deVine Thoughts

June 15, 2022

2021 Bordeaux Futures – Current Releases

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 8:54 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

For a change, the 2021 Bordeaux Futures Campaign is going to feature the Whites and the sweet dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac. Its not often the whites get top billing but after a trio of great vintages for the reds in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the 2021’s was a trying vintage which has produced old-fashioned reds on the lighter (yet elegant) side with alcohol level’s in the 12-12.5% range instead of 14+ range. We will focus on some quality Petit Chateaux, Cru Bourgeois and a few well-priced Classified Growths for short-term cellaring and early drinking while the great vintages sit in your cellar.

How does Futures work you ask – well at its most basic level, you’re purchasing unfinished wine – you pay for it in full now, and in two years time. The wines when released in-bottle will be 10-15% higher so you get a price break.

2021 was ravaged by mildew, a less than satisfactory growing season, cruel frost in April (meaning volumes were well down pretty much across the board) and selection had to be severe. The reds in 2021 is far different than those made in 2018, 2019 and 2020, when alcohols as high as 15% were commonplace. The 2021 reds are in the 12 to 13% alcohol range, made in an old-fashion way that reminds of 1985 or 1988, a balanced not over the top style from a bygone era. Plenty of acidic freshness in the aromatic reds but they will drink nicely relatively early in a medium-bodied style than the bigger style we’ve become used to in the last decade. No clear winner on left or right bank, variability is high and depends on the Chateau. This is a vintage to buy and enjoy early while the great vintages age in your cellars.

Alas, the real revelation in 2021 is an absolutely brilliant vintage for white bordeaux, both dry or sweet where high acid is a good thing! The dry whites, all picked before late September’s heavy rain, are both aromatic and full of fruit and zesty freshness without the flab of riper years.

And the sweet wines are truly great, despite extremely small quantities and in some cases a miniscule percentage of a normal harvest. Climens, one of our favourites made ‘not an ounce’ of sweet wine, and Suduiraut had both spring frost and summer hail. Those that were spared made very fine dessert wines and we’ll certainly attempt to get our hands on what small quantities that are available.

As usual, items offered will be sold on a first-come first served basis and in some cases maximums applied. In many cases we won’t be able to go back for more of something once it sells out and if we do, price will be second tranche (release) pricing.

4 offerings has passed with only one more to come, with the campaign ending by the end of June, so its time to make some purchasing decisions if you haven’t done so.

Here is what’s still available for your consideration..

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