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So, How Was the 2021 Vintage in Bordeaux?

When a vintage isn’t great, should you still buy futures? It all depends, says our critic.

En primeur tastings in Bordeaux.

En primeur tastings in Bordeaux.

Photographer: Studio Lazareff

OK, no one in Bordeaux is proclaiming that 2021 is “the vintage of the century,” the typical spin the French trot out for top years such as 2009 and 2010, or the recent trilogy of 2018, 2019, and 2020.

There’s a reason. Climate change hammered the region last year with devastating frosts, double the average amount of rain at the wrong times, mildew, black rot, insect infestations, lack of sunshine, even hail.