The Pauillac appellation is located in the north of the Bordeaux winegrowing are, in the Médoc, more precisely between the appellations Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estèphe to the north. It is perhaps the most prestigious appellation of the Bordeaux vineyard with no less than 18 cru classés in 1855, including three premier crus, with the châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild and Latour. The international success of Pauillac for several centuries comes from a combination of factors, led by the terroir, the microclimate and an exceptional know-how. These elements, combined with modern technology of unquestionable efficiency, have allowed Pauillac to produce a 2021 vintage of very good quality despite the often difficult climatic conditions, as is the case for most Bordeaux Primeurs 2021.
An oceanic vintage characterised by cool weather
Following a wet winter, a summer-like spring led to an early budding of the vines, which started on April 2nd in the Pauillac appellation. The first of many anxious moments came a few days later with a severe frost on 7 and 8 April. The terroirs were affected unevenly, especially in an appellation relatively protected by the proximity of the river. The flowering went perfectly thanks to a warm and dry May, which in no way suggested that wet and cool weather would set in during June, July or even August. The Châteaux of Pauillac had to be constantly on the alert to prevent the health of the vineyard from deteriorating. The end of the season fared better, with wonderful weather in September and October, even if a moment at the end of September, with the announcement of heavy rainfall, gave fright to the already hard-pressed winegrowers. The weather was finally clement and the harvest was able to take place thanks to the ripenesses reached quietly at the end of the season under perfect conditions.
2021 gives honour to Cabernet Sauvignon
This late vintage profile saw success on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, and particularly in Pauillac, because the long late seasons were of great benefit to the patient Cabernet Sauvignon grape, which is also more resistant to the cryptogamic diseases that put a lot of pressure on the teams. The result is typical, elegant and aromatic grapes which are used in the blending of Pauillac wines in proportions rarely reached.
What is the profile of Pauillac 2021 primeur wines?
The wines of Pauillac 2021 are thus marked by very successful Cabernet Sauvignons which elevate in class and stature. The Merlots that were able to enter the blends are delicious and energetic. Today, skill and state-of-the-art tools make it possible to select only those grapes that offer sufficient qualities to make a great wine. The demanding sorting carried out in the vineyard by hand, then in the cellar with the help of different technologies, will have been key in this 2021 vintage.
The wines of Pauillac have rarely been so nice to taste en primeur. Often a little austere in their infancy, these wines have a charming, very aromatic profile in the 2021 vintage with fine tannins, elegance and just the right amount of power to give the reminder that they come from Pauillac.
The best Pauillac wines in 2021
Pauillac has many crus that have made the reputation of Bordeaux and that today remain sought after by wine lovers around the world. In the 2021 vintage, many of these vineyards have succeeded in producing wines that live up to their reputation, led by Châteaux Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild.
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, with its historic level of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the source of a powerful, concentrated wine with supple tannins and impressive fresh acidity.
Thanks to a meticulous selection of grapes, Château Mouton Rothschild 2021 en primeur offers an exceptional level of expression. Full-bodied and velvety, it is a wine with considerable potential to be enjoyed, with the capacity to last through the ages.
Just behind these two superstars, Château Pichon Baron and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande have also succeeded in making the most of this difficult vintage. Each with their own style, they are among the greatest successes of the 2021 vintage in Bordeaux. Château Pichon Baron offers depth and power in a harmonious and high-class package. Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande confirms its status as one of the most watchable estates in Bordeaux in recent years, with a level of success particularly propelled by its universally accepted characteristic elegance.
Château Lynch-Bages is also one of the estates to watch in this vintage for lovers of powerful Pauillac wines. Thanks to a state-of-the-art gravitational technique that allows for gentle extractions, this is a Pauillac primeur 2021 wine that offers structure and juice without hardness.
Among the other successes, we can also mention Château Pontet-Canet 2021, one of the most sought-after wines of the appellation in recent years, as well as Châteaux Clerc-Milon and d'Armailhac, Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Duhart-Milon and, of course, the unmissable Grand-Puy-Lacoste.