This is the third part of a three part article regarding the 2021 wine vintage in Bordeaux, as well as in other regions of France. The first part—describing the vintage in general and wines from ‘left bank’ Bordeaux—is located here. The second part includes tasting notes from ‘right bank’ of Bordeaux, or the land located to the east of the Gironde Estuary, and this third part includes tasting notes about wines from the southern ‘Entre-Deux-Mers’ region, as well as general appellations that cover all of Bordeaux, and non-appellation wines. Also included are some wines from outside of Bordeaux and one white wine from South Africa. [Disclosure—I own shares in Etalon Rouge winery; hence the wine is not scored for overall quality.]
Château Sainte-Marie. Vielles Vignes. Bordeaux Superieur. 2021. 92 points.
This old vine Merlot includes hefty aromas of Crunchie chocolate bar, oak forest, maple syrup and raspberries and slight menthol. Round, open, fresh—a cook’s wine. Midpalate of red fruits, and a finish of maple syrup and black pepper.
Château Jean Faux. 2021. 94 points.
This 80/20 Merlot/Cabernet Franc biodynamic blend includes aromas of raspberries, sage, wet earth and slight black pepper. Midpalate includes buoyant rich acidity, wild strawberries—energetic and lively, a springtime beauty. Caramel and mocha on the finish.
Château Lavergne-Dulong. 2021. 91 points.
Biodynamic blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Aromas of raspberries, red plums, Oreo chocolate cookies and caramel. Midpalate of cherries and raspberries. Somewhat acidic.
Château au Vignoble. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 92 points.
From the Revelations series. Aromas of coal, chalk, candy cane and red fruit as well as some butterscotch. Silky meld of bright acidity and young red fruit—raspberries. Some treacle and toast and licorice midpalate, and orange sorbet on the finish. Light tannins—attractively delicate acidity. Pair with a light salad that includes slices of mandarins.
Château Thénac. Fleur de Thénac. 2021. 93 points.
A Merlot dominant blend that also includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of oat cakes and biscuits, as well as some menthol. A rich and folded wine with layered flavors that include coffee cake, toffee and raspberries midpalate and a finish with slight caramel/mint. Rich and ebullient acidity, well integrated with semi-hefty tannins. Pair with a plate of rib eye steak and buttered asparagus, or with a poke bowl that includes segments of mandarins.
Château Boutillot. Bordeaux. 2021. 91 – 92 points.
From the De Boüard Revelations series—a 60/40 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Aromas include pine needles, raspberries and red cherries. Beautifully integrated in the mouth, providing lush cheek feel of ample dark flavors—red plums, milk chocolate, and on the finish slight orange and sage. The slightly acidic aromas belie more beautiful flavors. Pair with hummus and pita, or with a shish kebab that includes green peppers and pineapple.
Château Laurence. Sans Sulfites Ajoutés. 2021. 92+ points.
From Philippe Nunes comes this 100% Merlot with crackling spry aromas of boysenberries, cranberries, slight hit of After Eight mints. A statured and structured wine—coherent funnel of dark fruit, rich acidity, with slight mocha on the finish. A consistent reminder of the jewels that can come from Entre-Deux-Mers. Pair with profiterole dessert or a semi-spicy tajin.
Château Segonzac La Forêt. 2021. 92+ points.
A Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend that includes brisk aromas of lilacs, roses, mint crisp and cherry chocolate cake. A mouthful of chocolate cake, black and red cherries, chocolate chips midpalate and mandarins on the finish. Buoyant and light acidity and low key but firm tannins. Pair with shish kebab or with pumpkin squash ravioli.
Château Laurence. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 92 points.
This 100% Merlot ages for 14 months in oak. Rich and fresh red fruit aromas—wild strawberries, country lane, some gorse and menthol and melted butter. Delicious and rich flavors in a vintage that tends toward excess acidity and herbaceousness. Bulging red fruits such as red plums midpalate and slight eucalyptus on the finish. Hopping acidity, suave tannins. Pair with barbecued beef or spicy Asian food.
Château Laurence. Petite Laurence. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 92 points.
100% Merlot. Quite a delightful initial aroma of roses, lilacs, and spring florals, as well as sliced red cherries and some mandarin. Easy drinking balanced wine with smoky bacon and black cherries midpalate, morels and sage on the finish. Bounteous acidity that highlights the fruit, and slick, sleek tannins that provide hidden structure. A luscious and attractive surprise. Pair with enchiladas or croque monsieur.
Hubert de Boüard. Merlot. 2021. 90 – 92 points.
Rich, redolent, juicy aromas of cranberries and red cherries and a hint of gorse. A quick attack followed by a dark and juicy midpalate that includes minestrone, sage, red fruit and blueberries. The finish is not long, and the tannins sleek though evident. Pair with goulash or Szechuan beef.
Hubert de Boüard. Cabernet Franc. 2021. 91 to 92 points.
This 100% Cabernet Franc ages 10 months in French oak. Cola, sesame, country lane scents and wild strawberry aromas as well as those of eucalyptus and licorice—layered, focused and controlled. Rich acidity and full flavors that include sage, roma tomatoes, and a playful and lively finish with some mint and minestrone and cooking chocolate. A taut bundle of earth and fruit that is rich, textured and with a long finish. Sleek tannins provide an earthy backdrop. 3,000 to 5,000 bottles produced annually.
Hubert de Boüard. Cabernet Sauvignon. 2021. 91+ points.
Powerful, crisp, dark and layered aromas of violets, minestrone, bourbon chocolate biscuits, tobacco and sage. Dark plums and blackberries midpalate in a bath of energetic acidity and sleek, though tense tannins. A rich and fully integrated mouthful of dark fruit and slight mocha. Pair with veal or a mint chocolate parfait dessert. Folded, lovely, compact, complex and rich.
Château Laurence. Sans Sulfites Ajoutés. 2021. 92+ points.
From Philippe Nunes this Merlot includes crackling spry aromas of boysenberries, cranberries, slight hit of After Eight mints. A statured and structured wine—coherent funnel of dark fruit, rich acidity, with slight mocha on the finish. A consistent reminder of the jewels that can come from Entre-Deux-Mers. Pair with profiterole dessert or a semi-spicy tajin.
Château de Chantegrive. Graves. 2021. 91 points.
From the Lévéque family—a Merlot dominant blend with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Dark fruit aromas, some shortbread and acorns. Flavors of raspberries, cherries, some toffee midpalate.
Château Trocard. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 92+ points.
A Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend with slightly volatile aromas of green grass, red cherries and chocolate wafers. A fruit punch delight in the mouth—red fruit and some menthol midpalate, and chocolate crisp on the finish. Sleek acidity. A juicy, lively, fun yet also well-structured and beautifully balanced wine.
Château Trocard. Monrepos. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 91 points.
100% Merlot from Les Artigues de Lussac that ages 14 months in oak barrels. Includes young aromas that include balsamic and blueberries. Fresh acidity, bright fruit, and tannins—though still needing better overall integration with time. A fun and light wine to pair with meat balls or pre-barbecue snacks.
Château Leroy-Beauval. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 92+ points.
80/20 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 80% new French oak. A butterscotch and cranberry set of aromas. A soft tannin, juicy wine with chocolate wafers, mint and red berries midpalate. Layered and complex with soft tannins, and vibrant acidity. Pair with a ghoul ash or penne pasta and fried veggies.
Château Auguste. Grand Rosé. 2021. 92+ points.
Soft and well-integrated aromas that include roses, limes, lemon and some nuttiness. A supple wine with well-integrated tannins and acidity and almost Provencal linearity. A well -made rosé—which can be challenging to locate from Bordeaux.
Château Moutte Blanc. Moisin. Bordeaux. 2021. 93 points.
Aromas of chocolate, mint brittle, wet ferns and wet leaves. Delicious flavors of blueberries midpalate in this 100% Petit Verdot. Voluptuous, deep, lovely supple tannins in this wine with red cherries and anise on the finish.
Etalon Rouge. Bordeaux. 2021.
Massive and generous fruit bouquet in this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that includes aromas of cherries, violets, strawberries. Lush, elegant and silky tannins amid a midpalate of strawberries and brownies. This chewy beauty is as light as a Pinot Noir, and could even masquerade as a Grenache. Blackberries and light smoke on the finish. Springtime in a glass.
Château Fougas. Maldoror. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 93 points.
Biodynamic blend of 75/25 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon that ages 18 months in oak barrels. From Jean-Yves and Michèle Béchet in Bourg on the right bank, a beauty with aromas of red plums, earth, bright light cherries and mandarins. In the mouth—plums, black cherries, tarragon midpalate. Rich and brilliant acidity, lush tannins.
Château L’Éperon. Bordeaux Supérieur. 2021. 90+ points.
An 85/15 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend with some herbaceousness, mint, red fruit aromas. Flavors include Italian dark cherry breakfast tart, slight menthol on the finish. Bright acidity, easy drinking, light and fresh.
Château Talmont. Cuvée Divine. 92 points.
Creamy aromas of bright red fruit and Christmas cake in this Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. A juicy and joyful mouthful layered with treacle, morels, red plums and sultanas midpalate and some mint crisp on the finish. Rich acidity, firm tannins. Pair with duck a l’orange or a dessert of chocolate cherry cake.
Château Talmont. 2021. 90 points.
Somewhat wild aromas with dark fudge and green grass. Buoyant but slightly disjointed acidity, red fruit and clover midpalate, some orange citrus on the finish. Pair with orange sorbet dessert or mushroom risotto.
Château Bel-Air. Cuvée Divine. 2021. 91 – 92 points.
Rich, brisk, light aromas of wild strawberries, raspberries and a country lane walk in spring. Also a hint of eucalyptus. A three-course layered meal in the mouth with festive and joyous end of year flavors that include minestrone, plums and cooking chocolate midpalate and a finish with fig newtons and mint crisp. Bright acidity, well integrated tannins. A delight.
Château Bel-Air. 2021. 91 – 92 points.
Spry and fresh light aromas or spring red fruit, holly, peat, anise. A generous and juicy, layered beauty—folded with multiple flavors that include cherries on the attack and midpalate and both fruitcake and oranges on the finish. Pair with a range of foods—from wiener schnitzel or goulash to mushroom lasagna.
Château Tour de Bellegarde. 2021. 90 points.
In this 80/20 Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend are bubble gum and barnyard aromas—distinct and different. Orange tart and minestrone and scents of a country hedgerow on the nose. Midpalate includes a slice of orange from the acidity, and beef bouillon. Good structure, some nectarine and cumin on the finish. Different—and may evolve to have surprisingly subtle flavors.
Château Camponac. Merlot. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 91 points.
From winemaker Claude Rougier—originally from Marseilles—located in the most beautiful hills of Bourg comes this Merlot that ages 16 months in new oak. Robust aromas of wet earth, blueberries, nettle and sage. A fresh and well-structured mouthful with intriguing complexity that includes flavors of cocoa and cranberries mid palate, and oatmeal and Graham crackers on the finish. Interesting complexity and freshness and velvety tannins makes this a Minervois within Bordeaux.
L’Exception. Ricolte. 2021. 90 points.
Cola, bouillon and blueberry aromas. A layered and moving midpalate of cranberries, cherries and toast. Well integrated chirpy acidity and streamlined tannins. Different and attractively so. Pair with blueberry pie dessert, or a minestrone soup. This is a wine made for gourmet foods, and can highlight subtle flavors.
Château Haut-Fontenelle. Bordeaux Rosé. 2021. 89 points.
From Alain Pascal, a 12.5% alcohol rosé made from 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend. Slick and sleek aromas, including mandarins, guava, kiwi fruit and lemon meringue. Light and crispy-tart, with flavors that include grapefruit and white plums midpalate and a sweet candy corn finish. Bracing acidity. Pair with sashimi or even butter and sage lathered roast baby potatoes.
Château La Loubière. Bordeaux Supérieure. 2021. 91+ points.
From Vignobles Jade, this 90/10 Merlot/Malbec blend will age 16 months in barrels, vats and amphorae and has nutty, dark, textured, meaty and attractive aromas that include those of hazelnuts and cherries. A delicious river of red and black fruit in a brimming yet controlled matrix of sizzling acidity. Soft but well-structured tannins. Easy drinking and appealing. Pair with a main course of roasted game such as rabbit or duck, or with a vegetarian stew.
Château Bourdieu. Absolu. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 92 points.
A 79/17/4 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec. Somewhat volatile aromas that include grass, peat and beef, though the blue fruit and mocha midpalate flavors are attractive. Stout tannins and some mint crisp and blueberries on the finish. Layered and creamy. Pair with grilled beef.
Château Les Clottiers. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 91 – 92 points.
From this 85/15 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon that ages in steel tanks come volatile aromas that include dark plums, gravy and gorse. Quite a silky and sexy midpalate, in contrast to the aromas. A palate of prunes, bacon, marmalade and red cherries. Exceedingly soft tannins and crisp, quiet acidity. Pair with lamb chops, wiener schnitzel or risotto.
Château Bourdieu NO. 1. Grand Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 91 points.
This 89/8/3 blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec is from 35 year old vines. Aromas of peat and blueberries and an engaging midpalate that includes crunchy chocolate bar flavors, beef stew, hazelnuts and blue berries. Tannins and acidity still need calming. Pair with a goulash or with a banana flambé dessert.
Château Laurence. Le Rosé. Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 91 points.
From Merlot, this rosé includes crisp, tangy aromas of lime, green apples, some nectarines, fresh peaches and honey. Slightly tart on the attack, with juicy acidity well integrated with tropical and green fruits midpalate, some oatmeal and apple cider on the finish. Pair with lemon doused smoked salmon or a souffle.
Domaines Landron. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. Amphibolite. 2021. 92 points.
Biodynamic from winemaker Jo Landron in the Loire Valley. This Muscadet includes aromas of pumpkin pie, tropical fruits such as mandarins, and flint. Generous acidity in this complex juice that provides an oily cheekful that is round, rich and includes flavors of green apples and some salt. An easy drinking beauty.
Jonathan Didier Pabiot. Pouilly sur Loire. Chasselas. 2021. 91 points.
Biodynamic Chasselas—this grape is more commonly found in Switzerland than the Loire Valley. It includes aromas of Fresca/7-Up, lime and golden syrup. The flavors include white pears, red apples, honey and cinnamon. Unique and fresh flavors. Pair with a creamy cheesecake dessert.
Famille Lafage. Miraflors Rosé. Côtes Catalanes. IGP. 2021. 91 points.
This 50/30/20 blend of Grenache Gris/Grenache Noir/Mourvèdre includes aromas of light red fruit including raspberries and a hint of florals—think roses. Buoyant acidity. Easygoing start to a spring afternoon. Light, slightly sweet. Pair with strawberries and cream.
Klein Constantia. Sauvignon Blanc. Constantia Valley. South Africa 2021. 94 points.
This includes wine made from grapes grown above decomposed granite and Table Mountain Sandstone. Ocean fresh aromas of lime, grapefruit and papayas. A beautifully creamy mouthful of green apple flavors, as well as some lime and gooseberries. Billowing but soft acidity with a slight kick on the finish. Pair with ceviche and lime or a dessert of slightly tart apple pie.
Château Laurence. Blanc Sec. Bordeaux Blanc. 2021. 91 – 92 points.
A 100% Sauvignon Blanc that ages 11 months in oak and has a mild lime hue, this wine is tropical and slightly effervescent on the nose. Creamy aromas of fresh bread, slight lime. Short attack with green apples and gooseberries midpalate, bracing acidity on the finish. Pair with slightly salty chowder or cod and lime.
Grand Vin de Puy Redon. Chardonnay. 2021. 94 points.
Aged in two-year old French oak barrels and stirred on the lees, this wine includes creamy, layered, bouncy, buoyant aromas of green and yellow apples, gin tonic and gooseberries. Short attack followed by creamy layers of green apples and yellow pears, with honey and slight salinity on the finish. A true delight—perky, complex and creamy. Pair with honey slathered grilled salmon or a creamy risotto. Delicious.
Dubreuil. Chardonnay. 2021. 92 points.
This 100 Chardonnay is Sauvignon Blanc-like with aromas of lime, grapefruit, mangoes and salinity. Round, fresh and easy drinking. An approachable wine with crisp acidity. Some lychee and tropical fruits midpalate. Well balanced. Pair with appetizers that include nuts, or with sushi.
Château d’Arsac. Cuvée Céline. Sauvignon. Bordeaux. 2021. 90 points.
Aromas of smoke, salt and hickory and a midpalate with taut acidity, and flavors of limes and grapefruit.
Château Thénac. 2021. 89 points.
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon/Muscadelle has aromas of Pamplemousses, lime, pineapple, some apricot and flint. Semi-creamy with strict acidity midpalate. Pair with scallops or sole.
Château Sainte-Marie. Vielles Vignes. Source de Passion. Entre-Deux-Mers. 2021. 93 points.
This 70/25/5 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon/Muscadelle blend includes gobs and buckets of fresh aromas of grapefruit and honey. A tropical cocktail with only 12% alcohol. Once you begin, you will continue with this bottle.
Château Jean Faux. Les Pins Francs. 2021. 93 points.
This 90/10 biodynamic blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon spends nine months aging in oak barrels, of which 25% are new. A bright river of fresh, suave aromas that include a snap of grapefruit melded with honey and slight bubble gum. Explosively fresh taste includes crackling flavors of tropical fruits engulfed in shining acidity.
Château Lavergne-Dulong. 2021. 91 points.
From Thomas Christen comes this biodynamic 100% Sauvignon Blanc which includes bright tropical fruit; both flamboyant and restrained, with flavors of flint and lime.
Château Sainte-Marie. Chardonneret. 2021. 92 points.
This Entre-Deux-Mers white named after a small and rare bird is a blend of Semillon/Sauvignon Gris/Sauvignon Blanc and ages in clay amphorae. Bright shining acidity, with aromas of honey and butter and almonds. Tropical fruit on the midpalate, and mandarins on the finish: the acidity will entice you to pour another glass. And again.
Hubert de Boüard. Sauvignon. 2021. 90 – 92 points.
Snappy and well-balanced aromas in this Sauvignon Blanc of green apples, mangoes, mandarins, lemon crisp. A beautiful midpalate medley of tropical fruit and soft tannins embraced by vibrant acidity. Creamy meringue finish. Pair with burrata and prosciutto or vegetarian cous-cous with orange peppers.
Hubert de Boüard. Chardonnay. 2021. 90 – 92 points.
A semi-Burgundian set of buttered and toasty aromas with slivers of lime, yellow apples and green apples. A creamy, dexterous, shining midpalate of tropical fruits with a lively crème de menthe and honey finish. Layered, complex, delightful. Pair with a dessert of apple pie or aux gratin potatoes and white fish. Delicious and addictive.
Château Haut-Fontenelle. Bordeaux Blanc. 2021. 89 points.
This Sauvignon Blanc from Vignobles Alain Pascal has aromas of green apples and grapefruit, with some white pears and apricots. Slight flint and sweetness on the nose. Short attack, midpalate of green apples and some mandarins—keen acidity. Pair with dumplings or a creamy fish soup.
Château La Loubiere. Bordeaux. 2021. 92 points.
From Vignobles Jade, this 79/12/9 Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris/Muscadelle from 40-year-old vines ages nine months in amphorae and barrels with regular stirring of lees. It includes crisp, acidic aromas of grapefruit, lime and some nuttiness. A clean, crisp and satisfying midpalate with flavors of mangoes, lime, grapefruit. Kicking acidity in this aperitif wine. 5,400 bottles produced.
Château Castera Anthoinette. Sauvignon. Bordeaux Blanc. 2021. 90 points.
Classic Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit and saline aromas. In the mouth this is bounteous, open, fresh, rounded and easy drinking. Midpalate includes pecans and also tangerines.
Château Doyac. Le Pélican. Bordeaux Blanc. 2021. 92 points.
This biodynamic, 100% Sauvignon Blanc includes salt, grapefruit, honey and clover aromas. Crisp and easy drinking with rounded acidity and flavors of lime, Fresca and grapefruit.
Château de Côme. Blanc de Côme. Grand Vin Blanc Sec Bordeaux. 2021. 90 points.
Aromas of grapefruit and mint. Somewhat thin, though with a lovely lime edge and a rounded and open midpalate. This is an aperitif wine.
Château Fourcas Dupré. Grand Vin Blanc. Bordeaux. 2021. 91 points.
Aromas of honey, almonds and brioche. The midpalate includes flavors of menthol and nuts and just a touch of salinity.
Les Arums de Lagrange. Vin de Bordeaux. 2021. 89 points.
A Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend with aromas of a grapefruit and lime cocktail with a midpalate of bright sweet fruit and apricots and light menthol on the finish.
Château du Retout. Le Retout Blanc. Vin de France. 2021. 89 points.
Located at Lamarque on the left bank of Bordeaux, the white grapes include Sauvignon Gris, Savagnin, Gros Manseng and Mondeuse Blanche. Aromas of limes, salt and fresh bread. Midpalate of green limes, green apples and a tinge of honey in a wine bathed with taut acidity.
Château de Tertre. Tertre Blanc. 2021. 92 points.
From a producer located in Margaux on the left bank, this white has aromas of grapefruit, lime and lemon. Green apples and honey midpalate and lime on the finish.