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+33(0)3 80 62 48 25
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