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“Once again, nature shows us that it is she who decides what happens to us and that we can only try to follow her as best we can.”

Etienne Chaix, Domaine Joseph Voillot, Volnay

2021 wasn’t an easy year by any means, with devastating frosts to begin, and poor, wet weather to conclude. But, at its best, the vintage has produced some beautiful wines in both red and white. 

The whites have cool citrus acidity, they are fresh, sometimes steely, but not in our tastings, overly green or harsh. The reds are towards the red end of the fruit spectrum, many with a really pleasing crispness to them. They are pure, have well integrated tannin, and super freshness. I imagine many will be delicious young on their primary fruit, but they will also age happily over the medium term, though I suspect they will drink well before the 2019s and 2020s. In both colours the difference between villages and indeed between vineyards is clearly delineated. This is such an enthralling and compelling aspect of Burgundy, the heart really of the region’s complexity and enduring fascination, and one which can be harder to see in riper years.

In short, there is a lot to like in 2021, it is a vintage for drinking and enjoying, and we should celebrate its elegance and finesse – this is a vintage without recent comparisons and one which reminds us that Burgundy doesn’t have to be big to be beautiful.

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