En Primeur 2021

The wines with tasting notes

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[Add to shopping basket] Angelus St Emilion £1,560 6x75cl 93-95 - 94-96 95 94-96 94-96
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For the first time ever, Angélus is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot in 2021. There's terrific density and power, especially within the context of the year. Black cherry, chocolate, spice, menthol and lavender all build nicely in the glass. The 2021 has quite a bit of richness, and its 14% alcohol, a bit lower than the recent norm, works quite well in this vintage. All it needs is a bit of time to help soften some of the raw contours that are present today.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031 - 2061

A brilliant wine that signposts this estate's evolution under Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, the 2021 Angélus is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with fully half of the old-vine Cabernet Franc maturing in foudres rather than 225-liter barriques. The result is a wine of unprecedented purity and finesse, unwinding in the glass with compelling aromas of plums, raspberries, rose petals, vine smoke, blood orange and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate with a rich and fleshy core that entirely conceals its structuring chassis of ultra-refined tannins. Bright and sapid, it's striking for its integration and elegance at this early stage, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it upstage a number of more touted vintages once it's in bottle.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This is well textured, plush raspberry and damson fruits, a sleight of hand that turns the high acidities into mouth-watering juice, with waves of graphite, pencil lead, saffron, smoked caramel and cigar box. The highest amount of Cabernet Franc on record at Angélus, largely because so much Merlot was lost to mildew. First full vintage where Benjamin Laforet is technical director, working alongside Hubert de Bouard. It's serious, takes its time to open, far less exuberant than the past few vintages at Angélus but classy and with presence. They are labelling this Premier Grand Cru Classé A, despite withdrawing from the 2022 classification when the selection process was already underway, and underlines why it's a loss to the ranking not to have Angélus within in. 23hl/h yield, no chaptilisation on the 1st wine, 100% new oak barrels + 30hl oak casks for the Cabernet Franc.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Angélus contains 60% Cabernet Franc, the highest percentage ever, and also reflects an increasing use of wooden foudres (half the Cabernet Franc or 30% of the whole blend). It has a more understated bouquet compared to the bravura vintages of the last three years, demanding gentle coaxing to reveal scents of brambly black fruit, potpourri, hints of orange pith and a little sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, and quite sapid, the Cabernet Franc lending a slightly more chalky texture and a linear, focused finish. Displaying fine tension throughout, though not astoundingly long, this Angelus deserves 4–5 years in bottle to show its true potential.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2055

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Angélus is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot that was brought up in new barrels, with a portion of the Cabernet Franc raised in 30 hectoliter foudres. It offers a ruby/purple hue to go with a gorgeous perfume of pureed cassis and black raspberry fruit, as well as spice, spring flowers, and chalky, almost salty minerality. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has wonderful purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannins, and a gorgeous finish.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark, bright hue. Discreet floral aromas. Big tannic frame with a chunk of polished tannins. Long and digeste but very embryonic, the oak still apparent. Hopefully the fruit will continue to match the structure. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Armailhac Pauillac £195 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 91-93 92 88-90 90-92
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The 2021 d'Armailhac is elegant and lithe in feel. Bright floral and savory notes lend freshness throughout a core of red berry fruit. In this tasting, Armailhac comes across as a bit vegetal, with slightly angular contours that hopefully will resolve with élevage. This is the first vintage made in the château's new cellar.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

A firm and linear young red with currant and graphite character. Medium body. Fresh finish. Crunchy acidity. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Reminiscent of a modern-day version of this estate's delicious 1999, the 2021 d'Armailhac is a terrific wine bursting with aromas of wild berries, cherries, exotic spices and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, it's fleshy and enveloping, with melting tannins and an ample core of sweet, succulent fruit. This is a pleasure-bent wine that will offer a broad drinking window.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

First year with the new cellar at Armailhac, and a new technical director, as Lucie Lauilhé has replaced Jean-Paul Paultert, with Paultert retiring after 29 years in the post (Lauilhé was only present for harvest and blending, 2022 will be her first full year). There are big plans for this property, but in 2021 it is playing things a little safe, with juicy balance, delicate tannins, plenty of grip and precision to the raspberry and blackberry fruits, but a little soft on the finish. There is due to be a 2nd wine in the future, which will help with concentration, but the signature of 2021 is evident here. A little more Cabernet Franc, after poor fruit set with the Melrot. 3.73ph. 50% new oak, 60IPT. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 d'Armailhac, aged in 50% new oak, is the first vintage to be vinified in the new winery, which was completed a month before the harvest. It has quite a strict bouquet, tight and focused, with broody dark berry fruit, pencil box and tar, quite classic in style. The palate is harmonious and smooth with fine tannins, just the right amount of acidity and a sapid finish that lingers in the mouth. Residual graphite notes linger after the wine has exited. Very fine. (13.0% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2045

A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, the 2021 Château D'Armailhac is a ripe, supple, very pure expression of the château, offering pretty cassis and black raspberry fruit as well as medium-bodied richness, wonderfully integrated oak, ripe tannins, hints of violets and spice, terrific balance, and just a seamless, pure, elegant style that shines in the vintage.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fragrant nose with brambly fruit and floral notes. Fresh, fruity and sapid on the palate with grainy tannin in behind. Lacks intensity but zest and energy to compensate. More for the medium than long term.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2035

[Add to waiting list] Ausone St Emilion £3,000 6x75cl Sold Out 93-95 96-97 97-100 95 93-95 -
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The 2021 Ausone could turn out to be one of the wines of the vintage on the Right Bank. It shows terrific balance, with just enough mid-palate sweetness and texture to fill out the layers. To be sure the 2021 is an understated Ausone, but all the elements are so nicely balanced. Red/purplish berry fruit, pomegranate, spice and mocha are pushed forward. The blend is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with the Merlot more in evidence today while the Franc is felt mostly in the wine's finish. Rose petal, cinnamon and blood orange add an exotic flourish.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2036-2061

Full-bodied, but so elegant and fresh, with a silky, elegant tannin texture. Very deep and expansive. Lots going on already with plenty of perfume. Blueberries, cloves, lavender and some wild-berry notes. Dark cocoa, too. Some espresso character at the end. Wonderful interplay of spices and fruit. Long. It keeps going.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot, the 2021 Ausone is a strong candidate for the title of wine of the vintage. Wafting from the glass with aromas of wild blueberries and raspberries mingled with rose petals, violets, exotic spices, vine smoke and blood orange, it's full-bodied, seamless and sensual, with a satiny attack that segues into a deep, layered mid-palate of breathtaking precision and intensity without weight. Built around bright acids and ultra-refined tannins and concluding with a resonant, perfumed finish, this profound young Ausone represents the essence of this great limestone terroir. I am not in the habit of drinking six-month-old Bordeaux cask samples, but this is one wine that would have sorely tempted me to make an exception to that rule if my appointment at the estate hadn't been one of the first of the day!

Score: 97 - 100 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Violet edging, jewel red depths. There is austerity on the tannins here, but also great depths through the palate, with controlled but juicy loganberry and raspberry fruits, and waves of saffron, creamy red-fruit puree, crushed rock, cold ash and salt-cracker salinity. Subdued, with hidden power and complexity. A tough year for this stable of wines - or rather proof of their exceptionally high standards, making a half production of Simard, no Haut Simard, tiny amounts of Fonbel and almost certainly no Moulin St Georges. The last year that Ausone will be recorded as a Premier Grand Cru Classé A, before publication of the new ranking in September 2022. Harvest September 30 to October 6, 100% new oak. In conversion to organic farming since 2020, Philippe Baillarguet cellar master. Average vine age 55 years.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Ausone was picked on September 30 for the Merlot and October 4–6 for the Cabernet Franc, with a higher percentage of Cabernet Franc because some of the Merlot was deselected into the Chapelle. Matured in 90% new oak, this has a fragrant and floral bouquet, more iris than violet, revealing a hint of seaweed in the background. The palate is well-defined, quite strict and focused, certainly one of the more mineral-driven Ausones that I have encountered at this stage. The limestone terroir is evident on the finish. Again, this is a little leaner and less flamboyant than recent vintages. Having tasted Ausone at this prenatal stage for over 20 years, I don’t find the thrilling "drive” or the pyrotechnics of the 2001, 2010, 2016 or 2019. Yet this Ausone is compelling in its own uncompromising way, and I wouldn't want it any different.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

Deep crimson hue. Fragrant and floral on both nose and palate. More aromatic than usual at this stage. Density and freshness through the mid palate, the fruit juicy, the tannins plentiful but very fine. Plenty of elegance and charm but there is power as well. (JL)

Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2048

[Add to shopping basket] Barde Haut St Emilion £137 6x75cl - - 91-93 - - -
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This 17-hectare amphitheater of a vineyard has produced a successful 2021 Barde-Haut, offering up aromas of sweet berries, cherries and plums framed by a creamy patina of new oak. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, with tangy acids and a generous endowment of powdery structuring tannins, it's a blend of more or less 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc (the latter increasingly deriving from massale selections taken at Clos l'Eglise).

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

[Add to shopping basket] Batailley Pauillac £165 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 90-92 92 - 88-90
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Subtle aromas of currants and fresh flowers with some tar and graphite. Medium-bodied with firm tannins and bright acidity. Very typical and bright for Pauillac. Linear and fine. Solid and tight. Well age nicely.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Batailley shows promise, exhibiting aromas of cassis, plums, licorice, cigar wrapper, loamy soil and dark chocolate, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and charming palate built around ripe, powdery tannins. Supple and giving, it will offer a broad drinking window.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Stands out in the appellation, with density through the mid palate, and Pauillac signature coming through in the pencil lead, graphite and cassis notes. This is a good quality wine with a touch of blackcurrant bud and earth reflecting the cooler temperatures of the year, but plenty of depth and ageing potential. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Batailley was picked September 30 to October 15 and matured in 55–60% new oak. It has a well-defined, focused bouquet, a quintessential Pauillac nose of black fruit infused with cedar and mint. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of black pepper on the entry and delivers good depth and fine grip. This is a Batailley with commendable stuffing for the vintage and it fans out with gusto on the finish. It might not be the best Pauillac in 2021, yet I bet you won’t find better value for money, notwithstanding its underestimated propensity to age.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2050

The ruby/plum-hued 2021 Château Batailley has classic, almost old school notes of leather, red and black fruits, tobacco, and dried herbs. This carries to a medium-bodied, firm, focused, yet balanced, attractive Pauillac that should round into form nicely over the course of its élevage. It's not one of the standouts in the vintage, yet I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it end up being an outstanding wine, and it has lots of character.

Score: 88 - 90 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Cask sample. Fresh and simple aromatically; dark and red fruit with a slight herbaceous note. Supple and loose-limbed on the palate with light but fine tannins. Lacks a bit of clout but attractive fruit and everything in balance.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Beaumont Haut Medoc £51 6x75cl 86-88 89-90 87-89 85 88-90 87-88
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The 2021 Beaumont is a deep, punchy Haut-Médoc. A blast of dried herbs, charred earth, spice, leather and tobacco hits the palate as this pleasantly rustic wine shows off its considerable personality. The 2021 could be quite good if it comes together with élevage.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023 - 2031

Medium-bodied with juicy currant and beetroot notes. Medium, sleek tannins. Savory finish.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Offering up aromas of sweet berries, spices and loamy soil, the 2021 Beaumont is medium-bodied, lively and nicely balanced, concluding with a discreetly minty finish. The blend is dominated by an unusually high 65% of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Score: 87 - 89 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This is bright and cheerful, not delivering as smoothly as in the past few vintages but there is plenty to enjoy here. Everything in its place, well made with a touch of smoked almosts and grilled oak. 40hl/h yield.

Score: 85 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Beaumont is much leaner on the nose compared directly with the 2020, though it is well defined, slightly herbaceous and fresh in style. The midweight palate is medium-bodied with dry tannins on the entry and a grainy texture. It attenuates slightly toward the cedary finish. Give this 2–3 years in bottle to see if it fills out.

Score: 86 - 88 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2036

A rock solid Haut-Médoc, the 2021 Château Beaumont gives up plenty of ripe red and black fruits, a kiss of meatiness in its dried herb and spicy aromatics, medium-bodied richness, and a balanced, well-made style on the palate.

Score: 87 - 88 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fruity with red- and dark-fruit aromas. Supple and easy-going on the palate. Light structure but fine tannins. Pleasant early drinking.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2030

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Becot St Emilion £258 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 93-95 - 95-97 92-94
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The 2021 Beau-Séjour-Bécot is one of the most elegant wines I have ever tasted here. Pliant and deep, with striking depth, the 2021 is outrageously beautiful. All the elements come together so effortlessly. Dark fruit, mocha, spice, licorice and incense all build in the glass. The creamy tannins are impossibly refined for the year, while the finish is eternal. The 2021 is a real stunner. Readers won't want to miss it!

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Lots of blue fruit with violets and a hint of boysenberry. Medium body, integrated and fine tannins and a cool, linear finish. Solid length and brightness.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of deep berry fruit, dark chocolate, subtle spices and dried flowers introduce the 2021 Beau-Séjour Bécot, a medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless wine that's lively and layered, with a deep core of fruit, ripe tannins and a long, saline finish. Cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare, and based on Merlot with some 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon in a supporting role, its quality reflects a growing season of relentless efforts and the impact of extra sorting equipment rented on the eve of harvest.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Beau-Séjour-Bécot was picked September 21 to October 15, almost a whole month, with crews working half-days to pick at optimal maturity in each parcel. Yields were 33hL/ha, and the wine matured in 55% new oak, 25% amphora and 20% used barrels for a planned 16 months. Tasted twice; the first sample was a bit bashful, but the bottle poured at the château was much better. It has a mixture of red and black fruit, dried rose petal, bergamot and a touch of chalk. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, a fine level of acidity (pH 3.5) and mineral-laden red fruit. It shows fine transparency and appreciable energy and tension. 13.2% alcohol

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2050

I loved the 2021 Beau-Séjour Bécot. This is just straight-up class with its ripe red plum and bright cherry fruit as well as mineral-laced aromatics of tobacco leaf and flowers. Medium-bodied on the palate, it has the freshness and purity of the vintage, terrific balance, ripe yet certainly present tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine in the making.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fragrant red-berry aroma and flavour. Mid-palate fruit and freshness, the chalky terroir evident but not overpowering. Fine grain of tannin. Clean, dry finish. Very much the new style. (JL) 13.3%

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Beausejour Duffau St Emilion £540 6x75cl 92-94 95-96 93-95 94 92-95 93-95
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The 2021 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is impressive. It shows more energy and decidedly linear build relative to the past. It's hard to say how much of that is the vintage and how much is attributable to a stylistic shift under new owner Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Either way, the 2021 is a notable success. Savory herbs, menthol, mocha and iron are laced throughout a core of red/purplish fruit. There is so much to look forward to.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A complete wine for the vintage, with blackberry, stone, black-licorice and light walnut character. Medium-to full-bodied and linear, with very fine tannins running the length of the wine.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) shows considerable promise. Bursting with aromas of inky berry fruit and plums mingled with notions of violets, rose petals and burning embers, the wine is medium to full-bodied, layered and sensual, with a rich core of fruit, lively acids and beautifully refined tannins, concluding with a long, mineral finish. The first vintage made by Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse since she took back control of the family estate, the 2021 is a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc—the highest percentage of Cabernet since the early 2000s (when some Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the blend too)

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

You're not going to get the same opulence of the past five years, but this is entirely successful in terms of harmony, elegance and finesse. A jolt of limestone salinity, lemongrass, oyster shell, violets, rose petals, and a subtle but moreish wave of cigar box and graphite smoke. Unrolls slowly but surely, with evident ripeness to the red fruits, and salt-cracker salinity on the finish. Harvest September 30 to October 10 (able to do so because they got only 10mm of rain at the end of September), 28hl/h yield, 58% new oak. Camille Devillenaut co-technical director with Josephine Duffau-Lagarrosse, coming over from Château Villemaurine. Tasted twice. First year with Axel Marchal as consultant, working alongside Michel Rolland (Julien Viaud), replacing the Nicolas Thienpont team.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked from September 13 until October 1–2, the Cabernet Franc later, on October 14, starting around 7:00 am. Mildew reduced the Merlot to 28hL/ha, whereas the Cabernet was cropped around 35hL/ha. This was raised in 58% new oak, Joséphine Duffau being prudent with the level of new wood in order to maintain what she describes as a chalky taste. It has a fragrant bouquet of brambly red fruit, dark cherries and subtle undergrowth scents, all delivered up in that judicious use of new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and good density, equal to if not better than others on the limestone plateau, yet still quite mineral-driven, leading into a silky-smooth, cohesive finish. No, not a powerful Saint-Émilion, yet precise and detailed. This represents a great debut, and it should give 15–20 years of pleasure, possibly more.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2048

A blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) is slightly shifted toward Cabernet Franc, and you have to go back quite some time to find a blend with this much Cabernet. It saw a softer maceration than usual and is aging in 56% new French oak. Gorgeous cassis, graphite, chalky minerality, and a Pomerol-like damp earth note all emerge from this wine, and it's medium to full-bodied, has a rounded, supple texture, ripe, present tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It's an undeniable success in the vintage and will drink well right out of the gate yet also evolve for 20 years if well stored. This estate is now managed by Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse, who took over the reins of this brilliant estate from Nicholas Thienpont starting in 2020. Located between Canon and Beauséjour Bécot, the soils here are more on the south-facing slopes and include slightly more clay, so the wines always have slightly more density and power compared to its neighbors.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Belair Monange St Emilion £675 6x75cl 90-92 96-97 93-95 95 93-95 93-95
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The 2021 Bélair-Monange is a very beautiful wine. Fruit forward and punchy, the 2021 makes quite a first impression. Ripeness is naturally less pushed here than in recent vintages - that is the year - but it is a style that works so well, as this site offers plenty of richness on its own. A rush of inky red/purplish fruit fills out the layers nicely. There's not a ton of nuance or detail yet, but that will likely come in time. This is very nicely done.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Medium to full body with creamy, velvety tannins. Polished and plush. Pretty spice notes, such as white pepper and cloves to the ripe dark-plum and berry fruit. Some pine cones. Fine, ripe and textured. Concentrated for the vintage. Wonderful length, too.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Offering up aromas of sweet cherries, cassis, pipe tobacco, loamy soil and spices, the 2021 Belair Monange is medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, with powdery tannins and a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a long, intensely saline finish. As young vines replanted on the plateau start to dominate the blend, the identity of this cru is becoming more and more marked, delivering wines of precision and sapidity.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Lush raspberry and red cherry fruits, stone-strewn limestone salinity on the finish, complex and enjoyable. This has grilled oak smoke and is accomplished and finessed, lovely limestone character, tapers off slowly but surely on the finish. A clear success in the vintage, from an estate that is really flexing its muscles right now, up there with the very best in St Emilion. Harvest September 28 and October 2.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Bélair-Monange was picked September 28 to October 2. It has an atypically ostentatious bouquet for the vintage – kirsch, blue fruit, a touch of violet petals – that needs to muster a little more delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chewy tannins, fine acidity and good substance, yet it clamps down toward the strict, linear finish. This does not have the persistence of the 2019 or 2020, and tasting the bottle twice (returning later on in the day for a different take), I cannot help but feel this top-ranking Saint-Émilion is struggling to nail down its identity this season. It’s definitely one I wish to revisit in the future to see whether I caught it at an inopportune moment

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2052

The 2021 Château Belair-Monange continues to impress, and you could put this up with the top wines in the vintage with no issues. Floral notes of blue fruits, violets, chalky minerality, and spice define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied on the palate, with a good mix of both richness and freshness, building tannins, and a great finish. Turning more mineral-laced, sappy, and floral as it sits in the glass, this is a complete, incredibly classy Saint-Emilion that will round into form with just a few years of bottle age. If you haven't heard of this château, trust me on this one, get on its bandwagon, as it's destined to be one of the greats in Saint-Emilion.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

99% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Open and aromatic but with drive and definition on the palate. Fine tannins and freshness, the fruit and structure in balance. Gentle hand in extraction so more on elegance than power. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Belgrave Haut Medoc £108 6x75cl 89-91 91-92 - 86 89-91 87-89
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The 2021 Belgrave is a tasty Haut-Médoc. Black cherry, gravel, graphite, cloves and licorice infuse the 2021 with quite a bit of complexity. This potent, virile Haut-Médoc should blossom nicely with a few years in bottle. I very much like the vibrancy here.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2036

A nicely polished red with currants, walnuts and hints of fresh herbs. Medium body. Fine tannins. Fresh and refined.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Powerful, spicy black fruits on the nose, starts off enjoyably with well-worked tannins and bright raspberry leaf and blackberry notes, but struggles to maintain balance against hard tannins on the finish. Should soften further over ageing. Tasted three times. 29% new oak.

Score: 86 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Belgrave was picked from September 27 to October 7 and contains a little more Cabernet this year; it was aged in 29% new oak. The nose takes its time opening, revealing blackberry, touches of black pepper and menthol, all fresh and vibrant and the oak nicely integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with insistent grip on the entry. Quite Saint-Julien in style (no surprise given its vines border the appellation), with fine structure and salinity on the finish. Maybe just a little short, but I admire its classicism and sapidity.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2042

Darker blue fruits, damp earth, and tobacco notes all emerge from the 2021 Château Belgrave, a pretty, elegant, medium-bodied barrel sample that brings solid mid-palate depth, quality tannins, and a good finish.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Berliquet St Emilion £229 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 92-93 93 91-93 91-93
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The 2021 Berliquet is the best wine the new team led by Technical Director Nicolas Audebert has made since taking over the property a few years ago. The purity of the fruit is striking. Red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice lend nuance throughout. Despite the obviously challenging growing season, the Berliquet team turned out a very pretty wine. Impressive. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2036

Rather firm and muscular tannins frame the wine. Medium-to full-bodied with a column of fruit and density. Shows potential. Earth and spice at the end.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Berliquet shows considerable promise, exhibiting aromas of cherries, wild berries, raw cocoa and rose petals, followed by a medium to full-bodied, lively and charming palate that's framed by powdery tannins and tangy acids. Concluding with a long and saline finish, this estate continues to go from strength to strength under the administration of Nicolas Audibert and his team.

Score: 92 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

An attractive bright purple colour with violet rim, and warming fruit aromatics, touches of cloves. This is impressive, with a lovely sense of lift and freshness, and beautifully placed raspberry, blackberry and redcurrant fruits. A little bulkier than its sibling estate Canon, slightly more angular tannins in this vintage, but still with the juicy fingerprint of limestone. First year of organic conversion, with certification expected 2024. 44% new oak, plus four amphora. 30hl/h yield, 3.41ph. Clay-limestone plateau, next to Canon but with slightly cooler, more powerful soils. Tasted twice.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Berliquet was picked September 23 to October 5 at 30hL/ha, and matured in 44% new oak for a planned 16 months. Limpid purple in color. The nose is surprisingly concentrated given the growing season, offering crème de cassis and violet petal aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannins that frame the black cherry and boysenberry fruit. Not a complex Berliquet, yet it possesses admirable substance and ripeness on the finish. One to watch.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2050

The 2021 Château Berliquet is another red-fruited, vibrant, floral effort in the vintage that offers medium-bodied richness and depth, as well as beautiful balance. A blend of 61% Merlot and 39% Cabernet Franc that saw malolactic fermentation in barrel and is still resting in 44% new oak, it has bright acidity, silky tannins, and just an incredible sense of purity and elegance. Managed today by the team of Nicolas Audebert, the quality here is on an upward trajectory, and this is an estate readers need to have on their radar. Thomas Duclos also consults here. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Beychevelle St Julien £353 6x75cl Sold Out 91-93 91-92 91-94 92 92-94 91-94
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The 2021 Beychevelle is rich and sumptuous, but not quite as pushed in that direction as some recent vintages have been. Then again, that sort of opulence was simply not possible in 2021. Even so, the 2021 flows with dark blue/purplish fruit, incense, espresso, mocha, menthol and licorice. All the elements are so well balanced. The 2021 is a terrific Beychevelle with a bright future.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Blueberry and some chocolate and berry character. Medium body, fine tannins and a fresh, medium finish.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Beychevelle is a strong effort, exhibiting aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with cigar wrapper and fresh mint. Medium to full-bodied, bright and fine-boned, it's deep and layered, with powdery tannins, lively acids and a saline finish. This wine only improved over the five times I tasted it.

Score: 91 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Silky and well textured fruits, with gentle build through the palate and a carefully constructed balance of raspberry and redcurrant fruit and fresh acidity that comes through in lemongrass and a raspy slate texture. Not easy to achieve this in 2021, will have needed careful sorting and plot by plot work in vineyard and cellar. The firm frame is a little austere, but there is finesse here, gentle campfire smoke.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Beychevelle has a pleasant, light bouquet that needs coaxing from the glass, eventually offering blackberry, briar, peppermint and sage aromas. The oak here is neatly integrated, though it does not possess the dimension of the previous vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a firm grip on the entry. The Cabernet Sauvignon is fully in the driving seat here, imparting quite intense blackberry and graphite notes. As with many Saint-Julien barrel samples, a Pauillac-like structure comes through. The licorice-tinged finish is fresh and focused. This is quite an endearing Beychevelle after the challenging growing season.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

From the southern edge of the appellation and a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it sports a vivid purple hue to go with terrific aromatics of darker fruits, tobacco, roasted coffee, and loamy earth. This round, medium-bodied, plump, forward, yet undeniably delicious 2021 is going to drink nicely right out of the gate. Harvest here spanned from the September 27 to October 8, and the wine will spend 18 months in roughly 70% new French oak.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Pleasantly fragrant with floral and dark-fruit notes. Juicy and ripe on the palate. Less flesh and concentration than top years but fruit present and tannins finely honed. Clean, persistent finish.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Blanc de Lynch Bages Dry Whites £220 6x75cl 87 94 91 - 91-93 94-96
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The 2021 Blanc de Lynch Bages is terrific. The move to increase the Sauvignon Blanc and decrease the Muscadelle yields a white endowed with notable energy and brightness, a style I personally like quite a bit.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2029

Bright and crunchy white with layers of gooseberries, fennel, lemon grass and sea shells. White peach, too. Medium-bodied, bright and driven with linear character. Stony and saline at the end. 79% sauvignon blanc, 15% semillon and 6% muscadelle. Drink or hold.

Score: 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Already bottled, the 2021 Blanc de Lynch-Bages exhibits aromas of ripe grapefruit, musky peach and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with lively acids and a saline finish, it's a blend of 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Sémillon and 6% Muscadelle.

Score: 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2021-2025

The 2021 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, which was bottled 10 days prior to my visit, has a delightful bouquet with white peach and light orange pith scents. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, though I just need a little more weight (more Sémillon?) to fill out the finish. 12.98% alcohol.

Score: 87 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2030

I was blown away by the quality of the 2021 Château Lynch-Bages Blanc, which ranks with the top whites in the vintage. Offering awesome white grapefruit, floral, mint, and chalky notes, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a vivid, pure, chiseled mouthfeel, and a great finish. I'd be a buyer.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Bourgneuf (Pomerol) Pomerol £420 12x75cl 91-93 92-93 88-90 92 89-91 90-92
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The 2021 Bourgneuf is a very pretty and promising wine. Naturally, the 2021 doesn’t have the richness of recent previous editions, but it largely compensates for that with its energy and focus. Hints of red berry fruit, orange peel, cinnamon and crushed rocks lift the finish in this stylish, mid-weight Pomerol. Bourgneuf has been one of Pomerol's under the radar gems for years. The 2021 is a bit understated at the moment, even for this wine. Let's see what happens. Tasted two times.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029 - 2041

Very fine tannins with plum, currant and berry character. Medium body. Integrated and polished texture. Fine finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of sweet cherries, plums, petals and warm spices introduce the 2021 Bourgneuf, a medium to full-bodied, supple and charming wine built around lively acids and fine, powdery tannins.

Score: 88 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Cheerful ruby red colour. Fresh acidities but plump red fruits to accompany. Certainly a fresher expression of Bourgeneuf than in the last few years, but it has Pomerol signature and balance, and is well constructed, where you can see it will smooth out further over ageing. Charming, medium term drinking. Owned by the Vayron family. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Bourgneuf was picked September 27 to October 4. It has an attractive nose with bright black cherry and wild strawberry fruit and fine mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit laced with tobacco and thyme, building nicely toward a cohesive, sappy finish. The 2021 continues a fine run for this Pomerol estate.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2040

The deep purple-hued 2021 Château Bourgneuf should be outstanding, and I love its purity of fruit. Assorted red and black fruits, cedar, tobacco, iron, and leafy herbs give way to a medium-bodied, nicely balanced, concentrated Pomerol that's going to shine for 15 years or more. It shows the style of the vintage in its almost mid-weight, pretty, floral style, yet this is rock-solid.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Branaire Ducru St Julien £186 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 93-94 92 93-95 89-92
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The 2021 Branaire-Ducru is sleek, elegant and nuanced. There is more Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the blend than in the 2018-2020 period, when the Merlots were especially successful. As a result, the aromatics are absolutely alluring, but the wine is much less forthcoming on the palate. At 12.9% alcohol, the 2021 is a classically austere Branaire that looks like it will need quite a bit of time to blossom. It is undoubtedly a very pretty wine, even if not fully expressive at this stage. Dark cherry, plum, chocolate, leather and rose petal linger. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A very pretty wine, showing blackberry and blackcurrant aromas with crushed stone. Medium to full body with layers of fine-grained tannins. Bright and refined. Lots of dark fruit at the end. Solid weight.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Having tasted the 2021 Branaire-Ducru six times over the course of a month and a half, I feel confident in saying that it is a beautiful wine that numbers among the vintage's real successes. Offering up aromas of raspberry coulis and red cherries mingled with notions of rose petals, cigar box and spices, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, with a layered core of fruit, lively acids and beautifully powdery tannins. Why is it quite so good? It isn't because a lot of wine was declassified, as around 60% of the estate's production went into the grand vin this year—a touch more than average. Rather, the key factors seem to be waiting to pick despite an alarming weather forecast; the blend itself, which emphasizes ripe Cabernet and the estate's later-ripening Merlot on clay-limestone soils; and the fact that a partially completed new winery means that Branaire already had fully 63 fermentation vats at its disposal to pick and vinify parcel by parcel. The exact composition is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Well balanced, showcasing the possibliities of the vintage, a little austere in its rose stem and cassis bud character, but it opens up to show finessed blackberry fruit, precisely cut tannins, and has plenty of potential to age. 32hl/ yield, up to 20 month ageing depending on tasting. Tasted twice.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Branaire Ducru was picked from September 24, albeit slowly, until October 14, at 32hL/ha. It has quite an intense, dare I say precocious bouquet of bold brambly red fruit that eventually settles in the glass and turns darker. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and a touch of black pepper and tobacco. Quite a marine-influenced Saint-Julien, it fans out gradually toward the finish and exerts a gentle grip. Though not quite reaching the heights of recent vintages, it represents a true articulation of the growing season and of Branaire-Ducru itself.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2050

Bright red and blue fruits, violets, and floral notes define the bouquet of the 2021 Château Branaire-Ducru, a medium-bodied, nicely balanced, elegant Saint-Julien. It has nicely integrated background oak, plenty of mid-palate depth, and the balance and length to shine for two decades. It's incredibly well done and should end up being an outstanding wine.

Score: 89 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Open and aromatic on the nose with savoury and dark-fruit notes. Supple and fleshy on the palate. Lacks a bit of density but there’s a structure well in place. Competent rather than stirring.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Brane Cantenac Margaux £282 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 93-95 94 93-96 92-94
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The 2021 Brane-Cantenac notably marries fruit intensity with energy and structure. There is an exotic richness to the 2021 that is impossible to miss. Kirsch, red plum, blood orange, cinnamon, new leather and spice all meld together. The 2021 is bold, sumptuous and alluring. There is certainly a lot to look forward to. The oak needs to fully integrate, but that is what élevage is for. Brane-Cantenac was impressive on both occasions I tasted it.

Score: 93 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A medium-bodied, very polished Brane-Cantenac with firm yet fine and textured tannins. Deep and compact core of black fruit, herbs and spices. Pretty licorice and clove notes. Structured and long. 74% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot and 1% carmenere.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Brane-Cantenac shows considerable promise, exhibiting a deep bouquet of wild berries, cassis, spices and violets, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and impressively concentrated palate that's framed by powdery tannins, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. This seamless and enveloping wine is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Carmenère and Petit Verdot. Once again, it's derived from the château's best holdings on the plateau of Brane and is maturing in entirely new barrels.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Dark plum colour, attractive rich texture, with high aromatics and clear power on the nose. Not exuberant, more red and blue, cool fruits, with purity and power, this has concentration and is one of the best in Margaux in this vintage. Has personality and balance, with curls of black chocolate and liqourice, balacing out the ever-present fresh acidities of the vintage. 100% new oak, 3.63ph. 12.7ph. Harvest September 23 to October 7. 41.2hl/h yield, high for the year, but without dilution which was a potential pitfall of high yields. A potential upscore in bottle.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Brane-Cantenac was picked from September 23 until October 7 at a respectable 41.2hL/ha and aged 100% new oak. It has a fragrant nose of dark red fruit, undergrowth, pencil box and light minty scents, understated at first but opening up nicely in the glass (it always requires patience). The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and fresh as a daisy, displaying impressive tension. This focused, precise Brane-Cantenac conveys a great deal of harmony. The tensile, graphite finish lingers long in the mouth. While not quite reaching the lofty heights of "peak Brane,” this is a very commendable and quite cerebral wine for the vintage.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2055

I loved the 2021 Château Brane-Cantenac, and I'd put this up with the top wines in the appellation. Medium-bodied, silky, and pure, with considerable elegance, it has lots of red and black fruits, some floral and herbal, tobacco nuances, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's a quintessential Margaux with its complexity and nuance.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Calon Segur St Estephe £492 6x75cl Sold Out 95-97 93-94 95-96 95 94-96 94-97
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The 2021 Calon Ségur is a gorgeous wine that is going to need a number of years to fully come into its own. Aromatic, punchy and croquant, as the French say, the 2021 is a vibrant, mid-weight Calon that will delight readers who enjoy classically built claret. Don't look for the size or opulence of recent vintages. The 2021 is a cool, classy Saint-Estèphe to savor for years and decades to come. I loved it.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Polished and perfumed already, with very fine, powdery tannins. So silky. Bright red and black berries here with sandalwood and orange-zest notes. Medium-bodied. Refined. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 11% cabernet franc, 7% merlot and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A brilliant effort that will delight Médoc purists, the 2021 Calon-Ségur wafts from the glass with aromas of rose petals, wild berries, plums, Indian spices, woodsmoke and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and lively, with beautifully ripe tannins and an exquisitely balanced profile. In spirit, this blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot is reminiscent of the 1996 vintage, though the 2021 won't go through such an extended period of hibernation and will attain a much higher peak of quality. It attained 12.9% alcohol without any chaptalization, saignée or osmosis. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This is delicious, refined, poised, one of the wines of the vintage. Has the signature of 2021 in terms of cool and savoury fruits, with graphite and gunsmoke aromatics. A cool climate Calon, very different from the style of wines you have found here in the trio of 2018-2019-2020, but it is successful, and a fine example of the savoury, sculpted wines that were possible within the conditions of the year. Understated power, juicy finish, old school elegance. You can begin drink in around 6 or 7 years, but will age. On questioning, there were a few reasons for their success - they deleafed on both sides at the end of June for the first time since director Vincent Millet arrived at Calon in 2006 to aerate the grapes, and together with the dry August were able to get some natural concentration. Harvest September 28 until October 14, 100% new oak. 43% 1st wine, 36hl/h yield. Potential upscore when in bottle.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Calon Ségur was cropped at 36hL/ha and aged entirely in new oak for a planned 20 months. This year, the gap between the Grand Vin and the Marquis is blatantly obvious, to the extent that they are practically different wines, which is how Vincent Millet and his team treat them. The Cabernet is firmly in the driving seat here, with detailed, graphite-infused black fruit and a background florality that comes through with aeration. The medium-bodied palate displays very fine tannins, superb acidity (pH 3.65) and impressive harmony. This has exemplary build in the mouth, fine weight on the finish and a persistent aftertaste. An outstanding Calon-Ségur, elevated by the risks taken in de-leafing in June and waiting to pick. Bravo. 12.9% alcohol

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2055

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Calon Ségur is one heck of a winner in the vintage and is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. Hitting 12.9% alcohol, its deep purple hue is followed by a gorgeous bouquet of cassis, violets, ripe darker raspberries, and spring flowers. It's elegant and has a great mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. It's unquestionably one of the gems from the Médoc and will round into form with 3-5 years of bottle age and, I suspect, be long-lived.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fine, floral bouquet. Density on attack, the oak a touch present but plentiful tannins that are smooth and honed. Plenty of matière and freshness from beginning to end. Clearly has potential.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2029-2048

[Add to shopping basket] Canon St Emilion £540 6x75cl 92-94 96-97 94-96 - 95-97 93-95
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Dramatic, rich and imposing, the 2021 Canon is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Sculpted red purplish fruit, rose petal, lavender, sage and crushed rocks all race out of the glass. A heady, vertical wine, Canon is endowed with tremendous concentration and class. The aromatics alone are beguiling, but it is the wine's balance that impresses most. Tasted three times. This is such an elegant and regal wine.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A wine full of finesse and class with fantastic length and polish. Medium to full body with ultra-fine tannins that run endlessly down the length of the wine. Blackberry, graphite and spice. Agile and weightless.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A brilliant wine in the making, the 2021 Canon offers up aromas of cherries, wild berries, licorice, sweet soil tones, raw cocoa, Indian spices and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's immensely refined and seamless, with a lively spine of acidity, ripe tannins and a long, penetrating, intensely saline finish. This beautifully balanced Canon is one of the classiest, most complete wines of the Right Bank in this vintage. Tasted four times.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Score: - Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Canon was picked September 16 to October 6 and matured in 50% new oak for a planned 16–18 months. Around 70% of the vineyard produced the normal yield, which underwent a 50% deselection, yet it still yielded 40hL/ha because the vines did not suffer stress. After mildew, any bunches that showed damage on the stems were removed. Nicolas Audebert told me that there was no concentration or saignée, just a little chaptalization (around 0.5–1.0%, depending on the tank). This has quite a concentrated bouquet of opulent dark cherries, blueberry, violet and just a hint of camphor. The palate is medium-bodied and pliant, with gentle grip, saturated tannins and a judicious touch of spice toward the compact finish. While recent top-flight vintages may well eclipse this Canon, it still stands as a fine addition to the recent roster.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2060

From a château you can't go wrong with, the 2021 Château Canon is another head-turning, elegant, seamless wine that comes from unquestionably one of the greatest terroirs on the upper plateau of Saint-Emilion. Based on 71% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that hit 13.55% alcohol, it will spend 18 months in 50% new barrels. It shows the vintage's fresher, elegant style beautifully, with lots of perfumed red fruits, spice, flowers, and chalky notes. These carry to a medium-bodied, seamless, elegant Saint-Emilion that has supple tannins, a notable sense of freshness (although I suspect the pH is solid), and a great finish.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

71% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Reserved at present. Floral notes as the wine opens. Texturally very elegant, the tannins extremely polished and fine. Compact, concise. Less wow this year but clean and refreshing and enough fruit for ageing. (JL)

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Cantemerle Haut Medoc £108 6x75cl 88-90 90-91 90-91 87 89-91 87-89
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The 2021 Cantemerle is a powerful, classically built wine. Pipe tobacco, cedar, blood orange and exotic spice all run through its mid-weight frame. The Cabernets are especially evident in this year's blend. There's good depth and plenty of character. All the 2021 needs is élevage to pull it all together.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2033

Savory, with mushrooms, bark and dried leaves. Some cocoa and walnut notes, too. Medium body with lightly chewy tannins. A little loose.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Cantemerle is a very strong effort in a challenging year, offering up aromas of blackcurrants and plums mingled with hints of spice box, black truffle and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming, it's supple and succulent, with a generous core of fruit and a saline finish. It's sure to number among the sleepers of the vintage.

Score: 90 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Bright dark fruit, well constructed with fresh acidities and a leafy, rose stem aspect the emphasies the Caberrnet. There is juice on the finish here, but hard tannins also, and it needs further softening over ageing. Tasted twice. 50hl/h yield, generous for the vintage, 40% new oak.

Score: 87 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Cantemerle has a pleasant, cedar-inspired bouquet, the light black fruit gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and quite structured, revealing classic tobacco notes toward a finish of decent length. This will do fine as an early-drinking claret.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

The 2021 Château Cantemerle is good, and certainly an impressive Haut-Medoc. Offering ample red and black fruits, tobacco-laced herbs, and cedar, it's medium-bodied, forward, has ripe yet crunchy tannins, and a good finish.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Pleasantly aromatic with cassis and dark-fruit notes. Juicy and fresh, if a little lean, the tannins well-handled. The oak, though, is rather present and drying (prise de bois?). If it settles, this could improve.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2035

[Add to shopping basket] Capbern St Estephe £101 6x75cl 90-92 91-92 89-91 87 90-92 91-94
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The 2021 Capbern is absolutely gorgeous. The aromatics alone are so alluring. A whole range of Cabernet inflections leads into a core of bright red toned fruit. Dried herbs, mint, tobacco, cedar, crushed flowers and red berry fruit grace this exquisite, vibrant Saint-Estèphe. Bright acids perk up the finish. En primeur samples were taken from new barrels only, but the final wine is projected to have 60% new oak.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

A medium-bodied, firm and very fresh red with crunchy black-fruit and bark character. Tight, fine tannins. Mineral and tea-like quality. 70% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot and 2% petit verdot.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Offering up aromas of dark berries, plums, spices, rose petals and loamy soil, the 2021 Capbern is a medium to full-bodied, lively and charming wine with beautifully refined tannins and an impressively penetrating finish. It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot that attained 12.8% alcohol.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Attractive red fruits, cranberry, redcurrant and raspberry with an attractive zip but skirting full ripeness. Highest Cabernet levels to date, and it comes across not so much in flavour but in tannic depth, and raspberry leaf aromatics. No frost here, 36hl/h yield.

Score: 87 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Capbern was cropped at 36hL/ha with a 20-day cuvaison, and matured in 60% new oak for a planned 18 months. It has an attractive, fragrant bouquet of vivacious black and blue fruit, a lovely pencil box element emanating from the Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, respectable weight and acidity and a saline finish. Not the most complex Saint-Estèphe you will find, but commendable for the vintage and thoroughly enjoyable. (12.8% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The 2021 Château Capbern is rock-solid, with wonderful cassis and an assortment of both red and blue fruits, supported by plenty of floral nuances. It's elegant and has considerable finesse, ripe tannins, and terrific purity. It shows the more charming, mid-weight style of the vintage, yet it's a solid wine that will deliver the goods.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Focused and direct. Long and linear but juicy as well with fine-grained tannins and a minerally tone that persists. Freshness and balance on the finish. GV?

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Carillon de l'Angelus (2nd wine of Angelus) St Emilion £462 6x75cl - - 90-92 - - -
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Now benefiting from its own dedicated winery, the 2021 Le Carillon d'Angélus is no longer a "second wine" per se, but rather draws on some 25 hectares of dedicated vineyards, emphasizing Merlot from the cool terroirs of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, complemented by holdings in the gravelly Figeac sector and on clay soils near Angélus itself—with anything that doesn't make the cut relegated to the No. 3 d'Angélus. Exhibiting aromas of raspberries, plums, warm spices and nicely integrated new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and polished, with lively acids, refined tannins and a long, penetrating finish.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

[Add to shopping basket] Carmes Haut Brion Graves £650 6x75cl Low Stock - On allocation 93-95 - 94-97 94 96-98 93-95
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Technical Director Olivier Pouthier crafted one of the wines of the vintage at Les Carmes Haut-Brion. The 2021 possesses mind-blowing intensity and stunning persistence. Bright red-fleshed fruit, blood orange, mint, dried flowers and exotic spice caress the senses as the 2021 shows off its sheer allure. I don't think I have ever tasted a young Carmes with this level of precision. The blend is 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, aged in 70% new oak, 20% new foudres and 10% in amphora. As always, Les Carmes sees some whole cluster, 45% in 2021, an unusual technique in Bordeaux, but one that works so well here. The 2021 is a magical wine. That's all there is to it.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A brilliant and intensely individual wine, the 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion shows immense potential. Wafting from the glass with aromas of rich berries and plums mingled with notions of raw cocoa, loamy soil, rose petals, burnt sage and vine smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, vibrant and seamless, with a deep, dynamic core of fruit and a long, penetrating finish. Transcending the limitations of the vintage, it wouldn't surprise me were this wine ultimately to surpass the 2019 and 2020 in quality. It's a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot that's maturing in 70% new oak and the rest in 15-hectoliter foudres. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Inky colour, enticing texture and aromatics, accomplished construction with no drop of density through the mid palate. They use reductive techniqes during ageing so you always have to give Carmes time in the glass to open up (even after En Primeur, when in bottle), and you are richly rewarded by a bit of patience, with damson, black cherry, rich chocolate, liqourice, smoked earth, mandarin peel, rose bud and mouthwartering acidities. This has tension and subdued power, and is a successful interpretation of the vintage. 42hl/h yields, same as 2020, no frost, no mildew, no coulure. Harvest as in Sauternes; with three passes through the vineyard at harvest. No chaptilisation. Harvest September 23 to October 1. 3.6ph, 45% whole grape, only 5% less than last year. 70% new oak, 20% large sized still new but 1800 litres, and 10% amphoras. A potential upscore in bottle.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Les Carmes Haut-Brion includes 45% whole bunch, the same as the previous vintage with 70% new oak, 20% in new 1800-litre foudres and some in amphora. Interestingly, the whole bunch contribution is less evident here compared to the Le C des Carmes, more assimilated with touches of flint and graphite infusing the mineral-rich black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with firm grip on the entry, plenty of crunchy black fruit infused with graphite, cracked black pepper and cedar underlying marine influences. With a surfeit of freshness on the saline finish, tensile with an almost penetrating minerally aftertaste, this will deserve 5-7 years in bottle. 13.5% alcohol

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2055

I'd put the 2021 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Based on 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Merlot, aging in 80% new barrels, it offers a brilliant perfume of plum and black raspberry fruits supported by lots of spice and exotic floral notes. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a rounded, expansive mouthfeel that's rare to find in the vintage, terrific mid-palate depth, moderate acidity, and a great finish. It's a singular, brilliant Pessac that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 20-25+ in cold cellars. Enough can't be said about the quality and passion being brought to this estate by winemaker Guillaume Pouthier, and this is an estate readers need to be purchasing.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep purple-crimson hue. Lively and fresh with spicy, smoky notes on the nose. There’s a lushness to the ample fruit but lift and freshness as well, the plentiful tannins upright and integrated. Again, lots of energy and drive with just that bit more concentration than Le C. Clean, dry finish. Vibrant and harmonious.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045

[Add to waiting list] Carruades de Lafite (2nd wine of Ch Lafite) Pauillac £990 6x75cl Sold Out - - - - - -
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[Add to shopping basket] Chapelle de la Mission (2nd wine of Mission Haut Brion) Graves £336 6x75cl 89-91 93-94 90-92 - 89-91 89-91
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The 2021 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion is quite elegant and delicate in this vintage. Floral accents perk up a core of bright, red-fleshed fruit. the 2021 is nicely delineated, I just wish there was a bit more depth. Ultimately the 2021 feels a bit light.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2036

Nicely firm and structured with a tight core of blackberry, stone and bark with some graphite. Grainy, firm tannins. Fresh and focused finish. 51.3% merlot, 45.2% cabernet sauvignon and 3.5% cabernet franc.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of dark berries, rich spices, loamy soil and new oak introduce the 2021 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming wine with an enveloping core of fruit, lively acids and powdery tannins that gently assert themselves on the finish. While it can't match the polish and elegant of La Clarence de Haut-Brion this year, it's a fine second wine.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion has a pure black cherry and wild strawberry bouquet, very well defined and revealing hints of vanilla pod with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannins, and quite concentrated for a Deuxième Vin, leading to a nicely structured, slightly chewy finish. A gutsy La Chapelle.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2038

The 2021 La Chapelle De La Misson Haut-Brion checks in as a blend of 51.3% Merlot, 45.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc that hit 13.4% natural alcohol and is still resting in 27% new barrels. It has a terrific nose of bright cherries, framboise, spice box, and tobacco to go with a medium-bodied, elegant, juicy style on the palate. It's very much in the vintage and will drink nicely right out of the gate.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Lively, juicy and at this stage a little more open than Le Clarence. Acidity evident but not obtrusive. Delicate fruit weight but plenty of energy and drive, the tannins fine and integrated. Balanced. Could improve further if it fills out in the bottle.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Chenade Lalande de Pomerol £156 12x75cl 87-89 92-93 89-90 - 90-92 89-91
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The 2021 La Chenade is a soft, supple Lalande de Pomerol loaded with charm. Succulent dark cherry, plum, mocha, chocolate and spice are nicely pushed forward in this attractive, easygoing 2021. La Chenade is all Merlot this year, as the Franc was used for the Cruzelles.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2033

A medium-bodied, ripe and textured Lalande with creamy, fleshy tannins. Succulent core of ripe plum fruit, chocolate and some orange and peppermint. Fragrant and plush. 100% merlot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 La Chenade, from vineyards in Lalande de Pomerol that were saved from the frost, offers up rich aromas of berries and plums mingled with loamy soil and spices. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and seamless, it's built around powdery tannins and lively acids.

Score: 89 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Chenade was picked between September 24 and October 1 and this year is pure Merlot. Again, it is simple but clean and well-defined on the nose of brassy red cherries and crushed strawberry fruit. The palate is balanced with vivacious red fruit. It pulls up a tad short, but there is still plenty of flavor and freshness here. Fine.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2036

The 2021 Château La Chenade is all Merlot from the Lalande-de-Pomerol region, brought up in 30% new French oak. It's always a riper, round, pleasure-bent beauty, and the 2021 is no exception, with medium-bodied aromas and flavors of darker cherries, black raspberries, gravelly earth, and flowers. With soft tannins and a plump, rounded mouthfeel, it's ideal for drinking on release and over the following 7-8 years.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

100% Merlot. Cask sample. Meaty and savoury with a touch of hedgerow fruit. Some leafiness on the palate, otherwise supple, succulent and round. Slight bitter edge and sandy tannins on the finish. (JL) 13.5%

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Cheval Blanc St Emilion £2,370 6x75cl On allocation 95-97 97-98 95-97 - 96-98 94-96
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Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

This is so finely textured with very precise, tight tannins. Medium to full body. Lots of layers here with black and blue fruit, stones, tar, dark cocoa and spices. Dried herbs. Long and persistent. Stays focused all the way. So precise. 52% cabernet franc, 43% merlot and 5% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A terrific achievement, the 2021 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of raspberries and cherries mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, vine smoke, rose petals and violets, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with an elegantly muscular chassis of ripe, powdery tannin and lively animating acids. Long and penetrating, this is a serious, rather structured young Cheval Blanc that will require and reward patience.

Score: 95 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Cheval Blanc was picked between September 22 and October 14, and for the first time in many years there is a higher proportion of Cabernet Franc. This has a lovely bouquet, very clean and precise, featuring black cherry, wild mint, sous-bois and orange sorbet, all vivacious and very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, quite structured and very linear and strict. A bit like Ausone, this is an uncompromising Cheval Blanc, very saline and marine-influenced. While not as flattering as the 2020, it will appeal more to those who prefer a cerebral Cheval Blanc. One of the stars of the Right Bank in this challenging growing season.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2065

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Cheval Blanc checks in as 52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, and it's a big step up over the second wine, offering serious density, depth, and richness while still holding onto the style of the vintage. Pure cassis and darker fruits, notes of scorched earth and graphite, obvious minerality, medium to full body, and gorgeous tannins all define this beauty, which is unquestionably up with the finest wines of the vintage. A wine that's never about overt power or richness, the 2021 shines on all accounts with its complexity, elegance, and incredible texture.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Deep crimson hue. Fragrant and floral with a hint of mint, the same returning on the palate. Focused and precise, the fruit juicy and the plentiful tannins finely grained. Low-key but elegant and refined. Should fill out more in bottle. (JL) 13%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Cissac Haut Medoc £99 12x75cl 87-89 89-90 85-87 - - -
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A medium-bodied red, showing plum and light chocolate character with some orange peel. Slightly hard tannins, but good intensity for the vintage.

Score: 89 - 90 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

For many years, this estate, situated to the west of Pauillac, produced chewy, austere wines, but today more work in the vineyards and greater attention to optimal maturity is delivering more charm. The 2021 Cissac is a solid effort, exhibiting aromas of cassis, violets and loamy soil, followed by a medium-bodied, lively palate framed by powdery tannins.

Score: 85 - 87 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Cissac offers plenty of black cherries and raspberry on the nose, displaying good concentration and more attack than many of its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, good grip and a lightly spiced finish. Drink over the next decade.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2034

[Add to shopping basket] Clarence Haut Brion (2nd wine of Haut Brion) Graves £654 6x75cl 90-92 94-95 91-93 - 90-92 90-92
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The 2021 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion is deep, fleshy and super-expressive. Like all of the wines in this vintage here, the Clarence is on the lighter side, but that is not a bad thing. Primary dark fruit, leather, spice and tobacco fill out the layers nicely.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2033

Lots of iodine and oyster-shell aromas, together with blackberry and black cherry, following through to a medium to full body. Polished yet slightly chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Grilled orange. 70.4% merlot, 18.2% cabernet sauvignon and 11.4% cabernet franc.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

One of the finest second wines in this vintage is the 2021 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered wine evocative of dark berries, plums, pipe tobacco and burning embers. Built around powdery tannins and lively acids, it's an elegant, seamless cuvée that does bear more than a passing resemblance to the grand vin.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion has a very pure bouquet of blueberry, cedar and violet, perhaps slightly more ethereal than the La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with quite strict tannins and a little more saline than expected, leading to a fresh finish. Maybe it lacks a bit of persistence, but it is a fine Deuxième Vin.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2038

The 2021 Le Clarence Haut-Brion is a slightly darker, richer wine with lots of black cherries, scorched earth, and graphite notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Balanced, elegant, and seamless, it's certainly a beautiful wine and as well as a terrific introduction to this château.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fragrant red-fruit notes. Broad and smooth on attack with finely integrated tannins. Palate a bit more subdued but fresh with firmness on the finish. Room for development.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Clerc Milon Pauillac £342 6x75cl Low Stock 90-92 93-94 92-94 92 92-94 90-93
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The 2021 Clerc Milon is gorgeous. Beams of tannin lend energy and direction to an alluring Clerc Milon that marries fruit density with a classic sense of structure that is quite appealing.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

Polished and well-structured red with a medium body and firm but creamy and broad tannins. Perfumed already, with sandalwood, blackberry and currant character. Crushed stones. Tea leaves, too. Firm and solid to the end. Very solid for the vintage. 59% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot, 10% cabernet franc, 1.5% carmenere and 1.5% petit verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Clerc Milon is a success, bursting with aromas of blackberries, cassis and plums mingled with violets, tobacco leaf and nicely integrated new oak. Medium to full-bodied, layered and seamless, it's deep, fleshy and complete, with a rich core of succulent fruit, beautifully polished tannins and a long, sapid finish, it's a compelling, characterful wine that transcends the vintage.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Sappy, concentrated, powerful, this is a wine that has a lot of power naturally and in a vintage like 2021 (and with higher Cabernet Franc and higher Carmanère than the past few years), it runs the risk of being austere. Certainly you feel a sterner character than over the past few years, but there is flexibility in the tannins, and well-worked blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Will benefit from fattening up through the mid palate over ageing, because all the elements are here. 55% new oak. 57IPT. 3.73ph. Caroline Artaud technical director as of this vintage. Strong candidate for upscore in bottle.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Clerc Milon, aged in 55% new oak, contains a little more Cabernet Franc than usual. It has a slightly savory nose displaying moderate vigor and black fruit infused with touches of brown spice. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, and quite broad and fleshy. The plush finish makes me think this will drink well in its youth. Fine, though I lean toward the d'Armailhac this year. 13% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2039

The 2021 Château Clerc Milon is based on 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Carmenère and Petit Verdot. It has more pure cassis and graphite as well as medium bodied richness, ripe, polished tannins, remarkable purity of fruit, and a great finish.

Score: 90 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

More restrained aromatically than some this year. Dark fruit and savoury nuance. Palate solid and firm with plenty of freshness. Tannins present but well rounded, tightening on the finish to give some persistence. Pleasantly dry finish. Pauillac muscle but in a low-key form.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Clinet Pomerol £399 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 93-95 - 92-94 93-96
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The 2021 Clinet is gorgeous. Soaring Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics lend presence to a deep, beautifully layered Pomerol that gets better and better with time in the glass. I especially admire the vibrancy here. At 25%, the Cabernet Sauvignon is high for Clinet, but it's an approach that works quite well in 2021. This is a fine vintage for Clinet.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Firm, lightly chewy yet creamy tannins. Savory bark and herb notes. Cloves and licorice, too. Medium body with a polished, lengthy and firm finish. Compact.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

At 75% Merlot and fully 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Clinet contains the highest proportion of Cabernet in the blend (excepting the 2003) since at least the 1980s. Ronan Laborde harvested late, picking into mid-October, to craft a medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively seamless wine evocative of dark berries, baking chocolate, violets and spices. Concentrated and nicely integrated, it is one of the vintage's notable successes.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Clinet is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, picked September 27–30 and October 12, respectively, and aged in 80% new oak. It has a well-defined bouquet of blackberry, graphite and light tobacco scents, very Left Bank in style – unsurprisingly, given the contribution of the Cabernet. Medium-bodied and sappy on the midpalate, with pliant tannins and moderate depth, and a lovely touch of black pepper toward the finish. Not a powerful Clinet and certainly far from the style of 15–20 years ago, but there’s a linearity and understatedness about this Pomerol, a freshness that should guarantee it will repay 5–6 years in bottle. This is a very well-crafted Clinet even if I do not rank it as a classic. If it puts on more weight, it may well land at the top of my banded score.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2050

Coming from a mix of clay and gravelly soils spread across a 10-hectare vineyard and 40-year-old vines, the 2021 Château Clinet is another brilliant success by Ronan Laborde, who continues to make one of the greatest Pomerols out there. A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon (which is a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon for Pomerol), it sports a deep purple hue to go with brilliant notes of blueberries, blackberries, violets, and minty herbs. More medium to full-bodied on the palate, it shows the fresher, elegant style of the vintage yet still brings plenty of mid-palate depth, ripe, velvety tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's a stunning success in the vintage that will drink nicely on release yet evolve for 20 years or more.

Score: 93 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Clos du Marquis St Julien £250 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 91-93 89 91-93 92-94
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The 2021 Clos du Marquis is a dark, sumptuous Saint-Julien. Strong Cabernet inflections give the Clos du Marquis its strong aromatic presence. Crushed flowers, spice, mint, tobacco and incense all reveal themselves with some coaxing. There are some slight rough edges in the tannins, but hopefully élevage can polish those. The 2021 is a fine and promising Clos du Marquis.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

This is very inky with lots of tar and iodine. Blackcurrants, too. Full-bodied. Very muscular for the vintage. Needs time to soften.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Clos du Marquis is a lovely wine, offering up aromas of cherries, burning embers, dark berries, loamy soil and truffle, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety wine that's rather deep and serious, reflecting low yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare and a blend dominated by 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 19% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc in supporting roles. Lest anyone underestimate it on the strength of the challenging vintage alone, by the numbers it contains a higher concentration of polyphenols than either the 2019 or 2020 vintages. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

A big step up from La Petite Marquise, with a lovely sappy character, raspberry and red cherry fruits, attractive texture, 50% new oak. 34hl/h yield, 4% press wine.

Score: 89 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Clos du Marquis was picked from September 24 to October 9 and matured in 50% new oak. There was just a little coulure affecting the Merlot this year. This has quite a tight nose that demands more coaxing from the glass than its peers, the blackberry, mint, juniper and pencil box aromas emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chalky tannins on the entry, and curiously Pauillac-like in style thanks to the graphite seam that runs from start to finish. Shorter than the 2019 or 2020 (as expected) but quite serious and deserving of some time in a cool, dank cellar. (13.46% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2046

A solid step up and based on 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 14% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Clos Du Marquis shows the vintage's more elegant, medium-bodied style yet brings plenty of density and depth. Ripe red and black fruits, notes of gravelly earth and graphite, supple tannins, and terrific overall balance all define this rock-solid Saint-Julien, which will benefit from just short-term cellaring. It's another impressive wine from this estate.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Marked Cabernet nose. Upright and earnest with firm but fine tannins, persistency and grip. St-Julien fruit less expressive but fresh and with energy and drive. A serious wine.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Clos Fourtet St Emilion £468 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 93-95 - 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 Clos Fourtet is very clearly one of the wines of the vintage on the Right Bank. Towering in its stature, the 2021 is a regal wine endowed with tremendous energy and vibrancy. This classically austere Saint-Émilion oozes class from the very first taste. Blue/purplish fruit, spice, lavender and menthol are some of the aromas and flavors that build into the resonant, deeply pitched finish. What a wine.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A polished and creamy red with bright currant, raspberry and clove character. Silky, supple tannins and fresh acidity. Excellent length.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A bend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Clos Fourtet offers up inviting aromas of wild berries and plums mingled with hints of black truffle, violets, potpourri and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's lively and layered, with beautifully refined tannins, bright acids and a long, sapid finish. Harvest lasted until October 15, which shows in unusual depth and plenitude for the vintage. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Clos Fourtet was picked September 28 to October 15 and matured in 50% new oak. Around 20% of the vats underwent saignée. This has a powerful bouquet of dark cherries, red plum, mint and violets. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. A less concentrated Clos Fourtet, even with the bleeding, but it retains balance and displays salinity and precision on the finish. This is promising, though it might be eclipsed by the 2019 and the 2020 in the long term. Still, I can see this maturing in style. (13.5% alcohol)

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2048

Another terrific Saint-Emilion from the upper plateau, the 2021 Château Clos Fourtet is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Franc that's pulled from 70% of the total production. The soils here include slightly more clay than its neighbor, Canon, and the wine is always a touch more powerful. The 2021 has 15% of the blend go through malolactic fermentation in barrel, and the élevage will span 16-18 months in 60% new oak. Dense purple-hued, with ample black fruits, roasted herbs, chocolate, and chalkiness, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a great mid-palate, ripe tannins, and one heck of a finish. It's an undeniable success that will shine in its youth yet also evolve gracefully. Tasted multiple times.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Quite a bit of charm aromatically. Floral notes – iris and dried rose. Fleshy but polished, the tannins very fine. Freshness and grip on the finish so some persistence. Elegance over power. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Conseillante Pomerol £942 6x75cl 95-97 94-95 95-96 95 95-97 93-95
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The 2021 is a super-classic La Conseillante the likes of which has not been made here in a very long time. A Pomerol of vibrancy and tension, the 2021 bristles with energy from start to finish. All the elements are so well-balanced. Aromatic and delineated, with terrific drive, the 2021 is so impressive in the early going. Dried herbs, licorice, mocha, cassis and blackberry open beautifully. The 70% new oak is already nicely integrated. To be sure, the 2021 is nervy and taut, as most wines are in this vintage. But it's all there.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Lovely, balanced and linear with seamless, fine tannins that are soft and creamy. Medium-bodied. Very attractive berry, light walnut and violet character. Long finish.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A superb effort that transcends the challenges of the vintage, the 2021 La Conseillante offers up a beautifully perfumed nose of wild berries, raspberry coulis, violets, exotic spices and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's a sensual, seamless wine that's deep and layered, structured around supple tannins and lively acids. Perfumed and penetrating, the 2021 isn't the most powerful wine this estate has produced, but it brilliantly exemplifies the rare structural elegance and almost Burgundian aromatic range that so often set this great estate apart from the rest of the Pomerol appellation. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 95 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Flavoursome, sculpted, successful, this is rippling with violet and rosebud aromatics, followed by raspberry and black cherry fruits. It maintains momentum through the mid palate with a creamy texture and gourmet touches of liquorice root, cocoa bean and precisely-expressed slate minerality. Harvest began the latest ever, on September 28 through to October 12, 39hl/h yield, almost exactly average for the property (the average in Pomerol this year was closer to 29hl/h), from 9.77ha of vines in production, 3.6ph, 70% new oak with 3% amphora and 3.5% press wine. A successful showing for the 150th vintage of the estate from director Marielle Cazeaux. Michel Rolland consultant.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 La Conseillante was picked the latest in memory, from September 28 until October 8, at 39hL/ha, and matured in 70% new oak. It comes in at 13.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.6. The beautifully defined bouquet offers blackberry, bilberry and light iris petal scents, just a suggestion of black truffle coming though with time. The harmonious palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and lightly spiced red fruit. There is a very subtle ferrous note, lovely depth and grip on the finish, and a persistent aftertaste. A beautiful La Conseillante courtesy of winemaker Marielle Cazaux and her team.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

The 2021 Château La Conseillante showed beautifully, and while it's not going to match the all-time greats here, it's a quintessential, elegant, seamless Pomerol in the making. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as a spectacular nose of pure cassis, ripe tobacco, damp earth, and ample floral nuances, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, beautiful overall balance, and a great finish. It's a remarkable effort in this challenging vintage. The blend is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, still aging in 70% new barrels, that hit 13.3% alcohol and a pH of 3.6.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel St Estephe £858 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 94-95 96 94-96 92-94
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The 2021 Cos d'Estournel is a wine of real breadth and volume. It is also quite a departure from recent vintages in that strong Cabernet aromatics are very much front and center. Cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, menthol and licorice lend notable complexity to the bouquet. I expect the 2021 will need time to be at its best. Cos is usually much more alluring in its youth than the reticent but hugely promising 2021.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A firm red with solid, compact tannins. Medium to full body with plenty of blackcurrant, pencil-lead and graphite character. Compact and structured throughout, with a firm finish. Linear and muscular tannins at the end that are very formed and curated. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Cos d'Estournel is very promising, offering up rich aromas of dark berries, plums, exotic spices, loamy soil and rose petals, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless palate that's impressively vibrant and concentrated, with powdery tannins, bright acids and a long, penetrating finish. Only 53% of the production made it into the grand vin, and the blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Technical director Dominique Arangoïts reports that Cos was spared by frost and coulure at flowering, harvesting between September 23 and October 4, and fermenting a touch hotter than has been the case in recent years, at around 28-29 degrees Celsius.

Score: 94 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

AThis vintage, which can be overly straight and austere, benefits from the house style of Cos, where they are happy to add a twist of gourmet glamour, and I am seriously impressed with this wine. It showcases the successful sides of a cool vintage in spades, with bitter black chocolate, cool blue fruits, lemongrass and turmeric and black pepper spices. 55% new oak. 3.79ph. 53% of overall production is for the 1st wine, the rest in Pagodes. Easily one of the wines of the vintage.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Cos d'Estournel has an attractive nose, more complex than the Pagodes (as you would expect), graphite and subtle cigar box scents permeating the black fruit and the Cabernet Sauvignon more expressive at this stage vis-à-vis the Merlot. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. One of the most velvety Cos d'Estournel wines I have encountered at this stage, though linear and strict on the saline finish. This is old-school in some ways, and a bit grumpy in its youth – a wine that will oblige cellar aging. A Saint-Estèphe for the patient among you. (12.74% alcohol)

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2050

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Cos D'Estournel is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot that saw 55% new French oak. It offers a beautiful, elegant, medium-bodied style that carries plenty of pure cassis and almost blue fruits as well as graphite, spicy wood, and hints of tobacco. The tannins are polished, and it has terrific balance, good density, and outstanding length. It's certainly in the more focused, elegant, narrow style of the vintage, but it's beautiful.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark and reticent with a touch of cassis as the wine opens. Linear and firm with a rich but fine tannic frame. Solid through the mid palate and on through the finish. Structured and with plenty of matière. Well within itself so room to develop.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Cos d'Estournel Blanc Dry Whites £630 6x75cl 92-94 97-98 91-93 - 93-95 94-96
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The 2021 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is fabulous. In fact, the 2021 is one of the finest vintages I can remember tasting. Readers will find a white of tremendous stature and sheer palate presence. Lemon oil, chamomile, pear, baked apple tart and light tropical accents are all amplified in this dramatic, racy white from Cos d'Estournel. I can't wait to taste this in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-231

This is layered and serious, with intense yet subtle notes of dried pineapple, lemon, crushed stones and shells. Salty. Long and driven with vivacity and energy. So minerally, in every sense. Grabs hold of you. 71% sauvignon blanc and 29% semillon.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Including fully 29% Sémillon, the 2021 Cos d'Estournel Blanc is a terrific effort from holdings in the northern Médoc. Offering up aromas of confit citrus, crisp orchard fruit, lime zest, pastry cream and freshly braked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and incisive, with chalky structuring dry extract and a penetrating finish. There's no question that it's one of the Médoc's most interesting white wines.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Cos d'Estournel Blanc contains slightly more Sauvignon Blanc this year (71%); proprietor Michel Reybier told me that was because it was more successful in the vineyard. Picked between September 17 and October 9 and matured in 8% new oak, it has a lovely bouquet of citrus fruit, white peach and hints of peony on a nose that opens nicely in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a fresh, vibrant entry, and obviously more concentrated than the Pagodes, with a lively and quite weighty, phenolic finish. This has great potential.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2045

Made in a deeper, richer style, the Grand Vin white 2021 Château Cos D'Estournel Blanc offers a vivid, racy, medium-bodied, concentrated mouthfeel as well as bright, juicy notes of white grapefruit, chalky mineral, and white flowers. It brings this terrific rocky, chalky, mineral-driven style on palate, has bright acidity, and a great mid-palate. It's seriously impressive.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Intense, pure and long, again with marked tension and acidity. Persistent fruit with a floral-citrus nuance. Pebble-sucking finish. Clean cut, if a little hard on the finish but should develop further.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

[Add to shopping basket] Cos Labory St Estephe £125 6x75cl 88-90 - - - 91-93 -
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The 2021 Cos Labory is a wild, eccentric wine. Dark red/purplish fruit, spice, leather, tobacco and incense lend quite a bit of nuance. There's good depth and plenty of character, but also some slightly rough contours that could use a bit of polishing up. The aromatics in particular feel a bit disassociated.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

The 2021 Cos Labory has a light, perfumed bouquet of cedar-infused black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins. A bit light on the finish, but it retains balance. Old-school claret, really – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Croix Ducru Beaucaillou (2nd label of Ducru) St Julien £195 6x75cl - - 90-92 92 - -
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Complex aromas of dark berries, sweet spices, licorice, cigar wrapper and loamy soil introduce the 2021 La Croix de Beaucaillou, a medium to full-bodied, seamless and layered wine that exhibits promising depth, concentration and structure in this challenging vintage. It's a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot—in other words, it contains at lot more Cabernet than usual.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Clear graphite, pencil lead, finessed black fruit that is lean and precise. Impressive, more structured than the past few years of La Croix, more vertical rise through the palate, and will benefit from softening not only over ageing but with a few years in bottle to tame the severe tannins. Higher levels of Cabernet Sauvignon, because the Merlot did less well over the growing season, and it makes it feel more in the spirit of the 1st wine. 60% new oak, 27hl/h yield.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

[Add to shopping basket] Cruzelles Lalande de Pomerol £105 6x75cl 90-92 91-92 89-91 - 91-93 90-92
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The 2021 is gorgeous. A high amount of Cabernet Franc in the blend lends nmotable aromatic presence and complexity. All the elements are so well balanced. Naturally, the 2021 doesn’t have the body of some recent years, but this style of so appealing. Rose petal, sage, mint, sweet spice and crushed raspberry fruit all grace this wonderfully nuanced wine. The 2021 is a bit shy. All it needs is terms to emerge. 2024-2036.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2036

Very pretty blend of 65% merlot and 35% cabernet franc with a medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Shows brightness and refinement.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Les Cruzelles is showing considerable promise, wafting from the glass with aromas of plums, sweet spices, wild berries and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, layered and impressively deep and concentrated, with lively acids and a saline finish, it's a terrific effort and as usual a benchmark for what is possible in Lalande-de-Pomerol. The 2021 is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This vintage, Noemie Durantou decided that one lot of Cabernet Franc was so good that she took it out of La Chenade and blended it into the 2021 Les Cruzelles. It has a lovely nose with blackberry, redcurrant, undergrowth and hints of bell pepper, that Cabernet lending more complexity. The palate is very well balanced with good depth and freshness, spicier than usual with a persistent finish. This would be my pick for Durantou if their Pomerol wines are out of reach.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2039

The 2021 Château Les Cruzelles comes from a single parcel and is 65% Merlot and 35% Merlot. The parcel is more gravelly clay soils, and the high Cabernet Franc component in the wine gives it a style all its own. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as beautiful cassis fruits and notes of chalky mineral, graphite, and violets, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness and has good acidity, fine tannins, and outstanding length. It's another beautiful wine I'd happily drink any time over the coming 10-12 years. The élevage here is 50% new barrels, and it's not showing a hint of oak.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Outstanding for the year. Lovely, floral notes on the nose and density on the palate. A velvety texture to the plentiful tannins. Full and long from beginning to end. Doesn’t miss a beat. (JL) 13.5%

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Dame de Montrose (2nd wine of Montrose) St Estephe £158 6x75cl 89-91 92-93 88-90 90 90-92 89-91
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The 2021 La Dame de Montrose offers lovely immediacy in a plump, juicy style that will offer plenty of near and medium-term appeal. Technical Director Vincent Decup chose gentler extractions, which comes through in the wine's forward, supple personality. Press wines were blended back later to add structure. In 2021 La Dame is not terribly complex, but it is absolutely delicious.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

A fine and silky St.-Estephe with medium body and supple, fine tannins. Fresh. Pretty blue and purple fruit with stone and some ash notes. Refined and elegant. 53% merlot, 38% cabernet sauvignon, 6% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Representing some 40% of the estate's production, the 2021 La Dame de Montrose offers up aromas of sweet berries, black truffle and burning embers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant palate that's pure and precise. It's a fine effort that will likely take on additional depth with élevage.

Score: 88 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

One of the few truly successful 2nd wines in the vintage, this is inky in colour and even visually you can see it has a gorgeous texture. Clear graphite, pencil lead and blueberry notes set the tone on the palate. Cool vintage character, this is extremely elegant. There is a natural structure and power in Montrose soils, meaning the austerity of the vintage was on full display at harvest, and they chaptilised just four tanks of Merlot to add a little weight through the mid palate to this 2nd wine, but it also means there is less of a departure from the classic Montrose signature than you can find in other estates. Harvest September 26 to October 6, after less rain in September than the more southerly sections of the Médoc.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 La Dame de Montrose, which represents 40% of the total production this year, has a perfumed bouquet with blackberry, raspberry coulis and light graphite scents. It needs a little more encouragement than previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, saline entry. Modest depth, quite open and citrus-fresh, this conveys a sense of joie-de-vivre even at this prenatal stage. Good "bite" on the finish. This should drink well for a decade, possibly more.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2035

The second wine of unquestionably one of the leaders in the Northern Médoc, the 2021 La Dame De Montrose is 53% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot. This juicy, medium-weight, elegant second wine shows the fresher style of the vintage, has good acidity, and supple tannins

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark and savoury with the oak showing at the moment. Juicy but a touch fluid so seems a little lean. Acidity on the finish. Not quite in place so could improve further.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2035

[Add to shopping basket] de Ferrand (St Emilion) St Emilion £115 6x75cl - - 89-90 92 - 88-90
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Offering up aromas of sweet berries, cherries, warm spices and loamy soil, the 2021 de Ferrand is a medium to full-bodied, lively and incisive Saint-Emilion with a bright, limestone-driven profile. It should evolve gracefully in barrel and in bottle.

Score: 89 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Love the slightly tart but deeply textured feel that captures the clarity and austerity of limestone but widens out to a creamy mid palate with blackberries, redcurrants and spiced cloves.Will soften further over ageing, and has all the elements in place to be a thoroughly enjoyable wine for drinking within five to six years, and will last for a further decade from there. Mandarin notes on the finish

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Château De Ferrand offers a riper, darker style in its plum and black cherry fruits as well as notes of tobacco and chocolate. It's medium-bodied, has nicely integrated oak, and a good finish.

Score: 88 - 90 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Grippy and textured from the get go, with mouthwatering acidity. The focus here is on sleek but crushed-velvety textured tannins with the blackcurrant pastille, black cherry and raspberry fruit taking a beat and settling in the background. Minerality is on show in the slate and crushed stone flavours with some caramel and toast notes on the finish. Good potential here.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com

[Add to shopping basket] De Pez St Estephe £126 6x75cl 89-91 - 90-92 92 89-91 -
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The 2021 de Pez is a potent, dense rich wine that continues a move towards a more serious style here. Whether that works over the long term is, in my view, an open question. There is plenty of intensity in the dark fruit, spice, leather and gravel flavors, but the style feels a bit forced to me. The 2021 is projected to spend 19 months in oak, 50% new. The en primeur samples were shown from new oak barrels only, so it will be interesting to see how things ultimately shape up. Time will tell.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026+

An elegant, seamless wine, the 2021 de Pez exhibits aromas of cassis, sweet berries and nicely integrated new oak, followed by a medium to full-bodied, lively palate that's supple and fleshy, with good depth at the core and a nicely defined finish. It's a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot crafted by Nicolas Glumineau and his team from Pichon Lalande.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Turmeric and sage spice, plenty of structure to cradle the bright, juice-filled raspberry, cassis, and blackberry fruits. This is a lovely wine. No chaptilisation.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Château de Pez, from an estate under the aegis of Nicolas Glumineau, has an attractive nose of blackberry, pencil lead and light tobacco scents. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, grippy tannins. There’s a healthy pinch of black pepper here, along with good weight and a structured, saline finish. Fine.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Dry Whites £433 6x75cl 95-97 98-99 94-96 - 91-93 95-97
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The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has quite a bit of textural depth and resonance, but at the same time, I feel the energy level here is a bit low. Lemon confit, almond, sage, chamomile and white flowers caress the palate. I like the depth, but wish there was more vibrancy.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

This is always an impressive white, with a lengthy, layered and compact palate. Lots of dried lemon, clove, fennel, green-apple and cedar. Flint and toast, too. Medium to full body. Very long. 70% sauvignon blanc and 30% semillon.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is shaping up brilliantly, bursting with aromas of citrus oil, gooseberries, crisp stone fruit, white flowers and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, it's a concentrated, textural wine that displays terrific cut and tension, allying racy acidity with chalky, structuring dry extract.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, picked September 13–23 at 40hL/ha, has a captivating, complex bouquet of yellow flowers, white peach, wet limestone and just a faint hint of elderflower in the background. The taut palate is well-balanced with a superb line of acidity. Conveying tangible energy from start to finish, this builds in the mouth toward a persistent finish that fans out gloriously. One of the best Domaine de Chevalier whites that I have tasted in 20-plus years.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2055

I always love the white from this estate, and they've certainly hit a home run in 2021. Based on 75% Sauvignon and 25% Semillon that will see 18 months in 35% new barrels, it offers a vibrant, vivid bouquet of ripe limes, crushed citrus, and chalky minerality, which turns more salty and subtly marine-influenced on the palate. With terrific concentration, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish, it's one of the focused, pure, racy whites that still brings density and depth. Bravo.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Restrained, as it always is, on the nose. Though on the palate there’s a certain blossomy opulence. And impressive persistence. Based on how this wine tastes and the track record of the château, this should be a real long-distance runner… Minerals and citrus and a light lanolin character with great undertow and interest. But still pretty youthful and unformed.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Graves £281 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 93-95 - 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier was terrific both times I tasted it. Potent and driving, the 2021 dazzles with Cabernet Sauvignon intensity in its aromas, flavors and overall structure. Graphite, spice, menthol, spice, rose petals, mocha and flowers run through a core of red/purplish fruit. The Blanc gets most of the attention at Domaine de Chevalier, but these days I find the red more complete and more interesting.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A medium-bodied DC with a pretty core of ripe fruit that shows licorice, blackberry and some currant character. Spice box, too. Very long, with fine tannins and plenty of energy.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier is full of promise, bursting with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, bay leaf, licorice, potpourri and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, its velvety attack segues into a lively, layered core, concluding with a long, nicely defined finish. Olivier Bernard doesn't think that this will surpass his 2018, but I tend to disagree. The 2021 is a blend of fully 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier was picked from September 28 until October 15 at 30hL/ha. Tobacco- and sous-bois-infused black fruit unfurl with a sense of assuredness on the nose, the best example, a third bottle toward the end of my tastings, being the most delineated. This has energy rather than horsepower. The palate is medium-bodied with pencil-lead-infused black fruit and a slightly powdery texture, certainly the most saline in recent years, leading to an almost Pauillac-inspired finish. Stylish and classic Domaine de Chevalier.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2055

A true success in the vintage is the 2021 Domaine de Chevalier from the team of Olivier Bernard. Based on 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it was harvested between the September 28 and October 12. It will spend 18 months in a mix of new and used barrels. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and focused, with the style of the vintage front and center, it has gorgeous cassis and darker fruits, notes of tobacco and violets, ripe tannins, a great mid-palate, and outstanding length. It's up there with the top wines in the vintage.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep purplish crimson. Savoury nose with something more complex than just fruit. Good density and depth though still a little oak evidence (hardly surprisingly). Tingly finish. Polished tannins. Really quite fine and not lacking anything. Bone dry and on the refreshing side but it really doesn’t taste like a wine from a less-than-successful vintage. Good weight and balance in the mouth. Refreshing but not austere.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien £954 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 94-96 96 96-98 95-97
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The 2021 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a pretty significant departure from the past, as it is nearly pure Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, aristocratic wine, the 2021 possesses remarkable intensity from start to finish. Inky dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate and leather are some of the myriad nuances that develop with some aeration. The 2021 is so well balanced. The 100% new oak, often quite dominant in Ducru en primeur, is so well integrated, likely because lower alcohol extracted less oak imprint. The 2021 is a drop dead gorgeous wine, and a Ducru for the ages. Superb.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Firm, structured and pure with a cool and solid core of dark currants, blackberries, tar, pencil lead and bitter chocolate. Hints of tobacco, too. Firm but silky tannins. Very pure, with a long, mineral finish. Intense and very focused. 98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% merlot.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A wine that will delight Médoc purists, the 2021 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a blend of fully 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot and checks in at a mere 12.5% alcohol. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries, cigar wrapper, violets, loamy soil and spices, it's full-bodied, layered and velvety, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and powdery tannins. Complete and penetrating, it's a true classic, reminiscent of a modern-day version of Ducru's brilliant 1996—though today's precision winemaking means that the 2021 is unlikely to go through so long a hibernation as that vintage.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Plush depth to the savoury black fruit, with the highest ever level of Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine, and it's a stand out in the vintage. Not the exuberance that you find in the most recent years of Ducru, but it is excellent, with a creaminess to the cassis fruit alongside rose petal and peony aromatics. Sculpted and seductive, with the austere tannins that are a signature of the year. 100% new oak, IPT 100.

Score: 96 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Ducru-Beaucaillou was picked at around 24hL/ha and matured in 100% new oak for 18 months, as is customary. It takes time to unfold in the glass, revealing intense blackberry, raspberry, iris flowers and a touch of spice. Very precise, though as expected, more understated than previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a sappy, saline entry and good grip. Classic in style, fanning out toward the finish, and briny on the aftertaste. This is a fascinating, almost old-school Ducru-Beaucaillou.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2050

Lastly, the 2021 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou might be the wine of the vintage. It has more depth and density than just about every other wine out there, all while still bringing beautiful tannins and elegance. A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot, harvested from September 21 to October 10th, it was vinified in wooden tronconique tanks and is still aging in new barrels. This beauty hit 12.5% natural alcohol, with a pH of 3.88 and an IPT that's just about off the charts. Deep black and blue fruits, graphite, spicy oak, tobacco, and chalky minerality all define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a concentrated, powerful mouthfeel, building yet fine tannins, and a great finish. Where most 2021s are going to offer plenty of up-front appeal, this is going to benefit from a solid 4-6 years of bottle age and be incredibly long lived.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep, bright purple hue. Elegant cedar, dark-fruit and cassis nose. Lovely depth of fruit, velvety texture, abundant but polished tannins and lingering freshness. Drives on the finish. A well-groomed thoroughbred. Pure, precise and long and a little more classic than recent years.

Score: 17.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Duhart Milon Pauillac £336 6x75cl 90-92 94-95 91-93 93 90-92 90-92
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The 2021 Duhart-Milon is a potent, brooding wine. Dark fruit, herbs, licorice and incense fill out the layers nicely. The oak still needs time to come together, but that is what élevage is for. The 2021 is a serious Duhart. Whether or not it will acquire a bit more charm remains an open question.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2041

This is a really pretty Duhart and fans out nicely on the palate with medium soft tannins that are polished. Gorgeous young wine. 81% cabernet sauvignon and 19% merlot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Incorporating fully 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Duhart-Milon unwinds in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, cigar wrapper and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, lively and persuasively concentrated, with beautifully refined tannins and a long, penetrating finish, it's a classy, serious wine that reflects all the progress this estate has been making over the last decade. Duhart-Milon's vineyards are later-maturing than Lafite's, and the soils are less inherently balanced: the clay-rich parts of the vineyard are richer in clay than at Lafite, and the gravel-rich parts of the vineyard are richer in gravel—whereas Lafite's predominantly gravel soils sometimes contain more than 10% clay. That explains why Duhart-Milon historically often produced leaner wines than Lafite, with less mid-palate amplitude; but a warming climate and more attention to viticultural detail (sowing cover crops, for example, in clay-rich parts of the vineyard) are mitigating these disadvantages, and recent vintages have seen this estate attain new qualitative heights. As at all the Domaines Barons de Rothschild properties, winemaking and élevage are very classical, with regular rackings and the majority of the barriques derived from the in-house cooperage (emphasizing lightly toasted Allier and Nevers oak seasoned for 24 months), and as at Lafite, Cabernet is very much in the ascendant here, something that the 2021 vintage has only amplified.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Precise and finessed black fruits here right from the first moments, this is high Cabernet Sauvignon, lovely black savoury fruits that suit the slighly serious feel of Duhart. Expect precision, strict tannins, straight lines, plenty of freshness but without the rusticity that you could find in older Duharts. About 15% press wine after careful extraction and a short maceration. A little more old school Duhart than we have seen over the past few years, but thoroughly enjoyable. 1st year organic conversion, 30hl/h yields.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Duhart-Milon, which is aged in 50% new oak, has a clean, precise bouquet of mineral-driven black fruit and touches of pencil lead and cedar. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and focused, with sappy black fruit and fine depth. This is a typically classically styled Duhart-Milon, though it does not quite have the persistence to rank as a top-rank vintage. But it will appeal to those who appreciate old-school Pauillac.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2045

A solid step up, the 2021 Château Duhart-Milon has terrific cassis, graphite, and tobacco notes in a medium-bodied, elegant style. I like its tannins, and it has good mid-palate depth as well as the fresher, almost crunchy style of the vintage.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Last time there was this much Cabernet was 2000 (but that was another vintage altogether…). Crimson hue but lighter at the rim. Pencil shavings and cassis notes. Upright and linear with a certain amount of drive but a little light in heft and structure. Could improve if it fills out in the bottle.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Eglise Clinet Pomerol £1,250 6x75cl Low Stock 94-96 97-98 93-96 95 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet is a spherical, sensual Pomerol of uncommon depth and intensity. Racy and voluptuous, with terrific depth, the 2021 is striking. Crème de cassis, chocolate, new leather, spice, menthol and licorice all build as the 2021 opens in the glass. The combination of power and finesse is remarkable. I especially admire the energy and focus in the 2021. This is the first vintage that includes a parcel of Cabernet Franc that was previously used for the Petite Eglise.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Medium-bodied with very fine-textured tannins. Delicious sweet and salty and mineral character. Blackberries, violets, cloves and dark olives. Peaches, too. All focused, fresh and in balance. Long, seamless finish. 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A deep, serious wine, the 2021 L'Eglise Clinet unwinds in the glass with notions of wild berries and plums mingled with dark chocolate, sweet loamy soil, warm spices, violets and black truffle. Full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's rich and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, lively acids and plenty of ripe, powdery tannin that nods to its origins in a sector of Pomerol capable of producing some of the appellation's most structured, long-lived wines. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 93 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Rich and precise on the nose, and here you see why austerity in tannic structure can be a rather beautiful attribute - carved, careful, precise, coming through as energy and potential rather than forbidding. Not as dense as the 2018 or 2019, think instead of the intellectual 2017 but with more depth to the tannins. Blueberry, bilberry, loganberry, violet flowers, slate, earth, mandarin zest and incense. Harvest September 27 to 29, no chaptilisation, 75% new oak.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 L'Eglise-Clinet was picked September 27–29, a rapid harvest within three days; winemaker Noëmie Durantou told me she wanted to beat the forecasted rain that would have diluted the fruit. Raised in 75% new oak, this has a less concentrated, mineral-driven bouquet that bides its time, offering nuanced pine cone scents with aeration. The palate is clearly built around elegance, with its finely chiseled tannins and wonderful crushed stone notes. Perhaps a more streamlined l'Eglise-Clinet, showing wonderful precision. This Pomerol never tries to outdo its limitations or ape previous vintages, lending it an intangible sense of honesty. Beautiful. (14.0% alcohol)

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2060

The Grand Vin 2021 Château L'Eglise Clinet checks in as 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc that's resting in 75% new French oak and hit 14% alcohol. It's another medium-bodied, fresh, elegant, incredibly classic wine from this great estate that has pure dark, almost blue fruits, loads of floral and leafy herb nuances, integrated acidity, and beautiful tannins. I love its purity, and while it shines for its elegance and purity, it has good density.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Evangile Pomerol £1,110 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 93-95 94 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 L'Évangile is a heady, sensual wine. Silky and pliant, with fabulous balance, L'Évangile is a stand-out. The blend includes 30% Cabernet Franc, high for the château, but what really stands out is the wine's balance. Red/purplish fruit, blood orange, rose petal and spice are all wrapped together by silky, pliant tannins. Franc aromatics and saline underpinnings extend the finish. Élevage is 50% new oak, 35% one year-old barrels and 15% amphora. Readers will find a super-classic Évangile that has tons of potential. I loved it.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A pure, creamy and well-structured yet very fine Evangile. Long and caressing. Very fine tannins. Lots of fresh dark fruit and savory, mineral character. Understated and classy. 69% merlot, 30% cabernet franc and 1% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 L'Evangile offers up aromas of plums, cherries and wild berries mingled with notions of rose petals, violets, licorice and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, ample and velvety, with fine concentration and rich, powdery structuring tannins that assert themselves on the finish, this estate's rather low average vine age meant Evangile didn't suffer much from coulure this year, and the rainy growing season also spared young Cabernet Franc from hydric stress—explaining its historically high percentage in the 2021 blend.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

A good example of how skilful winemaking adapts to conditions - all the Cabernet Sauvignon has gone into the 1st wine this year because it achieved plenty of natural concentration, while recently it has been put into Blason because it took away from the elegance of the 1st wine. Savoury, supple black and blue fruits, austere but with sapidity and juice, and a gorgeous wash of campfire smoke, salted caramel, liquorice, cloves and saffron spices. 20hl/h yield after mildew. This is their first organic-certified vinified, and first year with Juliette Couderc as technical director from beginning to end of the growing season. Harvest September 21 to October 4. No chaptilisation. 50% new oak, 15% amphora, 3.6ph.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 L'Évangile was picked September 21 to October 4, and matured in 50% new oak and 15% in clay amphora. It registers 14.0% alcohol and a pH of 3.65. This is very different and, unsurprisingly, far superior on the nose of black cherries, black truffle, crushed stone and a touch of orange peel; very focused and very Pomerol. The palate is medium-bodied, cohesive and elegant with supple tannins and fine acidity, yet there is real depth and a sense of nascent energy toward the finish. The young Cabernet Franc on gravel soils from the Chantecaille lieu-dit absolutely defines this 2021. A great success for this reenergized estate.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2070

The Grand Vin 2021 Château L'Evangile includes more Cabernet Franc and is 69% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, brought up in 50% new French oak, with 15% amphora. Beautiful blue fruits, violets, chocolate, and some gravelly earth define the bouquet and while it's a medium-bodied, more mid-weight L'Evangile, it has a wonderful purity of fruit, ripe, present, silky tannins, outstanding balance, and a great finish. It's another vibrant, elegant, seamless Pomerol that will drink nicely with just short-term cellaring yet have 20 years of prime drinking.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Feytit Clinet Pomerol £270 6x75cl 88-90 93-94 90-92 - 90-92 91-94
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The 2021 Feytit-Clinet is a relatively soft, easygoing wine for a Pomerol that tends to be both brooding and explosive. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petal, spice and lavender are nicely pushed forward. Today, my impression is that the 2021 will be a wine to drink on the younger side, while some of the more important vintages mature in the cellar. Incidentally, a recent bottle of the 2009 was both fabulous and very young.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2041

A medium-bodied red that starts off beautifully, with attractive currant and berry character, as well as black olive and violet. Fresh and vivid.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Rich and muscular, the 2021 Feytit Clinet offers up aromas of cassis, blackberries, violets and toasty new oak. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, it's a generous, structured Pomerol built around powdery tannins and lively acids.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Feytit-Clinet has a very perfumed bouquet of ripe red cherries, cassis and orange zest, well defined and yet understated. The palate is smooth and poised on the entry and a little powdery in texture, with a hint of dark chocolate toward the finish. Certainly a lighter style of Feytit-Clinet and, though well-balanced, it just misses the élan that has distinguished recent vintages. Drink over the next 15 years.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2037

The 2021 Château Feytit-Clinet comes from a 6.68-hectare vineyard located between Trotanoy and Latour a Pomerol, not far from Clinet. Based on 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that will spend 16 months in 70% new barrels, it offers a round, fleshy, medium to full-bodied style that brings plenty of mid-palate depth, ripe tannins, and ample darker, blue fruits as well as some classic Pomerol earthy and floral nuances. It's beautifully done and certainly offers more pleasure and opulence than most out there. Tasted twice.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Fieuzal Blanc Dry Whites £250 6x75cl 90-92 - 92-94 - - 92-94
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The 2021 de Fieuzal Blanc shows considerable potential, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crisp nectarine, mint, pasty cream, citrus oil and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and tensile, with tangy acids, chalky dry extract and a long, saline finish, it will be bottled under Diam 30. This Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blend is rapidly establishing itself as one of Bordeaux's most interesting dry white wines. Tasted three times.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Château de Fieuzal Blanc has a lovely lime, white peach and orange pith bouquet that blossoms in the glass. The palate is well balanced, with pear, red apple and orange peel on the entry, fine depth, and good acidity and bite on the finish. Promising.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027 - 2040

The 2021 Château De Fieuzal Blanc (65% Sauvignon and 35% Semillon) is terrific and shows the quality of the vintage. Giving up ripe tropical and melon fruits as well as notes of honeyed flowers and chalky, mineral-like nuances, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a bright, vibrant, chiseled texture, and a great finish. It's beautifully done and well worth seeking out.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Fieuzal Rouge Graves £158 6x75cl 88-90 91-92 91-93 - - 90-92
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Lovely finish to this polished and fine-tannined Fieuzal with red fruit, medium body and a juicy finish.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

An attractive blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, the 2021 de Fieuzal offers up aromas of plums and raspberries mingled with hints of rose petals and sweet spices. Medium-bodied, ample and polished, it's a supple, seamless wine with a pretty core of fruit, lively acids and impressive length on the finish. Congratulations to winemaker Stephen Carrier and consultant Thomas Duclos for this compelling Pessac. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Château de Fieuzal has a fresh nose of black cherries, blueberry and violet scents, plus a touch of melted tar. The palate is fresh on the entry with slightly chalky tannins, attenuating just a little toward the finish. Fine salinity, though not a long-term de Fieuzal.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2038

The 2021 Château De Fieuzal is a broad, medium to full-bodied, wonderfully pure barrel sample offering lots of red and black fruits, notes of flowers and herbs, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It should be an outstanding wine as well, and while it shows the fresher style of the vintage, it brings plenty of ripeness.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark crimson. Some suggestion of ripe black fruit on the nose – amazingly! Gentle, easy, almost soft(!) wine. It doesn’t seem desperately ambitious in terms of longevity but it’s sweet and well balanced. You could almost drink this particular sample tonight! Not a very serious wine but a pleasant drink.

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Figeac St Emilion £978 6x75cl 95-97 94-95 94-97 - 93-95 95-97
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The 2021 Figeac is a super-classy, elegant Saint-Émilion. Silky tannins and lifted, savory aromatics add to a total impression of finesse. There is more Cabernet Sauvignon than typically in this year's blend, which naturally brings added aromatic presence. The 2021 is not as explosive as recent vintages have been, but its class is evident. This is a strong showing from Figeac and the team led by Estate Manager Frédéric Faye. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A red with lots of dark-fruit, graphite and tar aromas and flavors. It’s medium-bodied and very integrated with firm, polished tannins and a long finish. Racy and compact. Silky texture.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

One of the highlights of the vintage on the Right Bank, the 2021 Figeac is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc and 29% Merlot, and the fruit of a harvest that lasted a full month, from September 21 to October 19, with each parcel picked at optimal maturity. Offering up aromas of blackberries, cassis, rose petals, violets, cigar wrapper and sweet soil tones, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, its velvety attack segueing into a deep, layered core of beautifully vibrant fruit, concluding with a long, saline finish. The first vintage vinified in Figeac's new winery, it's a resounding success for administrator Frédéric Faye and his team.

Score: 94 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Figeac was picked from September 21 until October 19 and matured, as usual, in 100% new oak. It has a very pure, elegant bouquet, the Cabernet Sauvignon imparting subtle pencil lead notes, blackberry and briar, almost understated at first but gaining vigor with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity and just the right amount of sapidity. There is unerring symmetry about this Figeac, which is extremely focused yet unconcerned about showing off. There is lovely piquancy on the finish. Unequivocally one the finest Right Bank wines in 2021. Frédéric Faye continues to guide Figeac to the pinnacle of the appellation. (13.0% alcohol)

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

Unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage on the Right Bank, the 2021 Château Figeac checks in as 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, and 29% Merlot, brought up all in new barrels. It's a gorgeous, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and textured 2019 with remarkable purity in its darker cassis and fresh plum fruits as well as notes of tobacco, truffly earth, cedar pencil, and spice. While it's easy to compare this to wines from the Médoc given its high Cabernet content, it has beautiful Right Bank character and is a classic, balanced, incredibly impressive Figeac that will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and cruise for over two decades. It reminds me slightly of the 2014.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 29% Merlot. 38 hl/ha. 70% of production. First vintage made in the new cellar. Cask sample. Berry fruit with just a hint of oak. Sappy with plenty of freshness and drive. Velvety attack then a firm tannic structure all the way through. Just a hint of grainy tannin on the finish. Long. Typically Figeac in style. (JL) 13%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Fleur Petrus Pomerol £910 6x75cl 90-92 95-96 91-94 95 93-95 94-96
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The 2021 La Fleur-Pétrus is a regal, elegant wine. Rich and sumptuous, yet classically medium in body, the 2021 is impeccably balanced from start to finish. A rush of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint, blood orange and cinnamon build into the exquisite, layered finish. The 2021 reinforces my view that La Fleur-Pétrus is the wine to focus on in the Moueix range. Hosanna and, especially Trotanoy, are more famous, to be sure, but in 2021 those wines are heavily shaped by the growing conditions of the year, while La Fleur-Pétrus is simply La Fleur-Pétrus. Classic Pomerol as far as I am concerned.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

Very polished with fine tannins that finish intensely. It’s a medium-to full-bodied red with focus. Blackberry and blackcurrant flavors. Hints of tobacco and nutmeg, too.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 La Fleur-Pétrus is performing nicely, exhibiting aromas of plums, cherries, sweet soil tones, loamy soil and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless palate that's lively and charming. Classically proportioned and nicely balanced, if it takes on additional depth with élevage, I'd expect it to land at the upper end of my bracketed score.

Score: 91 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Subdued on the first nose, this is well constructed, and takes its time to unroll. Violet and gunsmoke emerge first, followed by tons of blackberry and redcurrant fruit, cocoa bean, smoked liquorice, earth and black truffles. Successful, gorgeous silky texture, less exuberant than the past few years but nuanced, seductive, overperforms the vintage and is extremely easy to recommend. One to look out for. September 23 to October 6 harvest.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 La Fleur-Pétrus was picked September 23 to October 6. The nose came as a surprise: very opulent and high-toned, too much if compared to the Hosanna or Trotanoy. In fact, re-tasting from another bottle later in the day, it comes across not unlike the Bélair-Monange. The palate follows suit in an unashamedly rich and quite ostentatious vein, delivering very good depth, with pain grillé infusing the lush red fruit. I requested a second bottle. This was quite similar, perhaps with slightly less volatility and definitely with more freshness on the palate. Difficult to judge; I look forward to re-tasting in bottle.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2040

Unquestionably one of the standouts in the Moueix stable is the 2021 Château La Fleur-Petrus, a beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, elegant Pomerol that readers will love. Vivid purple in color with lots of cassis and darker berry fruits, it has classic Pomerol graphite, damp earth, and chalky minerality, some background oak, perfectly integrated tannins, and a great finish. It's already hard to resist and is going to drink nicely right out of the gate.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Gazin Pomerol £330 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 91-93 - - 89-92
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Firm, grainy tannins accompany the core of black fruit and bark. Medium-bodied. Stone character. Mineral, with tangy acidity.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Gazin is a fine effort, unfurling in the glass with aromas of sweet red berries, cherries, plums, incense and raw cocoa. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it's rather rich and elegantly muscular in the context of the vintage, with a deep core of fruit, powdery tannins and bright acids. Mildew pressure combined with wet conditions that made it impossible to enter the vineyard with tractors delivered low yields of only 18 hectoliters per hectare, and the grand vin is entirely Merlot this year.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Gazin has a harmonious, defined bouquet of red and black fruit laced with black truffle and well-integrated oak. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly tough tannins on the entry. A much more linear Gazin compared to recent vintages, leading to a sapid finish. It pulls up a bit short now, but it should fill out during élevage.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2042

The 2021 Château Gazin is another solid Pomerol and, I suspect, will end up being an outstanding wine. Giving up lots of red and black fruits, leather, and some earthy, herbal notes, it's medium-bodied, has a supple, rounded texture, and a good finish. It's going to keep for 20 years.

Score: 89 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Giscours Margaux £243 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 93-95 93 94-96 91-94
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The 2021 Giscours is fabulous. In fact, the 2021 is one of the best Giscours in recent memory. Silky and impeccable in its balance, the 2012 possesses magnificent elegance that brings out its pedigreed personality. Rose petal, lavender, spice, gravel and black cherry all come together, framed by silky tannins that wrap it all up. The 2021 is less aromatic than most recent vintages, but the depth here is considerable, as is the potential. Taste two times.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2041

Very precise and focused with tight, sleek yet firm tannins, framing a fresh core of black fruit, gravel and tobacco. Crushed stones and tea leaves, too. Savory and medium-bodied. Driven and linear. Lots of cabernet character. Chewy tannins. Rather muscular. But polished texture. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot and 3% petit verdot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Giscours is immensely promising and shows just how far this important estate has come in the last few years. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cassis, dark berries, cigar wrapper, violets, sweet forest floor and burning embers, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with terrific depth at the core, ripe tannins, lively acids and a long, penetrating finish. With wines like this, we're back to a level of quality that Giscours hasn't routinely attained since the 1970s! The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot; and even if by the standards of the last decade, that isn't a particularly elevated percentage of Cabernet, this is nonetheless a very Cabernet-driven wine in style. Tasted six times.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Attractive bright plum in colour, this has a waves of flavour that offset the slightly bitter tannins that come in on the finish. Damson and black cherry fruits, liqourice root, rose stems and grilled cedar. 38hl/hyield.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Giscours is matured in 50% new oak from nine cooperages. It has a very well-defined bouquet of blackberry, briar, graphite and light tobacco aromas, plus a touch of lavender in the background. Very pretty. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Not a deep or powerful Giscours, but elegant and poised with a long tail on the finish. It doesn't try too hard and the result is a delicious, refined Margaux wine. A great success in a tricky year.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

Tasted on multiple occasions, the 2021 Château Giscours is another pretty, floral, more red and black fruited effort that has medium-bodied richness, wonderful tannins, no hard edges, and outstanding length. Based on 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, it shows the pretty, finesse oriented, elegant style of the vintage.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Very dark purplish crimson. One of the first 2021s I have encountered that could be described as heady. Then has masses of both fruit and freshness on the palate with no excesses even if clear delineation. Very clean and brisk without being austere. Quite a success! This wine seems to have made a virtue out of the freshness of 2021.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Gloria St Julien £157 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 90-92 91 90-92 90-92
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The 2021 Gloria is charming, as it so often is. Bright and energetic, the 2019 has so much to offer. The purity of the red-toned fruit is so appealing. Gloria can show some hard edges when it is young, but the 2021 is very nicely balanced for a young Saint-Julien.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2041

I like the firmness and polish to this, with medium body, creamy tannins and a delicious finish. Racy and refined.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Charming and extroverted, the 2021 Gloria bursts with aromas of cassis, cherries, sweet berries, fresh mint and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's a lively, seamless wine that wears its heart on its sleeve. This blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc seems likely to emerge as a sleeper of the vintage. Tasted four times.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Always a wine that manages to find itself on the right side of ripe, and the right side of exuberant and even in 2021 you will recognise those two skills here. This is bright, cheerful, carefully placed, enjoyable stuff with liqourice and bitter chocolate, First year organic, Jean Michel Comme consultant. Harvest September 27 to October 9.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Gloria is the first vintage where the vineyard farming has moved to organic viticulture (though there are no plans for certification.) It was picked from September 27 to October 9, stopping for 5 days between the Merlot and Cabernets, with a large percentage (14%) of Petit Verdot from a massal selection. It has a very pure and perfumed nose thanks to the contribution of the Petit Verdot. The palate is medium-bodied and quite dense for the vintage, displaying fine body and weight, gentle grip and a touch of graphite toward the finish. Very fine.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2045

The 2021 Château Gloria offers up medium-bodied aromas and flavors and darker, almost cassis-like fruits as well as leather, toasted spice, and background oak. A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it has good concentration, the vintage's pretty, elegant, balanced style, ripe tannins, and a great finish.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Lacks the density of top years but fruit present and tannins finely honed. A well-crafted, medium-bodied wine with attractive fruit and some persistence on the finish.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Grand Puy Ducasse Pauillac £144 6x75cl 89-91 - 90-92 - 92-94 -
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The 2021 Grand Puy Ducasse is another strong showing from a château that has made important strides of late. Deep and savory, the 2021 offers up a host of strong Cabernet Sauvignon inflections to complement its dark-fleshed fruit. Bright saline notes bring it all together on the deep, structured finish, adding notable energy and vibrancy. Tasted two times.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

An attractive wine, the 2021 Grand-Puy-Ducasse exhibits aromas of dark berries, sweet plums, cedar wood and warm spices. Medium-bodied, deep and layered, it's impressively serious and structured, with bright acids, powdery tannins and a penetrating finish. Under the direction of Anne Le Naour, this 40-hectare estate is seeing significant investments, and the results are really beginning to show. Tasted three times.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Grand Puy Ducasse has a tight, backward nose at first, unfolding to offer tobacco-infused black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly chewy tannins, modest depth, fine acidity and a slightly rustic finish. Not bad considering the vintage.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Grand Puy Lacoste Pauillac £300 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 92-94 93 94-96 -
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The 2021 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is fabulous. Bright and punchy, with terrific aromatic presence, the 2021 is a terrific example of the modern classicism of the year at its best. It's the sort of wine that needs years or maybe even decades to truly blossom, and yet all the requisites are there for that to happen. There is something about Grand-Puy-Lacoste that is absolutely striking in 2021. I can't wait to taste it from bottle. Tasted two times.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Very fine and polished tannins with lovely balance and beauty. Blackberries, blackcurrants and a creamy texture. Lovely finesse and focus. There’s delicacy and beauty to this. 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is a beauty, bursting with aromas of dark berries, plums, rose petals, violets, warm spices and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, it's fleshy and enveloping, with melting tannins, succulent acids and a pleasure-bent, demonstrative personality. While it's clear that this is an irresistibly charming, satisfying Pauillac from the Borie family, it wouldn't surprise me to see it acquire additional depth, flesh and seriousness with further barrel maturation.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Traditional and clasic Pauillac character, a little more old school than usual, certainly than the last few years. Plum, cassis, cocoa bean and liqourice keep things firm, with straight-laced tannins tight and pulled in. Will soften further over ageing, and no question that this is delivering appellation typicity. Tasted twice. 75% new oak, harvest September 24 to October 8.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Grand Puy Lacoste was picked from September 24 to October 8 at 40hL/ha, and matured in 75% new oak. There is quite a conspicuous gap between this and the Deuxième Vin this year, the Grand Vin delivering much more cohesion and fruit intensity: blackberry, tobacco, mahogany bureau and a touch of sage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, well balanced, and predictably unapologetically classic in style. If you love GPL, then you're going to appreciate this return to its quintessential style after three opulent vintages.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2055

[Add to shopping basket] Griffons de Pichon Baron (2nd wine of Pichon Baron) Pauillac £172 6x75cl 91-93 - 87-89 90 91-93 -
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The 2021 Les Griffons de Pichon-Baron is gorgeous. This is the second year in which the Griffons includes a touch of Petit Verdot, a choice that I have to say works very well here. Aromatic and racy in the glass, with terrific persistence, the 2021 is positively stellar. Blackberry, gravel, spice, lavender an mocha lend darkness and gravitas throughout.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

More serious than the Tourelles, the 2021 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron offers up aromas of dark berries, sweet soil tones and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, taut and lively, 11% of recently planted Petit Verdot made it into this Cabernet-dominant blend.

Score: 87 - 89 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Lovely depth and grip through the palate, ruby in colour with violet edging. There is an austerty to the tannins, but also a juice and a sense of momentum. Attractive, if austere. 40% new oak, September 24 to October 7.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

It is the second year in a row that Les Griffons de Pichon Baron contains Petit Verdot (11%). The fragrant bouquet, perhaps more floral than usual, features scents of pencil box, undergrowth, black fruit and just a hint of violet from the Petit Verdot. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, and quite compact compared to the Grand Vin. Linear and strict on the finish despite the 44% Merlot, with good grip. Perhaps just denied the amplitude of a great growing season, but I can see this aging well in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Gruaud Larose St Julien £370 6x75cl 90-92 - 94-95 94 - -
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The 2021 Gruaud Larose is very impressive, exhibiting deep aromas of wild berries, cherries and cassis mingled with hints of licorice, violets and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's impressively rich and layered, with lively acids and ripe tannins, it concludes with a pure and penetrating finish. Classically balanced and intensely flavored, it's an elegant, beautifully made wine that is well worth seeking out. Three beautiful parcels of recently planted Cabernet Sauvignon, situated on deep gravel ideally adapted to this variety but hitherto planted with Merlot, make a contribution to the blend this year; but that's only one of the factors that explain why Gruaud has produced a 2021 that looks set to rival or surpass even recent and more propitious vintages such as 2018. The blend is fully 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by 12% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, and it checks in at 12.5% alcohol. Congratulations are in order for technical director Virginie Sallette and the entire team at Gruaud Larose! Tasted twice.

Score: 94 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Clearly Cabernet dominant, savoury with an attractive tannic frame. Should be accessible relatively early for a classified St Julien, but will age for a good few decades as there are plenty of well-textured tannins. Attractive floral notes give a gentle aromatic welcome, and the feel is elegant and finessed on the opening beats, with rose stems, raspberries, loganerries, white pepper, slate and liqourice. They have done a great job here, in the last year of organic conversion. 95% new oak.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Gruaud Larose was picked from September 23 until October 7, finishing with the Petit Verdot, and stopping several times to wait for ripeness in certain plots. It was matured in 95% new oak for a planned 18 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon clearly dominates the nose, the black fruit, graphite and touches of tobacco lending it a Pauillac-like allure. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but quite firm tannins that frame the graphite-infused black fruit. Quite direct, and in some ways a no-frills Gruaud Larose, though that is not meant pejoratively. Classically styled claret – no more, no less. (12.55% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Guillot Clauzel Pomerol £360 6x75cl - 92-93 92-94 - 92-94 -
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The 2021 Guillot Clauzel is another super-attractive wine from this emerging Pomerol property. Creamy and layered in the glass, the 2021 caresses the palate with supple dark fruit, leather, cedar and a kiss of new French oak. It's the sort of Pomerol that can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. Guillaume Thienpont continues to do important work in elevating the estate. My impression, though, is that he is just getting started.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029 - 2051

A polished and refined wine with lovely sweetness of fruit in the center-palate for the vintage. Medium body. Juicy fruit. 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Managed by Vieux Château Certan's Guillaume Thienpont since 2018, this 2.5-hectare Pomerol estate has delivered a fine performance with the 2021 Guillot Clauzel. Exhibiting aromas of rose petals, sweet spices, smoke, red cherries and berries, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, with a good core of fruit, supple tannins and a penetrating finish. A blend of some 20% Cabernet Franc and 80% Merlot, it's one of the few remaining values in the universe of high-quality Pomerol.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Bailly Graves £576 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 94-95 - 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 Haut-Bailly is a dark, rather somber wine. The aromatics alone are captivating, but there are strong savory inflections from the high percentage of Petit Verdot in this year's blend. This deceptively mid-weight Haut-Bailly has plenty to offer. Spice, leather, tobacco and incense linger. The final blend also includes 10% press wine.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Lots of graphite and crushed-stone character with redcurrants and pine needles. Medium body with silky and layered tannins. Pretty balance and elegance. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 10% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A classic in the making, the 2021 Haut-Bailly wafts from the glass with aromas of dark berries and wild plums mingled with sweet spices, loamy soil, raw cocoa and violets. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and concentrated, with bright acids, ultra-refined tannins and a long, penetrating finish, it's a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, only 22% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. With yields of a mere 19 hectoliters per hectare, it's impressively intensely flavored despite its quintessentially elegant, classically proportioned profile. In many respects, it may represent the Cabernet-driven modern-day alter ego of the superb Merlot-dominant 1998 Haut-Bailly.

Score: 94 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Haut-Bailly is built around 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, the blend employing less Merlot and more Petit Verdot this year since the latter was not affected by frost. It was picked between September 27 and October 11 and matured in 50% new oak with 10% vin de presse. Allowed to open in the glass, it unfurls to reveal blackberry, briar, touches of crushed stone and cedar. The taut, fresh palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine acidity. This is back to the older style of Haut-Bailly in some ways; less opulent, in keeping with the style of the vintage, and delivering good weight on the finish, even if there is not the persistent aftertaste of previous vintages. The great virtue of this Haut-Bailly is the sapidity that marks the conclusion. The kind of Pessac-Léognan that needs to be decanted then poured at the dinner table.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2055

The 2021 Château Haut-Bailly checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. It's another elegant, pure, incredibly balanced wine from this château, offering complex aromatics (cassis, smoked tobacco, spicy wood, and earth), medium body, ripe, supple tannins, and a great finish. Hitting 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.9, this seamless beauty will drink nicely right out of the gate yet evolve for 25-30 years.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Elegant and flowing with mineral, dark fruit and smoky notes. Plenty of freshness, the fruit juicy and gourmand. Grainy tannins and a saline finish. Less grand scale than recent years but harmony and balance prevail.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Batailley Pauillac £230 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 90-93 91 93-95 92-94
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The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a few steps up from the second wine. Dark and ample in feel, with broad shoulders, the Grand Vin possesses notable depth and intensity right out of the gate. Black cherry, plum, licorice, spice and leather race across the palate. Readers will find a Pauillac of power and depth that are typical of the southern part of the appellation.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2041

A firm and refined red with crushed-stone and salty, mineral character, as well as creamy tannins. Some iodine, too. Medium body. Medium finish. 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Haut-Batailley is a charming, medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine evocative of cassis, sweet berries, pipe tobacco and pencil shavings. Supple and succulent, with an ample core of fruit and ripe, powdery tannins, it will likely take on additional depth with further élevage. Significant replanting of fallow parcels is underway at this Pauillac estate, but those vines are currently relegated to the second wine, the Verso of Haut-Batailley.

Score: 90 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This is setting out a serious stall, with depth through the palate and a sense of lively momentum. Cabernet dominant, with savoury fruits that are just a little short on the finish, rose stems, raspberry leaf, whispers of violet and peony and a ton of slate and pencil lead giving the Pauillac character. 70% new oak. 40ha now in total, after extra planting of the vineyard.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Haut-Batailley is matured in 70% new oak for a planned 16 months. There is a large gap between this and the Verso, this Grand Vin displaying far more delineation and complexity, furnished with quite disarming estuarine-tinged black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a little chewiness on the entry, certainly one of the more saline Pauillac wines that I have encountered, and a structured, classically styled finish. For Bordeaux lovers looking for old-school claret. (13.12% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2050

The 2021 Château Haut-Batailley shines, and this estate, under the helm of the team from Lynch-Bages, is one to watch. Classic Cabernet notes of cassis, violets, and graphite give way to a medium to full-bodied effort offering ripe, polished tannins, the freshness and purity of the vintage, terrific balance, and a great finish. It's more than a little impressive, and while it shows the vintage's more elegant, mid-weight style, it brings depth and richness.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Haut Brion Graves £2,550 6x75cl 95-97 97-98 96-98 - 95-97 95-97
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The 2021 Haut-Brion is all class, all finesse. Naturally the overt intensity of recent vintages is replaced by a more understated style in 2021. Silky tannins caress a core of dark cherry/plum fruit. Hints of lavender, new leather, cloves and menthol gradually open. The trademark Haut-Brion aromatics are going to need a number of years in bottle to develop. The 2021 is hardly a blockbuster, and yet in many ways it is so primary.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A very structured young Haut-Brion with blackberry, blackcurrant, black-olive and mushroom character. Medium to full-bodied with a driving balance of firm and ripe tannins and gorgeous fruit. 50.3% merlot, 38% cabernet sauvignon and 11.7% cabernet franc.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A candidate for the title of wine of the vintage, the 2021 Haut-Brion unwinds in the glass with aromas of rich red and black fruit mingled with notions of cigar wrapper, licorice, black truffles, loamy soil and burning embers. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's elegant and multidimensional, with superb depth at the core, lively acids and ultra-refined tannins. Combining the classical proportions of the vintages of two decades ago with the viticultural and winemaking of today, it's a timeless classic in the making, but it's difficult to find an obvious analogy with an older vintage. When pressed, Jean-Philippe Delmas suggests a superior version of the 2014 vintage, and to me, a more concentrated, serious version of the 2012 vintage also comes to mind. What is clear, however, is that this is one of the real high points of 2021. The blend is 50% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc, and it attained 13.8% alcohol—a percentage point or so lower than in 2020 or 2019.

Score: 96 - 98 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Haut-Brion has a more extravagant, charming bouquet compared directly with the La Mission at the moment, offering copious blackberry, black truffle, undergrowth and menthol scents. The palate is very well balanced, harmonious and poised, with fine-grained tannins and an almost pixelated finish. This Haut-Brion seems to have reveled in the cooler growing season, and at 13.8% alcohol, there is almost a degree less than recent vintages. Jean-Philippe Delmas has fashioned a contender for wine of the vintage.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2065

As with the Clarence, the 2021 Château Haut-Brion is a darker, richer, more powerful wine. Currants, smoked black cherries, graphite, chocolate, and tobacco notes all define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a straight, focused, beautifully precise mouthfeel, gorgeous yet substantial tannins, and a great finish. It's going to hit maturity in 7-8 years and have 30 years of longevity or more. The 2021 is mostly Merlot, checking in as 50.3% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11.7% Cabernet Franc, hitting 13.8% alcohol and resting in 73% new French oak.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Bright crimson-purple. Fragrant berry-fruit notes as the wine opens. Smooth and refined on attack, the mid palate full and generous swathing powerful but integrated tannins. Impressive length and drive. Quite a powerhouse for such a complicated year. Huge potential.

Score: 18 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2032-2055

[Add to waiting list] Hosanna Pomerol £480 6x75cl Sold Out 93-95 - 91-94 - 92-94 -
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Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

The 2021 Hosanna is a fleshy, expressive wine, offering up aromas of sweet plums and berries mingled with spices, licorice, rose petals and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, broad and open-knit, it's a lively, charming wine that will likely take on more depth and structure with further élevage in barrel.

Score: 91 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Hosanna was picked from September 24 to October 6. It presents a beautiful bouquet of delineated, focused black cherries, blueberry and wilted violet scents, plus a hint of gravel in the background. The palate is fresh on the entry, presaging a typical solid structure, and quite saline, demonstrating much more grip and substance on the finish compared to, say, Latour à Pomerol or La Grave. Cellar this for 4–6 years if you can.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Issan Margaux £251 6x75cl - 95-96 90-93 - 90-92 91-93
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The 2021 d'Issan is supple, easygoing and quite attractive. It will be interesting to see if it develops more complexity and nuance with élevage. Today, Issan comes across as straightforward and lacking both in depth and nuance, while the aromatics are muted. Tasted two times.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2041

A very fine yet structured d’Issan with blackcurrant and plum, as well as spice and walnuts. The palate is full and structured with wonderful tannins and length. It really grows on the palate. Serious balance of ripe and fine tannins with pretty fruit and a citrusy undertone. This could move up a notch. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 2% malbec and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 D'Issan is performing well, exhibiting aromas of rich berries, licorice, violets, sweet soil tones and pipe tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, layered and lively, with powdery tannins and a saline finish, it will flesh out with élevage to deliver a supple, perfumed D'Issan that will offer a broad drinking window. It's a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Score: 90 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The deep purple-hued 2021 Château d'Issan is another terrific Margaux, which is an appellation that did well in the vintage. Black raspberries, cassis, spring flowers, and some herbal notes all emerge on the nose, and it's medium-bodied, with a charming, mid-weight style on the palate, good balance, and ripe tannins. It's going to drink nicely right out of the gate. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, and the rest Petit Verdot.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Discreet but fresh with a faint floral nuance. Medium-bodied with a certain density of tannin but delicate and poised. Margaux elegance if slightly reserved.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] La Clotte St Emilion £360 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 91-93 - 90-92 -
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The 2021 La Clotte is an attractive, soft wine. Bright red/purplish fruit, gentle spice, a touch of new oak and mocha come together nicely. The 2021 is a pretty, mid-weight La Clotte that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Franc aromatics, such a signature of this wine, aren't quite apparent. La Clotte does its malo in oak, and there is a bit of cooperage that needs to integrate.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2033

Medium to full body with a creamy, supple tannin structure. Just-ripe plum fruit and dark berries with a touch of chocolate. Plush, yet so fresh. 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of sweet berries, cherries and rose petals, framed by nicely integrated new oak, preface the 2021 La Clotte, a medium to full-bodied, supple and charming wine that's beautifully refined and intensely flavored, concluding with a long, saline finish. It's a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc from the Vauthier family of Château Ausone.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Clotte was picked October 2 and 6 for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, respectively, and matured entirely in new oak. It has a well-defined nose of black cherries and light blueberry fruit, floral as usual, though not as decadent as previous vintages (as expected). The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins and good density, though maybe just missing a little amplitude and complexity on the finish at the moment. Fresh, yet you feel it is holding something back. Very correct.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2046

Floral-berry notes. Tannins smooth and rounded. Acidity marked but just about enough fruit to match. Plenty of freshness. Clean, dry finish. A leaner version but terroir (limestone) evident. (JL) 13.5% Drink 2027 – 2036

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2036

[Add to shopping basket] La Gaffeliere St Emilion £288 6x75cl 94-96 94-95 92-94 - 95-97 -
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The 2021 La Gaffelière is a wine of extraordinary finesse and class. Time in the glass brings out striking depth and complexity. The aromatics alone are beguiling but everything about the 2021 speaks to elegance. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petals, blood orange, mint and saline notes punctuate the finish.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A very precise and curated wine with ultra-fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Medium body. Dark berry and dark chocolate flavors and a creamy finish. Classy.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A notable success in this vintage, the 2021 La Gaffelière offers up aromas of sweet cherries and berries mingled with notions of licorice, loamy soil and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and enveloping, it's supple and charming, with a fleshy core of fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with impressive persistence. Tasted four times, twice at the château.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Gaffelière was picked September 22 to October 15, and matured in 60% French new oak. There is a healthy 42% Cabernet Franc here. The nose is quite open with black cherry, blueberry and touches of violet and peony; the oak is nicely integrated. In the mouth, this is medium-bodied with fine delineation, good focus and real midpalate weight. Conveying good intensity and vibrancy, this continues a strong run for this Saint-Émilion estate.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2055

Bright crimson hue. Elegant demeanour with perfumed, red-berry fruit aromas and layered fruit on the palate. Tannins present but finely honed. Long, persistent finish. Matière and potential. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2042

[Add to shopping basket] La Mondotte St Emilion £750 6x75cl - - 92-94 - - -
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Unwinding in the glass with scents of cherry, sweet berries, dark chocolate and loamy soil, the 2021 La Mondotte is medium to full-bodied, lively and concentrated, with a compact, tightly wound profile, tangy acids and beautifully refined tannins. Of all the von Neipperg wines, this is the most reticent at this early stage, but all the components for a notable success are present.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

[Add to shopping basket] Labegorce Margaux £125 6x75cl 91-93 - 90-91 - - 92-94
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The 2021 Labégorce is attractive, offering up a perfumed bouquet of cherries, raspberries, orange rind, cedary spices and smoke, followed by a medium-bodied, fleshy palate with a pretty core of fruit, supple tannins and lively acids.

Score: 90 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Labégorce was picked from 23 September to 19 October and matured in 35% new oak, the malo done in bottle. Pretty red cherries, raspberry and bergamot scents on the nose. Light undergrowth aromas surface with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit, modest depth, light and focused towards the finish. A well-made Margaux that should give 15-20 years pleasure.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2040

Château Labegorce has been managed brilliantly by Marjolaine de Coninck since 2009, and she's produced a brilliant-looking 2021. Lots of black raspberry fruits as well as spicy oak, flowers, and dried herbs emerge on the nose, and it's medium-bodied, with terrific overall balance, an up-front, charming mouthfeel, and a great finish. It's beautifully done, and I suspect it's going to drink nicely right out of the gate. The blend is 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up 35% new French oak. The talented Claude Gros also lends his advice here as well.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark crimson. Light, fresh, well-behaved nose. Sweet palate entry. Reasonably delicate. Very Margaux and quite satisfying. I even have the most unusual (for 2021) sensation of some alcohol on the finish! Well judged and reasonably accessible already.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2037

[Add to waiting list] Lafite Rothschild Pauillac £2,904 6x75cl Sold Out - - - - - -
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[Add to shopping basket] Lafon Rochet St Estephe £152 6x75cl 88-90 92-93 89-91 88 91-93 90-92
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The 2021 Lafon-Rochet is a wine of notable precision. It will be interesting to see if it gains a bit more flesh in élevage. Today, the 2021 is decidedly lithe in feel. Crushed flowers, mint, rose petal and bright acids lend energy to a core of red berry fruit. Captivating in its inner perfume and elegance, Lafon-Rochet is the most Pauillac-like of the Saint-Estèphes.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

A firm and linear wine with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Medium body. Creamy. Focused for the vintage. Turns to plums and citrus at the end. From organically grown grapes. 69% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The last vintage produced under the Tesseron family, the 2021 Lafon-Rochet exhibits aromas of dark berries, plums, licorice and spices, followed by a medium-bodied, lively and succulent palate that's fleshy and layered, framed by powdery tannins. A charming, supple effort, it will drink well on release.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Saline and linear, blueberry and raspberry fruits, with a touch of greengage and raspberry leaf that suggests things are just skirting ripenss. Floral aromatics lift things up as it travels through the palate, but the finish is soft and a little diluted. Plenty of change happening at this 41ha estate that is located just over the border from Pauillac, next to Lafite and Cos d'Estournel, with Jacky Lorenzetti arriving as new owner in January 2022, and Christophe Congé appointed technical director a few months later, arriving from Lafite, making 2021 a transition vintage - particularly difficult in such a tough year. 32hl/h yield, 70% 1st wine. 2nd year in official conversion to organic, wll be certified with 2023 vintage. Harvest 27 to October 8. 30hl/h yield, 50% new oak. Tasted twice.

Score: 88 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Lafon-Rochet was picked from 27 September to 8 October with no break between the varieties. There was just a small green harvest resulting in yields of 30hL/ha. It was matured in 50% new oak. It has a tightly wound, backward bouquet with blackberry, briar and graphite scents, quite Pauillac in style (you might see the irony in that). The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, quite firm with a solid backbone. Fresh and slightly muscular on the finish. Fine, but not quite as chiselled as others this year. 13% alcohol.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2040

Tasted on numerous occasions, the 2021 Château Lafon-Rochet has solid, yet slightly reserved aromatics of darker, almost blue fruits and some classic tobacco and lead pencil. It opens up with air and is medium-bodied, with a classic, focused style (I said “Pauillac” in my notes), notable balance, and a great finish. The blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Petit Verdot.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Quite luscious and almost more luscious than the St-Estèphe norm. Although it finishes on a distinctly stony note. Set for the long term with no shortage of character or ripe fruit. Persistence is pretty impressive! This is almost a 17 though for the moment the finish is a little bit pinched.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2029-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Lagrange (St Julien) St Julien £203 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 92-94 93 92-94 90-92
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The 2021 Lagrange has a ton of potential. Bright Cabernet inflections lead into a core of red/purplish fruit. This mid-weight, gracious Saint-Julien is all class, all the way. Layered and super-expressive, Lagrange is a winner in 2021. Tasted two times.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026 - 2041

A firm and silky red with medium body, fresh acidity and an orange-peel and berry aftertaste. Refined and bright.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Representing only 39% of the estate's production, the 2021 Lagrange is very promising indeed, mingling aromas of wild berries and blackcurrants with notions of loamy soils, pencil shavings and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, with fine depth at the core, powdery tannins and lively acids, it saw a cool vinification and contains a record 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, much of which was picked late, between the seventh and 12th of October. It's a brilliant effort from Matthieu Bordes and his team. Tasted five times, twice at the estate.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Bright, vivid raspberry and cassis fruit, savoury and sculpted, clear cinnammon, fennel and clove spice. Not exuberant or overdone, working with the vintage and retains the St Julien feel of balance and finesse. This is the 2nd note I am publishing for this wine, as I tasted it at the château during a vertical a month ago, and this is one point higher, boding well for increased weight over ageing. Harvest September 27 through to October 12, with no Cabernet picked until October. The weight of the berries reduced by 30% in the last week before picking because the weather got so much better. 35hl/h yield, 50% new oak. Eric Boissenot consultant.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Lagrange was picked from 12 September to 12 October at just 30hL/ha and matured in 60% new oak. The Grand Vin represents 39% of the crop. It offers light red berry fruit on the nose, with a touch of mint developing over time. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, well-balanced, not a powerful Saint-Julien but it conveys a sense of finesse. Drink this over the next 12-15 years.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2038

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Lagrange is clearly a step up, offering a deeper, richer style that stays firmly planted in the fresher, more elegant style of the vintage. Based on 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, representing a selection of just 39% of the total production, it has terrific mid-palate density as well as classic notes of cassis, darker plums, chocolate, and integrated oak. It's beautifully done and should easily be an outstanding wine that will benefit from just a handful of years in the cellar.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Open and aromatic with dark fruit to the fore. Palate shows good density, again with attractive fruit and a firm but ripe tannic frame. Drives on the finish. Some potential here.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Langoa Barton St Julien £177 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 92-94 92 90-92 91-93
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The 2021 Langoa Barton is an attractive, mid-weight Saint-Julien that should drink nicely with minimal cellaring. Red fruit, cedar, spice, tobacco and rose petal lend lovely vibrancy throughout. Brightness and energy drive the balance in this understated, classy Saint-Julien from the Barton family.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Blackberry and black olives with currants and crushed stone. Medium body, integrated tannins and a savory finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, the 2021 Langoa Barton is immensely promising, offering up aromas of cassis, cigar wrapper, loamy soil and black truffle, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless palate that's deep and complete, its vibrant core of fruit framed by ripe tannins and lively acids. It's a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Bright plum in colour, this is skilfully expressed, austere but present red cherry and blackberry fruits, strict tannic structure that opens through the mid palate to allow some juice and sandalwood smoke to run through the fruit. This has less of the exuberant depths that we have seen in Langoa in recent vintages, a little more old school overall, but will age, and has appellation signature. 60% new oak. Technical director François Brehant, consultant Eric Boissenot. The 2021 vintage features a special-edition label to mark 200 years of family ownership (the oldest of any 1855 estate).

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Langoa Barton was picked 27 September until 7 October, matured in 60% new oak. Analysis shows 13.03% alcohol. It has a well-defined bouquet with expressive Merlot this year. Hints of blood orange/orange sorbet percolate through the red fruit. It has a skip in its step. The palate is medium-bodied with a taut and fresh entry. Plenty of sapidity here, oyster shell tinged with a well-defined and quite persistent finish. Lovely length, this is quite a gorgeous Saint Julien that will age beautifully in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2048

The 2021 Château Langoa Barton (61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc) has a great, pure, medium-bodied style as well as medium-bodied richness and depth on the palate. It has good acidity, notes of violets, graphite, and tobacco, quality tannins, and a great finish. The balance here is spot on, and this is certainly an outstanding wine in the making. It's also the first vintage to be made in the new winery, which was still under construction while I was in Bordeaux.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

More restrained than some aromatically but there’s fruit and freshness with a structure in behind. Touch of cassis as it opens. Some oak as well but should integrate. Grippy tannins on the finish.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Larcis Ducasse St Emilion £329 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 92-94 - 91-93 93-95
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The 2021 Larcis Ducasse is a dark, brooding wine. The 2021 feels a bit pushed, something I am not used to saying about this cru. The 2021 is more power than finesse. Black fruit, leather, spice, cloves and licorice are front and center. Ultimately, the 2021 is heavy, with little of the nuance or sophistication that are typically so present here. Perhaps élevage will help. Today, Larcis is quite surprisingly underwhelming, even with the focus on core parcels that the château employed in 2021. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2046

This is medium-to full-bodied with firm, silky tannins. Already has an expressive nose of blackcurrants, blackberries, white pepper, cloves and black licorice. Salty minerality. Fresh and fine. Spicy finish. Lengthy, too. 86% merlot and 14% cabernet franc.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Larcis Ducasse wafts from the glass with aromas of cherries, blackberries, violets, warm spices and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, deep and attractively layered, with lively acids and a chalky, saline finish, this is a terrific effort. Nicolas Thienpont and his team were extremely selective this year, and the grand vin derives almost entirely from the slope, without much contribution from the plateau above.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Larcis Ducasse was picked from 29 September until 11 October at a respectable 34hL/ha, representing 65% of the total production this year. It has an almost gentle, atypically understated bouquet with brambly red fruit, wilted rose petal and light undergrowth scents. The palate is linear and structured, far removed from the occasionally opulent Larcis Ducasse of warming seasons. Quite saline in the mouth, this is distinguished by a liberal sprinkling of cracked black and Spanish Padron pepper towards the finely persistent finish. Classy and full of character.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2048

I think one of the undeniable successes in the vintage is the 2021 Château Larcis Ducasse, which hails from a magical terroir on the south-facing hillside just outside of Saint-Emilion. There's slightly more clay here, so Larcis-Ducasse always shows a ample density and power. A blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc from healthy yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare, harvest started September 29, extending to October 11 for the Cabernet Franc. The estate favors whole berry fermentations in cement tanks, and the élevage occurs in 50% new French oak, with the balance in second- and third-fill oak. Sporting a dense purple hue as well as powerful aromatics of darker currants, chocolate, tobacco, and damp earth, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, admirable concentration, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Tasted on numerous occasions, it never failed to impress, and this is one to seek out.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Deep crimson to the rim. Aromatically discreet but fresh. Lovely texture of tannin, the fruit gently seductive. Less punch than some years but charm and finesse. Clean, if a little dry on the finish. (JL)

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Laroque St Emilion £121 6x75cl 91-93 93-94 92-95 - 93-95 91-93
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The 2021 Laroque is a standout. Bright and racy, with tremendous persistence, Laroque stakes its claim as Saint-Émilion's brightest rising star. Bright limestone accents run through a core of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint and white pepper. There is a linear intensity to Laroque that is hugely appealing. Technical Director David Suire fashioned a gem. Don't miss it.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2046

A medium-bodied, elegant and fresh red with fine and silky tannins. Fresh acidity. Balanced and perfumed already with vibrant raspberry, blackberry and bark notes. Very citrusy. Linear and bright.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Laroque is very promising indeed, and winemaker David Suire and I agree that it is likely to surpass the estate's 2018 vintage in quality. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, plums and cherries, framed by a discreet patina of new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, with excellent concentration, lively acids and ripe, melting tannins. A blend of 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, it represents 45% of the estate's production and derives from vines more than 50 years old.

Score: 92 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Laroque has upped its game in recent vintages under David Suire. It was cropped between 1 and 15 October at 41hL/ha, and matured in 50% new oak. It has a refined bouquet with brambly red fruit, light undergrowth and mineral scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, poised and again, mineral-driven thanks to its limestone soils. This latest release continues that fine run of form but will be more approachable than recent vintages.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2040

From an estate that continues to fire on all cylinders, the 2021 Château Laroque checks in as just about all Merlot (there's a splash of Cabernet Franc) that's pulled from just 45% of the total production and spends 18 months in 50% new barrels. Beautiful black raspberry, cassis, white flowers, and chalky mineral notes all define the nose, and it's medium-bodied, with a supple, elegant mouthfeel, impressive tannins, and a great finish. It shows the cooler, fresher style of the vintage, yet I suspect the pH is solid, and it offers plenty of fruit. I'd be a buyer.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson hue. Dark and racy on the nose. Good depth of succulent mid-palate fruit. Plenty of polished tannin providing drive and persistence. A little chalkiness but nothing abrasive. Ambitious and with potential. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Latour Martillac Blanc Dry Whites £143 6x75cl 92-94 - 89-91 - 90-91 -
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Score: 90 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com

Aromas of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit and pastry cream introduce the 2021 Latour Martillac Blanc, a medium-bodied, bright and incisive wine that's performing well this year.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Latour-Martillac Blanc has a knockout nose with apple blossom, nettle, wet pavement and citrus peel aromas. Real energy here. The palate is well balanced with fine concentration, taut and fresh with plenty of extract, touches of spice emerge towards the finish. Excellent.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Barton St Julien £334 6x75cl 93-95 93-94 93-95 94 92-94 92-94
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The 2021 Léoville-Barton is a wine of notable intensity, but all of that power is directed inward. Tightly coiled and vibrant, the Léoville-Barton is going to need time to be ready, but that is to be expected. There is terrific energy here, if not the volume of the preceding three vintages. That's not a problem.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

A medium-bodied red with redcurrant, crushed-stone and earth character, following through to fine tannins and a polished finish. Balanced.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A terrific success, the 2021 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of blackcurrant, wild berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's concentrated and tensile, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and all the class that an elevated percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon growing in deep gravel can provide. It's the first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, and I suspect that contributes to the ultra-refined quality of tannin this year. The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

St Julien’s location next to the river Garonne saved it from the worst of the frost, and this is one of the best wines in the appellation. It has energy and plenty of depths of fruit to work through, with powerful spice notes of clove, white pepper and turmeric, with the fresh acidities in the cassis and bilberry fruit turned into a prop for propelling things forward through the palate. And even if all this wasn’t the case, this is a wine to buy in 2021 in memory of Anthony Barton, long-term owner and Bordeaux legend, who died in January 2022. 60% new oak. Tasted twice.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Leoville Barton was picked from 27 September until 7 Octoiber, matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol is 13.12. It has a clean and pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and hints of shucked oyster shell; focused and very well-delinated, classic in style. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry, very well-knit with beautifully integrated oak. Crisp acidity with the perfect amount of tension on the classically-styled finish, this Leoville Barton demonstrates the advantages of their brand new cellar. I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

I continue to love Château Léoville Barton, and their 2021 doesn't disappoint. (If anything, the fresher style favored here played nicely with the vintage character.) Lots of cassis and darker currants as well as crushed stone, graphite, and floral notes emerge on the nose, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, pure, elegant tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's not going to match the all-time greats here, but it's a seriously good wine in the vintage and I'd be happy with bottles in the cellar.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Minerally and racy with a density that is often missing in 2021. Layers of fruit and plentiful but refined tannins. Structured and persistent, the quality of the vineyard appreciable. Fresh and well defined. Good balance. Definite potential.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2029-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Las Cases St Julien £970 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 95-97 - 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 Léoville Las-Cases is classy, nuanced and so expressive. There's gorgeous depth, and yet the 2021 is not as explosive as it has been in the recent past. That's not a bad thing, not at all. Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc comprise fully 95% of the blend in a Las Cases that is beautifully persistent from start to finish. It's a wine that has one foot in its rich, historical past, and the other very much in the more modern style of contemporary vintages. There is so much to look forward to.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

This is very tannic and powerful with currant and salty undertones. Inky. Blackberry and blackcurrant, too. Full-bodied with lots of power at the end. 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cabernet franc and 5% merlot.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

One of the wines of the vintage, the 2021 Léoville Las Cases is reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 1999 and 1996—only better. Offering up incipiently complex aromas of cassis, plums and dark berries mingled with loamy soil, cigar wrapper and exotic spices, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with superb amplitude and concentration, velvety tannins, lively acids and a long, penetrating finish. Uniting classicism and charm, it exemplifies how a great terroir, exigent agronomy and meticulous winemaking can deliver greatness even in a less propitious vintage. It's a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and a mere 5% Merlot this year, checking in at 13.2% alcohol.

Score: 95 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Leoville Las Cases was picked from 28 September until 8 October and includes just 5% Merlot form the northern sectors of the vineyard due to coulure. They found that increased percentages of Merlot did not contribute to the blend. Matured in 85% new oak, it has an intense nose with black fruit, graphite, quite a potent marine influence at play, almost briny (perhaps accentuated by the changeable weather on the day of my visit). Very impressive in terms of depth and the backbone/grip with iodine oyster shells towards the finish, this is a cerebral Las-Cases that will demand patience. Then again, name me a vintage of Las-Cases that doesn’t! Aclohol here is at 13.20%.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2070

I loved the 2021 Château Léoville Las Cases. This deep, chalky, mineral-laced beauty has tons of character and reminds me a little of the 2001. Lots of ripe black fruits, graphite, lead pencil, and hints of iron define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a pure, balanced, layered mouthfeel, plenty of tannins, and a good mix of power and elegance. It shows the fresher, lively style of the vintage, but it brings plenty of depth and density, and it's an undeniable success in the vintage.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Less restrained than usual at this stage, the nose fresh and fragrant with floral and berry-fruit notes. More elegance than power, the tannins present but finely honed and the fruit expressive. Structured, so potential but not a muscular year.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Leoville Poyferre St Julien £429 6x75cl 92-94 95-96 93-94 95 93-95 94-97
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The 2021 Léoville-Poyferré is classy and polished right out of the gate. All the classic Poyferré signatures come through, but in miniature. The 2021 impresses with its pliant fruit, silky tannins and fine balance. To be sure, the 2021 is a smaller-scaled wine than the norm here over the last few years, but that is the charm of this vintage. Inky dark fruit, pencil shavings, licorice and menthol build into the super-expressive finish. Tasted three times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

This is very typical for St.-Julien with violets, berries, blackcurrants and crushed stone. Medium to full body with very fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Powdery tannins and a rich finish. Velvety texture. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot, 9% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Léoville Poyferré shows considerable promise, wafting from the glass with aromas of sweet berries and plums mingled with spices, licorice and petals, framed by a deft touch of creamy new oak. Medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, it's a polished, charming wine with a pretty core of fruit, lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins, concluding with a penetrating finish. It's a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Enjoyably supple texture, silky and juicy with blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and redcurrant fruit, along with liqourice, fennel and a touch of cocoa bean. This is a serious Poyferré with a firm tannic structure and clear ageing potential, more austere at this stage than you often find. Michel Rolland consultant, 45% new oak, 45% 1st wine, 24hl/h yield. Harvest September 28 to October 12.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Léoville-Poyferré was picked from 28 September until 12 October at just 24hL/ha and matured in 80% new oak, the remainder second-fill. It has a high-toned, concentrated bouquet with iodine-infused black fruit, becoming floral in the glass with scents of crushed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with Poyferré's trademark velvety smooth tannins. Fine depth, though clearly not as ostentatious as the previous three vintages, it is a more streamlined Poyferré, though that renders the wine well-balanced. There is just a dash of black pepper on the finish, though it just misses a little persistency on the aftertaste. But overall, a fine Saint-Julien that should give many years of drinking pleasure. 13.0% alcohol.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

The top wine, the 2021 Château Léoville Poyferré is a beauty and certainly makes the most of the vintage. Based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14% alcohol (with an IPT of 78 and a pH of 3.85), its dense purple hue is followed by a rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied Saint-Julien that has terrific purity of fruit, notes of cassis, violets, and spicy wood, ripe tannins, and remarkable overall balance. It brings more richness and depth than most in the vintage and is unquestionably going to offer tons of pleasure over the coming 20-25 years.

Score: 94 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep, bright colour. Attractive nose with dark-fruit and floral notes and a creamy edge. Rich and round on attack with ample substance and a juiciness to the fruit. Tannins plentiful but fine and integrated. Grip and persistence on the finish. Clear potential.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Lynch Bages Pauillac £510 6x75cl 94-96 96-97 93-95 94 92-94 94-96
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The 2021 Lynch Bages is a brooding wine. Black cherry, leather, spice and menthol add to its decidedly somber personality. It will be interesting to see how the 2021 develops during élevage. Today, the 2021 comes across as dark and heavy, with the oak not fully integrated, and less of the suave finesse that is perhaps the key Lynch Bages signature.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

This is really cool to smell, with lead pencil shavings, iron filings and oyster shells. Blackcurrants, too. Full to medium body with layers of firm tannins, but a dusty and powdery texture, too. Lovely finish. 67% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The second vintage vinified in the Cazes family's new winery, the 2021 Lynch-Bages unwinds in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, sweet berries, loamy soil, black truffle and cigar wrapper, framed by nicely integrated new oak. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and muscular, it's a serious, layered, powerful, youthfully structured wine that will come together beautifully with maturation in barrel.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This is impressive, reduction on the first nose but it clears to show gentle smoked oak, bitter cocoa beans and liqourice, giving balance the the fresh acidities that stud the blackberry and raspberry fruits. This is powerful, with a structure that feels similar to the 2014 or the 2008 - a little subdued and austere, but with ageing potential. A high tannin index of 90IPT. Harvest September 27 Lynch through to October 9. One of the best in Pauillac, finishing up with chewy tannins.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Lynch-Bages, picked at 34hL/ha and matured in 75% new oak for a planned 18 months, has an outstanding bouquet, beautifully-defined and sensual, a mixture of black and blueberry fruit, very fragrant. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins, good body and density, quite precise with a tensile finish. This fans out nicely on the finish. A very classy Lynch Bages with echoes of Jean-Michel Cazes' classics from the late eighties. 13.14% alcohol.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2055

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Lynch-Bages ratchets up everything, offering a rich, powerful, almost full-bodied style as well as gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, spice, and hints of cassis. It might be the biggest, richest wine in the vintage and has a great mid-palate, impressive density, building tannins, and a great, great finish.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Lynch Moussas Pauillac £142 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 89-91 89 - 87-89
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Finely textured with firm, fine tannins that coat a core of dark berries, cocoa and some tobacco. Medium body with a broad mid-palate. Expansive finish. 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Lynch-Moussas is a solid effort, exhibiting aromas of cassis, loamy soil and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, lively and charming, with impressive depth for the vintage and by the standards of this 62-hectare Pauillac estate, the blend is dominated by 72% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Black cherry, raspberry, enjoyable, not quite the same ripeness that I have found in Lynch Moussas over the past few years, but this is enjoyable. As it opens, tar and campfire smoke curl out of the glass. Late harvest helped the fruit get to a good level of ripness, but this is soft on the finish.

Score: 89 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Lynch-Moussas has a lovely bouquet with blackberry, raspberry and cedar scents, a touch of wild mint emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with quite thick tanins that lend this Pauillac surprising weight in context of the vintage. Quite rounded on the finish with a touch of pain grillé on the aftertaste.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2042

The 2021 Château Lynch-Moussas is an old school charmer with medium-bodied aromas and flavors of red and black fruits, cedar shavings, and damp earth. It develops some chocolaty, nutty nuances with air, has ripe tannins, and a character-filled style.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Cask sample. Dark and leafy with a hedgerow character. Robust palate, the tannins lording it over the fruit. Chewy and just a little hard on the finish. Old-school Pauillac which could appeal to some.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Malartic Lagraviere Graves £171 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 90-92 - 90-92 90-93
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The 2021 Malartic Lagravière offers good depth, but naturally less of the opulence of recent years. Part of that is the year and part is likely the result in a change in stylistic direction. It will be interesting to see where things ultimately settle. Dark red/purplish fruit, spice, incense, licorice and gravel emerge, and yet the finish is a bit dry.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-20612028-2041

A very fresh and juicy red with a medium body and supple, soft tannins. Vibrant red-berry fruit with pretty spice notes. Raspberries and licorice with some salted chocolate. 67% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot and 1% cabernet franc.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of fully 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the 2021 Malartic Lagravière offers up aromas of sweet berries, plums, burning embers and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and powdery palate that's impressively concentrated, refined and elegant. It's a fine effort from an estate on the rise.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Malartic Lagravière was picked from 29 September to 19 October at 45hL/ha and matured in 65% new oak. It has a taut and linear bouquet: blackberry, pencil shavings and light estuarine scents. The palate has a ripe entry, quite sharp acidity, modest weight with a linear and correct finish with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I suspect this will drink well for up to 15 years.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2038

A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and a splash of Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Château Malartic-Lagravière is a gem of a wine that has more depth and texture than most. Pure cassis, ripe tobacco, violets, and darker, earthy nuances all define the bouquet, and it's medium-bodied on the palate, with ripe, polished tannins and good mid-palate depth. It shows the pretty, pure, elegant style of the vintage while bringing plenty of fruit. It's beautifully done. Tasted twice.

Score: 90 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Sweet, ripe nose even if a little austere on the palate. Tannins have been well managed but the acidity can’t help dominating the fruit. Just a little note of sourness and lack of fruit depth on the sudden finish.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Malartic Lagraviere Blanc Dry Whites £235 6x75cl 92-94 - 90-93 - - -
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The 2021 Malartic Lagravière Blanc shows promise, bursting with aromas of lime zest, fresh mint, grapefruit and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and nicely concentrated, it's a taut, intensely flavored wine that concludes with a long, saline finish.

Score: 90 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Malartic-Lagravière Blanc was picked from 15 to 24 September with less Sémillon due to frost (11%) and matured in 50% new oak. Clean and precise on the nose, this unfurls nicely in the glass, taut and mineral-driven. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity, lively and beautifully balanced, just the right amount of salinity with a cohesive and lingering finish. This is an outstanding white Pessac-Léognan.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2045

[Add to shopping basket] Malescot Saint Exupery Margaux £222 6x75cl 90-92 94-95 92-94 - 93-95 91-94
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The 2021 Malescot St. Exupéry is another terrific wine from a property that has been trending towards finesse. The 2021 represents another step in that direction, helped by the vintage, of course. Red cherry, iron, blood orange, spice, tobacco and cedar build as this mid-weight, savory Margaux shows off its considerable charms. Pretty floral top notes accent the finish. Tasted two times.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2046

A tight and focused young red with redcurrant and blackberry character. It’s medium-bodied with racy and fine tannins and a linear, focused finish. Lots going on, yet it’s tight and energetic.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Malescot St. Exupery is a terrific effort, offering up aromas of sweet cassis and plums mingled with notions of licorice, espresso roast and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, it's impressively layered, with a sweet core of fruit, ripe tannins and lively acids. The dramatic style of the château has worked very well with the cooler, later-maturing vintage. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Score: 92 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Malescot Saint Exupéry has quite a high-toned bouquet with black cherries, blueberry and violet aromas, exuberant compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, fine acidity, quite focused yet there is just a little dryness and abruptness on the finish. That might be remedied during its élevage so let's see how this turns out. I was anticipating a bit more from this excellent Margaux estate, but maybe it will meliorate in barrel? Not beyond possibility.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2052

Beautifully balanced, the 2021 Château Malescot Saint Exupéry is a classic, impressive 2021 that's worth seeking out. Darker fruits, spice, dried herbs, and a kiss of flowers all emerge on the nose, and it's medium-bodied, has ripe tannins, and shows the pretty, graceful style of the vintage.

Score: 91 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Mid to dark crimson. Sweet, seductive nose. Very gentle tannins which lurk rather than dominate. A wine that really does taste like a young wine – and a young Margaux at that – that will blossom. Dry but not too drying finish. Neat. Very classic claret with sufficient but not excessive ripeness. Though there is nothing remotely flashy about it and I may be being too generous with my score; its charms are quite subtle. And it’s not especially concentrated. A ‘fluid’ wine… Some may criticise it for its lack of weight.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Margaux Margaux £2,550 6x75cl Low Stock 94-96 97-98 95-97 - 95-97 95-97
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The 2021 Château Margaux is a powerful, surprisingly brooding wine. According to Technical Director Philippe Bascaules, dry extract numbers are in line with 2019, which is hardly surprising in tasting the wine. Today, the Grand Vin is so primary. The intensity of the dark red/purplish fruit is notable, and yet the wine is positively embryonic. Bright acids and plenty of tannin abound. The 2021 is a rich, penetrating Margaux that is going to need a lot of time.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2071

A Margaux with beautiful depth and grace and wonderfully well-placed, refined tannins, showing presence and a soft texture. They caress your palate. Full-bodied, yet tight and extremely long. Seamless. 87% cabernet franc, 8% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.

Score: 97 - 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Château Margaux is clearly one of the finest wines of the vintage. Offering up a deep bouquet of raspberries, wild blueberries and plums mingled with sweet spices, violets, licorice and hints of cigar box, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with terrific depth at the core and beautifully refined, powdery tannins, concluding with a long, floral finish. Combining the vibrant flavors and moderate alcohol (13.1%) of a vintage of the last century with all the precision of the present in extraction and élevage, it is a timeless classic; and lest that be mistaken for a euphemism for a lack of concentration, note that the wine is analytically as high in polyphenols as the brilliant 2019. Representing only 36% of the estate's production, the 2021 is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Score: 95 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Château Margaux, aged in 100% new oak as usual, is clean and precise on the nose, much more discrete than the outgoing Pavillon Rouge and unfolds like a temptress in the glass. Intense dark cherries, hints of blueberry and trademark crushed violets then start to billow, all exquisitely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky smooth veneer that does a good job disguising the structure underneath. Surprisingly plush given the growing season, the concentration is very impressive with no hard edges. It's a very Margaux-like Château Margaux insofar that it could not come from any other appéllation.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

I think the wine of the vintage is the 2021 Château Margaux, which comes from a miniscule selection of just 36% of the total production. The final blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all of which is resting in 100% new French oak. Reminding me slightly of a riper 1996, it has incredible purity in its ripe cassis and blueberry fruits as well as notes of liquid violets, spicy oak, graphite, and hints of sandalwood. As seamless as they come, medium to full-bodied, perfectly balanced, and with ample Château Margaux purity and finesse, this brilliant juice is as good as it gets in the vintage.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Fragrant and floral with violet and peony notes. Clean and direct on attack, mid-palate weight and drive on the finish. Low-key but refined tannic frame. Super-length and persistence. Discreet but elegant, if less substance than a wine scoring 18 or higher.

Score: 17.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Marquis de Terme Margaux £186 6x75cl 92-94 - 89-91 - 93-95 89-91
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The 2021 Marquis de Terme is inky, vibrant and super-expressive. Dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, spice and licorice are all dialed up. A whole range of floral and savory nuances lingers on the close. Readers will find a Margaux endowed with terrific depth as well as character. I am very much looking forward to tasting this from bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2046

Exhibiting aromas of sweet cherries, berries, loamy soil and creamy new oak, the 2021 Marquis de Terme is medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy, with a seamless, polished profile and creditable depth at the core despite the challenging vintage.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Marquis de Terme has an attractive bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and crushed iris petal scents. The palate is well balanced with sappy black fruit, fine tannins, well-judged acidity and a sapid finish. This actually punches above my expectations and looks promising. I look forward to re-tasting this in bottle because this is the best wine from the estate I've tasted in many years.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028 - 2052

From an estate that has been in the Sénéclauze family since 1935, the 2021 Château Marquis de Terme checks in as 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot that's still resting in 50% new barrel. This ripe, mouth-filling, almost meaty Margaux offers lots of darker fruits as well as notes of truffly earth, chalky mineral, and chocolate to go with a medium-bodied, round, mouth-filling style on the palate. This wine always has a touch of rusticity, but it brings character, texture, and solid mid-palate depth. Tasted twice.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Mauvesin Barton Moulis £65 6x75cl 89-91 - - - 88-90 87-88
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The 2021 Mauvesin Barton, the Barton family's Moulis, is a soft, fruity wine to drink now and over the next decade. Sweet red cherry fruit, cedar, pipe tobacco and incense give this mid-weight Moulis lovely aromatic presence.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023-2033

The 2021 Mauvesin Barton was picked from 30 September until 11 October and aged in one-third new oak. There is more Cabernet this year (52%) due to frost damage. It has a vibrant nose with black cherries, bilberry and perhaps more floral scents than I have encountered apropos previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, not a deep or powerful Moulis, yet well-balanced and surfeit with freshness, a pleasant bitter swerve on the finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2038

The 2021 Château Mauvesin Barton is both darker and richer, with more black cherry fruits as well as medium-bodied richness and depth, good acidity, and supple tannins. It's a charming, balanced, enjoyable wine.

Score: 87 - 88 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Meyney St Estephe £117 6x75cl 91-93 91-92 89-91 91 89-91 -
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The 2021 Meyney is a deep, dense, fleshy wine. There is not a ton of complexity today, as the flavors are incredibly primary. Hints of cedar, tobacco and dried herbs start to emerge over time, but only with great reluctance. The 2021 could turn out to be quite good if it comes together a bit more during élevage. Tasted two times.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 20262041

A pretty wine with currant, cherry and some spices, such as nutmeg. Subtle this year. Medium body.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Offering up aromas of cassis, blackberries, spices and creamy new oak, the 2021 Meyney is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with lively acids, powdery tannins and an impressively rich, textural profile for the vintage. It's a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This has tannins, grip and plenty of character. Majors on blueberry and raspberry fruit, dips through the mid palate but enjoyable, one to look out for, with smoked caramel notes from the oak. Tasted twice. 44hl/h yield. Harvest September 24 to October 8. Anne la Naour technical director. Hubert de Bouard consultant.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Meyney has a lovely bouquet with floral-tinged red berry fruit, opening nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh red berry fruit laced with oyster shell and spice. Fine build towards a menthol-tinged finish, winemaker Anne La Nour has conjured a very commendable Saint-Estèphe from a tricky growing season. If release prices match your wallet, I'd stick a case (or two) in the cellar.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2045

Cask sample. Excellent depth of flavour and ripeness. Sappy with no skinniness. Really no sign that this was a difficult vintage. Complete. Fresh with ripe tannins dominated by vibrant, ripe fruit. It even has some impressive persistence. It’s not super-ripe but is certainly ripe enough.

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Mission Haut Brion Graves £1,350 6x75cl 93-95 94-95 94-96 - 92-94 94-95
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The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion offers lovely aromatic presence and fine balance, albeit in the smaller-scaled style of the year. Dried herbs, mint, sweet red cherry, incense and blood orange all run through the 2021. This is a decidedly understated edition of La Mission. It will be interesting to see if elevage adds body.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Lots of sea-salt, iodine and purple-fruit aromas and flavors to this. Turns to bark and forest floor. Powerful. Full-bodied and muscular. 47.9% merlot, 45.8% cabernet sauvignon and 6.3% cabernet franc.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Unwinding in the glass with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, sweet spices, cigar box and licorice, the 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is full-bodied, lively and seamless, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit framed by bright acids and supple, powdery tannins. This charming, sensual rendition of La Mission is a blend of 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, attaining 13.4% alcohol.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion is blessed with an ethereal bouquet, subtle touches of wilted iris petal and truffle infuse the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, perfectly judged acidity, quite compact on the mid-palate with linear and correct finish. Not the most charming La Mission Haut-Brion. You could argue that it is slightly "aloof", yet intuition tells me it has something up its sleeve for later on. Patience necessary.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

The 2021 Château La Mission Haut-Brion checks in as a blend of 47.9% Merlot, 45.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc that hit 13.4% alcohol and is still resting in 27% new French oak. Graphite, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and gorgeous cassis and violet-tinge blue fruits all define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a vibrant, elegant mouthfeel, terrific tannins, and one hell of a great finish. It's a softer, rounder, more layered wine than the Haut-Brion, with a little more sexiness, yet both are utterly brilliant wines.

Score: 94 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

A mix of refined power and elegance. Deep crimson hue. Fragrant dark fruit and cassis notes as the wine opens. Texturally very fine with plentiful tannins that are coated and smooth. Lovely freshness accompanied by persistence and drive. Great balance. Plenty of potential.

Score: 17.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Mission Haut Brion Blanc Dry Whites £2,910 6x75cl 95-97 95-96 93-95 - 94-96 94-96
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The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is another super-expressive white in this range from the Clarence Dillon properties. Effusive floral and citrus notes lend brightness to this creamy, wonderfully inviting Blanc. Deep and textured, the 2021 finishes with real substance. Its a positively gorgeous wine by any measure. The Sémillon is especially vibrant in 2021.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2041

Peach and waxed-lemon character here. Some fennel and aniseed, too. Very fresh. Medium to full body with a round, creamy palate. A little closed for now at the end. 55.2% semillon and 44.8% sauvignon.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of crisp orchard fruit, grapefruit oil, white flowers, pastry cream and freshly baked bread preface the 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, a medium to full-bodied, ample and incisive wine that's satiny and chiseled, concluding with a long, mineral finish.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc has a much more nuanced bouquet than the Haut-Brion Blanc this year with scents of Japanese yuzu, crushed stone, apple blossom and a touch of elderflower. The palate is very well balanced with a fine line of acidity, taut and fresh, vibrant and focused. This is more linear than the Haut-Brion and stricter, yet the precision on the finish is a wonder to behold. Fabulous.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

The 2021 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc is a powerful, medium to full-bodied beauty with straight racy acidity as well as beautiful notes of tart melon, chalky minerality, charcoal, and white flowers. I love its mid-palate depth and balance, but it's going to require bottle age. It will be very long-lived. The blend is 55.2% Semillon and 44.8% Sauvignon, aging in 53% new barrels.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Brisk and precise but more restrained than the Haut-Brion. Long, linear and racy on the palate. Great persistence. Structured for the long haul so will need some patience.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Montlandrie Cotes de Castillon £178 12x75cl 89-91 92-93 90-92 - 89-91 90-92
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The 2021 Montlandrie is another attractive wine in this range from the Durantou family. Sweet floral and spice overtones meld into a core of red/purplish berry fruit. In 2021, Montlandrie is a bit on the light side, but all the elements are nicely balanced.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2033

Perfumed and vibrant already, with a ripe, textured and creamy tannin frame. Pretty blue and purple fruit. Juicy finish. Salty. 75% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Montlandrie exhibits aromas of rich berries and cherries mingled with loamy soil, spices and potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, lively and incisive, it's nicely concentrated, with fine depth at the core and a bright, saline finish. Its Côtes de Castillon origins mark this out as the most tensile, mineral wine in the Durantou portfolio.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Montlandrie, the Durantou family's Castillon Côte de Bordeaux, was picked between 30 September and 8 October, matured in 50% new oak. A mélange of red and black fruit on the nose, light liquorice and freshly-rolled tobacco scents surface with just a few swirls. The palate is well structured and focused, fresh and displays well-integrated oak, though perhaps Les Cruzelles as a little more panache at this early stage.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2038

The 2021 Château Montlandrie (75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) has serious potential and will unquestionably be an outstanding wine. More closed and reductive, with beautiful cassis fruits and hints of graphite and minerality, it's medium-bodied and delivers solid richness and depth, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's a surprisingly powerful wine in the vintage and will benefit from 2-3 years in the cellar.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Plenty of chalky lift, the acidity present but matched by fruit and tannins. Wild terroir note just about tamed. Lively finish. Will need a little patience and to be matched with food. (JL) 14%

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2033

[Add to shopping basket] Montrose St Estephe £680 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 94-96 95 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 is a fine choice for Montrose fans who want to drink the Grand Vin without waiting for decades. I imagine the slightly high amount of Merlot also helps in giving the Grand Vin a measure of suppleness that is rarely found in Montrose. Gentle extractions bring out gorgeous purity in the fruit. Scorched earth, licorice, rose petal and blood orange develop in the glass, followed by a kick of Montrose structure on the finish. The 2021 is not an especially typical Montrose, but it is an undeniably attractive wine. The 13.1% alcohol has not been seen here in years.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A very classy and refined Montrose with excellent length and a compact, medium-bodied palate, showing fine, silky tannins and a fresh, bright finish. Lots of currant, blackberry and tar at the end, as well as some graphite. 62% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A brilliant achievement, the 2021 Montrose is reminiscent of a purer, more precise, modern-day version of the estate's 1996. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of blackcurrants, pencil shavings, sweet loamy soil, black truffle and nicely integrated new oak, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with terrific depth at the core, lively acids and a seamless, harmonious profile. Exhibiting beautifully refined tannins and an impressive sense of completeness, it's a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot—standing out as one of the few top wines of the vintage that actually includes more Merlot and less Cabernet than in recent years.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This has depth on the palate, inky purple with grilled almond, fennel, cassis, blackberry, bilblerry, waves of fruit set against strong, austere tannins that give excellent structure but not a lot of generosity. This is a serious, signature Montrose that is not an early drinker. Juicy on the finish, one to recommend. 55% new oak. Pierre Grafeuille has come on board as director since March 1, and will be taking over fully from Hervé Berland as of October 1.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Montrose is very clean and precise on the nose. You could almost describe it has clinical, crushed stone infusing the black fruit and briar. It is not as intense as the previous two vintages, which is to be expected, though the Cabernet Sauvignon is expressive. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit and fine acidity; a Monrose that is very tensile and focused. Moderate grip and volume, this is a more slimline version of recent vintages, a reflection of the growing season. Maybe it just misses the bravura finish that one has almost come to expect from this estate, yet it has the potential to become an aristocratic, classic Montrose.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2050

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Montrose comes from a miniscule selection of just 39% of the production and is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Medium to full-bodied, it has a seamless, elegant, incredibly pure mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and some richer plum, spice, and tobacco aromas and flavors. It's certainly in the style of the vintage with its pure, graceful, supple style, but the tannins are impeccably done, it's balanced, and has character. It should benefit from just a few years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark and minerally through and through. Good fruit concentration. Hint of barrel but integrated. Velvety attack, the tannins dense but finely framed. Long, cool finish. Evident potential for ageing.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Mouton Rothschild Pauillac £2,550 6x75cl Low Stock 93-95 96-97 95-96 95 94-96 93-95
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The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a potent, tightly wound Pauillac that will need a number of years to come together. Driving in its intensity, with searing tannins, the 2021 comes across as a bit severe today, with less of the charm and sensuality that is such a Mouton signature. That said, I was not thrilled with the quality of either of the two samples of the Grand Vin I tasted.

Score: 94 - 96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A firm and compact Mouton with a powerful tannin frame for the vintage, yet it remains fine and precise as it opens to a velvety texture. Black fruit with tar, pencil lead and tobacco. Driven and firm. A little angular and tight at the moment. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 1% cabernet franc.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Mouton Rothschild is a terrific wine in the making, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cherries and wild berries mingled with notions of violets, espresso roast, pipe tobacco and mint. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's a layered, enveloping wine that's ample and concentrated, with succulent acids, melting tannins and a long, resonant finish. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.1% alcohol, this is a demonstrative, sensual Mouton that's the fruit of extreme selection, and that may well make my score seem conservative with further élevage. Bravo to the talented Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy and his team.

Score: 95 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Jewel-ruby in colour, crystalline reflections. This is less exuberant than a usual Mouton, more of a classic Pauillac with intensity and depth through the palate. Plenty of grip and length, with rich layers of raspberry and blackberry fruits and curls of gunsmoke, liqourice and cocoa bean, giving hints of a more generous wine that should be released further over ageing. Focused and supple. 100% new oak. 3.73ph, 59IPT, 41hl/h yield. Harvest September 25 until October 6. The first vintage where it was Jean-Emmauel Danjoy from beginning to end, after Philippe Dhalluin's retiremement. 41% of overall production in Mouton. Strong candidate for an upscore in bottle.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Mouton Rothschild marks a return to the classic style of this First Growth after three hot vintages. Unsurprisingly, the Cabernet Sauvignon takes control and expresses cigar smoke and graphite aromas. This is very well defined, yet examining the wine over several minutes, I was searching in vain for that "magic touch" exuded in recent vintages. The palate is beautifully-knit, quite edgy on the opening, comparatively slender and markedly sapid. Unapologetically linear on the finish, it is as if the growing season snipped off the frills that defines a great Mouton-Rothschild. This is a very fine First Growth, yet I hope it just gains a bit of weight and, to use a more accurate word, "presence", during the remainder of its barrel maturation. 13.1% alcohol

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2050

The 2021 Château Mouton Rothschild is terrific, and while it plays in the more medium-bodied, elegant style of the vintage, it's perfectly balanced and has plenty of richness as well as texture. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up in new barrels, it's a charming, balanced, elegant, forward Mouton.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Blackcurrant and cranberry notes indicate the dominance of Cabernet in the blend. Meaty but fresh on the palate, the tannins silky and dense. Plenty of substance here, the fruit generous, the tannins firm, providing length on the finish. Rich, within the context of the vintage, but fresh at the same time. Looks to have staying power.

Score: 17.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Ormes de Pez St Estephe £115 6x75cl 91-93 92-93 90-91 93 - 91-93
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Medium-bodied with a firm tannin frame and pretty notes of pencil lead, blackberries and some walnuts. Hints of chocolate orange, too. Structured and a little chewy, with perfumed character. Juicy. 49% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon, 6% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Ormes de Pez exhibits aromas of cassis, licorice, warm spices and toasty new oak, followed by a medium-bodied, lively and nicely concentrated palate built around rich, powdery tannins that will round out with further maturation in barrel. Produced by the Cazes family of Château Lynch-Bages, it shows promise.

Score: 90 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This has punch and mouth-watering juicy acidities. Cheerful, enticiting, blackberry and loganberry fruits, and all is in place to add on further depth over ageing. There is rusticity that speaks of the vintage, but it is charming and this is easy to recommend. Another great vintage at Ormes de Pez, one of the value wines of the year. 45% new oak.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Ormes de Pez is matured in 45% new oak. This has a fragrant nose, very well defined, in fact, perhaps more sophisticated than the Haut-Batailley at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, a little powdery in texture, touches of graphite towards the almost Pauillac-like finish. A stylish Saint-Estèphe, this is recommended. 13.13% alcohol.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2055

Managed by the team at Lynch-Bages, the 2021 Château Ormes De Pez comes from a 40-hectare vineyard in Saint-Estèphe. Medium to full-bodied, it has ripe tannins, good depth of fruit, and classic notes of darker fruits, loamy earth, tobacco leaf, and chalky minerality.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to shopping basket] Pagodes de Cos (2nd wine of Cos d'Estournel) St Estephe £186 6x75cl 89-91 92-93 90-92 90 91-94 89-91
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The 2021 Les Pagodes de Cos is a gorgeous second wine. Blackberry, gravel, spice, menthol and licorice all run through the 2021, a wine that is marked by notable freshness and bright acids. Beams of supporting tannin give the wine its energy. There is plenty of Merlot-driven richness, but I suspect the 2021 will need a few years to come together. It is far from an easygoing second wine, that much is pretty clear.

Score: 91 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

Blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors with black licorice and asphalt. Medium-bodied with round, lightly chewy tannins and a juicy finish. A little fluid in the mid-palate. Bright and focused at the end. 60% merlot, 36% cabernet sauvignon, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Impressively rich and concentrated for a second wine in this vintage, the 2021 Les Pagodes de Cos delivers notes of raspberries, spiced plums and violets, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and salted palate framed by ripe tannins and lively acids.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Visually the texture is attractive, supple, inviting. This is different to the character than you have found in Pagodes over recent years, the acidity is clearly more present through the tannins, which appear at the front of the mouth. But there are plenty of vivid blue fruits, together with bitter chocolate character, this is classically balanced, enjoyable, old school, successful in the vintage and suggests again that St Estèphe is a high spot in 2021, because so few 2nd wines have performed this well. 30% new oak, harvst September 23 to October 7.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Les Pagodes de Cos, matured in 25% new oak, offers high-toned black fruit and touches of violet on the nose, which is perhaps just missing some amplitude at the moment. The solid palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins on the entry, a touch of graphite and white pepper, firm grip and a little spice on the finish. A structured Pagodes, just rather forceful at the moment. It should gain more grace during élevage.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2038

Including lots of Merlot, the 2021 Pagodes De Cos is 60% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Verdot brought up in 25% new barrels. It's another deeply hued effort with ripe red and black fruits as well as floral, violets, and graphite notes. Medium-bodied, elegant, and nicely balanced, it's a rather firm, focused Pagodes that will round into form with a few years of bottle age.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark- and red-berry aromas. Medium-bodied, round and juicy but lacks some intensity. Firm tannins with a bit of bite on the finish so some structure. May develop but not much excitement at present.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2035

[Add to shopping basket] Palmer Margaux £1,422 6x75cl Low Stock 94-96 96-97 95-97 - 94-97 93-95
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The 2021 Palmer is one of the truly epic wines of the year. It's not the 2018, but it is in that vein, albeit at 13% in alcohol. There's tremendous richness and sheer extract here. Blackberry jam, chocolate, smoke, licorice, lavender and mocha notes possess remarkable primary intensity, more like a young must than a wine with a few months of age. Readers will find a Palmer that offers a compelling mix of opulence and energy.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

There’s brightness and clarity to this young wine, with blackcurrants, violets, lavender and blackberries. Medium body with a sold core of fruit and a long, fresh finish. Fine tannins. Bright acidity. 56% merlot, 3% petit verdot and 41% cabernet sauvignon. From biodynamically grown grapes.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The late-ripening, low-yielding vintage has delivered a beautifully balanced wine of striking intensity in the 2021 Palmer. Unwinding in the glass with complex aromas of blackberries, exotic spices, licorice, violets and burning embers, it's full-bodied, layered and enveloping, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit, ripe tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, expansive finish. If recent vintages of Palmer have set new records in their power and richness, the 2021 marks a return to the classical proportions of the 1990s—with all the additional concentration and precision that Thomas Douroux's pioneering viticulture and thoughtful winemaking have brought to the equation at this address in the interim. The grand vin is a blend of 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, picked between September 24 and October 15. Tasted twice.

Score: 95 - 97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Palmer has a discrete bouquet that demands patience. This does not race out of the blocks, rather it unfurls with subtle graphite scents, blackberry, hints of cassis, plus some of the briny aromas that I noticed on the Alter Ego. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that frame the cedar and graphite infused black fruit. Quite strict for a Palmer, yet fresh with a cerebral, saline finish that is almost Pauillac-like in style despite the majority from old Merlot vines that are situated on some of its finest gravel terroirs. Very long, very suave on the finish. Superb.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2065

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Palmer checks in as 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot. The élevage here is unique in that the wine spends the first year in barrel (60% new) before having one-third moved into foudre for the following 6 months. The 2021 is an unquestionable success, revealing a dense purple hue as well as a powerful bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits supported by notes of tobacco, graphite, and chocolate. This medium to full-bodied Margaux has ripe, velvety tannins, a great mid-palate, and outstanding length. It's going to have plenty of up-front appeal yet still evolve for two decades.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Less exuberance but Palmer identity intact, the old-vine Merlot to the fore. Dense and full with a generosity of fruit. Silky texture on attack, the tannins present but controlled. Slightly dry finish with a bit of chew. Should improve further with élevage.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Pape Clement Graves £370 6x75cl 91-93 94-95 91-94 - 92-94 91-93
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The 2021 Pape Clément is a tightly wound, reticent wine. A core of bright red-toned fruit lies behind a wall of tannin and acids that is pretty impenetrable at this stage. I imagine the 2021 will come around at some point, but it is pretty austere in the early going. Tasted four times.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Pape made a very finely crafted and elegant wine this vintage, with plenty of berry, spice and earth character. Medium-bodied. Savory and lightly spicy on the finish. Creamy tannins.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Pape Clément exhibits notions of sweet berries and cherries mingled with rich aromas of espresso roast, black truffles, toasty new oak and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, deep and quite extracted in style, it's a rich, fleshy wine that gained in integration and harmony over the the three weeks I spent in Bordeaux. Tasted three times.

Score: 91 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Pape Clément was picked from 28 September until 14 October matured for a planned 18 months in 90% French oak and 10% in the foudres introduced in 2018. It is a completely diametrically opposite style to the previous vintages, partly a result of Michel Rolland handing the reins over to his right-hand man, Julien Vilaud, who has always had a different winemaking philosophy. On the nose: blackberry, sous-bois and cedar, not austere yet certainly a more reserved style. The palate is framed by quite gritty tannins, fine acidity, fresh and saline with modest depth on the finish that feels a little austere. Tasted several times, this is a fascinating, perhaps divisive Pape-Clément that might throw a few accustomed to its style of yore. One you have to get to really understand.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2046

The 2021 Château Pape Clément, which was tasted on numerous occasions, is certainly one of the more mid-weight versions of this wine that I can remember. Giving up attractive cassis and currant fruits as well as tobacco and a kiss of graphite, it's medium-bodied, mid-weight, charming, and forward. I think it will be an outstanding wine, but we're a solid step off the top wines in the vintage.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Ridiculously heavy bottle! Not much nose. Thick palate that almost seems to be fizzing. Then nothing much on the pinched finish. There seems to have been a (rather unsuccessful) attempt at concentration which has left an unbalanced wine with a hole in the middle.

Score: 15 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Pape Clement Blanc Dry Whites £582 6x75cl 91-93 96-97 93-94 - 92-95 95-97
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The 2021 Pape Clément Blanc offers lovely creaminess and richness, but in the more restrained, mid-weight style that has characterized these wines of late. Ripe pear, tangerine oil, passionfruit, mint and jasmine open with a bit of time in the glass. The 2021 is promising. Tasted three times.

Score: 92 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2036

Serious and refined with dried lemon, pineapple, green apple, almond, gun flint and some aniseed. Bright and tight. Medium to full body. Fresh and alluring. Wait and see.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Pape Clément Blanc shows the tension and cut that this vintage could bring to dry white Bordeaux. Exhibiting aromas of gooseberries, nectarine, confit citrus and pastry cream, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy but incisive, with a textural attack and a bright, saline finish. It's a blend of 72% Sauvignon Blanc, only 22% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 1% Muscadelle.

Score: 93 - 94 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Pape Clément Blanc was picked from 8-23 September and offers fragrant white flowers and peach skin on the nose, more minerality than the Clementin, gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is well balanced, perhaps tauter than recent vintages with a fine spine of acidity, a dab of stem ginger and lemongrass towards the finish. The 30% Sémillon just lends a bit of umami here, and it should age well in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2039

The 2021 Château Pape Clément Blanc is certainly in the running for the white of the vintage. Based on 70% Sauvignon and 30% Semillon brought up in just 18% new oak, it has bright, racy acidity that's beautifully balanced by a rock-solid core of fruit and mid-palate density. Giving up notes of pineapple, tart peach, white chocolate, and ample minerality, it will warrant 2-4 years of bottle age, but it's impressive anyway you look at it.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Bottle not so ridiculously heavy as the red. Grapefruit-peel sensation on the nose. Mouth-filling, fully ripe fruit. Long. Very much more of a success than the 2021 red from this estate. Sleek and lively. With an appetisingly dry finish.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2030

[Add to shopping basket] Pavie St Emilion £1,392 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 - - 95-97 95-97
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The 2021 Pavie is a wine of tremendous potential. Naturally, it shows the more mid-weight style of the year and yet there is plenty of depth as well as energy that starts to emerge with a bit of time in the glass. Bright saline notes shape the wine while extending the finish and adding so much drive. The 2021 is shaping up to be a very special wine. All it needs is time.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Deep black and blue fruit with cocoa and tar character. Compact and full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins that are very textured and interwoven into the wine. This has a lot of structure to go a long way. Yet it remains in balance with finesse. 52% merlot, 30% cabernet franc and 18% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Pavie was picked at 33hL/ha from 28 September until 12 October and matured in 75% new oak, the rest one-year. Team Pavie decided to wait to pick the Cabernet until after the rains just prior to harvest. This is clean and precise on the nose, the Cabernet components (48% of the blend) imparting graphite and light cedar aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins that frame layered limestone-infused black fruit, quite vibrant and conveying a sense of energy towards the finish. This has the most persistency of Gérard Perse's wines, and whilst I do not hold it up as the greatest Pavie in recent years, it is clearly top of the tree among his portfolio this year. Superb. 14.14% alcohol

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2060

The 2021 Château Pavie was one of the few wines in the vintage that got a big "wow" in my notes. Based on 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, it's a full-bodied, dense, powerful, beautiful 2021 with classic Pavie darker, richer fruits, notes of spicy oak, chocolate, and violets, ripe velvety tannins, and a great finish. It's not at the 2019 or 2020 level, but don't hold that against it. This is pure brilliance in 2021 and one of the wines of the vintage.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon. 32.98 hl/ha. Cask sample. Deep purple hue. Poised and fresh with dark-fruit and floral notes. Fresh and minerally on attack but sweet and ripe in the middle, the tannins finely honed. Chalky and long on the finish. Powerful, structured, the terroir evident but everything in balance. Good potential. (JL) 14.1%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2050

[Add to shopping basket] Pavie Macquin St Emilion £347 6x75cl 92-94 94-95 93-95 - 92-94 93-95
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The 2021 Pavie Macquin is a rich, heady wine, as it typically is. Dark red fruit, leather, smoke, licorice, mocha and espresso build nicely in the glass. The tannins are a bit firmer than they usually are, but there's plenty of creaminess and texture lurking beneath. The 2021 needs time to fully come together. In some tastings it was a bit austere, while in other moments, the trademark Pavie-Macquin sensuality was more in evidence. Tasted three times.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Lots of blackberry and inky character to this year. Always refined and polished with lovely length and medium body. 79% merlot, 19% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Another success in this challenging year is the 2021 Pavie Macquin, a promising effort that offers up aromas of sweet berries, Indian spices, licorice and bay leaf. Medium to full-bodied, layered and incisive, it's a tensile, tightly wound wine that's concentrated and penetrating, concluding with a mineral finish. Its low pH profile means that this is always an estate that gains a lot from élevage, but even at this early stage, it's clear that this has excellent potential.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Pavie Macquin was picked from 4 to 19 October at 37hL/ha, the Grand Vin representing around 80% of the crop. Matured in 50% new oak, it clearly has the most fruit concentration amongst Nicolas Thienpont's portfolio with black cherries, blueberry and bilberry fruit, just a faint touch of orange rind in the background. The palate is fresh and well-structured on the entry, insistent grip and a pleasant seam of sapidity running through this Saint-Émilion. More "vertical" than usual, this is nicely focused with a delineated, quite mineral-driven finish that showcases its asteriated limestone terroir. Excellent.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2055

Tasted on multiple occasions, the 2021 Château Pavie Macquin is a more forward, textured, charming wine from this estate that still has plenty of classic Pavie Macquin class, freshness, and minerality, which is the hallmark of this terroir. Coming from a cooler site just above Château Pavie, the 2021 is a blend of 79% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, from a selection of 80% of the production. Harvest here started on the 4th of October for the Merlot and finished on the 19th of October for the Cabernet, and the wine spent 30-35 days on skins in a mix of open top wood and concrete tanks and is currently resting in 50% new French oak barrels. Its deep purple hue is followed by terrific aromatics of blue fruits, violets, and chalky minerality, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, rounded tannins, good mid-palate depth, and a great finish. This cuvée always needs bottle age, but I suspect this will be one of the more approachable vintages for this wine.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

79% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample. Deep purple-crimson. Aromatically rich with red-berry and vanilla notes. Fleshy fruit on the palate. Powerful tannic frame, certainly within the context of the vintage. Well knit. Definite terroir note. Drives on the finish. Potential. (JL)

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux (2nd wine of Ch Margaux) Margaux £828 6x75cl Low Stock 90-92 94-95 91-93 - 91-93 92-94
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The 2021 Pavillon Rouge is soft, sensual and open-knit, all qualities that make it an absolute delight to taste today. A burst of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, leather and sweet spice gives the 2021 its upfront appeal. There's lovely energy and brightness underpinning it all. Soaring aromatic top notes add allure, making it impossible to resist a second taste.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

A nicely rounded young red with fine tannins that are polished and poised. Medium body with a solid center-palate and a creamy finish. Shows wonderful ripeness and beauty. 73% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Aromas of plums, raspberries and sweet spices introduce the 2021 Pavillon Rouge, a medium to full-bodied, velvety and vibrant wine that's impressively rich and mouthfilling, revealing a deep core of fruit framed by powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, saline finish. The blend is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, and Philippe Bascaules observes that parcels planted 20 years ago and destined for the grand vin when they're a bit older are increasingly making the cut for Pavillon Rouge.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Pavillon Rouge continues the trend of more Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in the final blend as the vines planted 20 years ago reach maturity. Aged in 50% and 60% new oak, it has a very well-defined bouquet with perfumed black fruit, crushed violet and a touch of blood orange. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, rounded and fleshy to the point that you could almost run down the famous driveway and drink a bottle. Quite persistent on the finish. Very fine.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The second wine of the estate, the 2021 Pavillon Rouge is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon yet includes 18% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. With a pH of 3.68 and an IPT of 74, it's a serious, age-worthy second wine offering medium-bodied aromas and flavors of cassis, graphite, and smoked tobacco. It's beautifully balanced, with good mid-palate depth, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It's in the running for the top second wine in the vintage.

Score: 92 - 94 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Floral notes with an attractive purity to the fruit. Firmly structured with the tannins well integrated in the fruit. Freshness and length on the finish. Demure but should age.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to waiting list] Petit Mouton (2nd wine of Mouton Rothschild) Pauillac £1,020 6x75cl Sold Out 90-92 93-94 89-91 92 91-93 91-93
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The 2021 Le Petit-Mouton is a powerful wine, but not quite the charmer it can be. There's good fruit density, but the tannins are a bit severe. I imagine at least some of that is attributable to the relatively high percentage of Cabernet in the blend. Overall, the 2021 comes across as a bit severe, though.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2036

A well-framed Petit Mouton with a tight core of black fruit and bitter-chocolate and graphite notes. Firm, fine-tannin structure. Mineral and classic with a classy finish. Punchy. 77% cabernet sauvignon, 19.5% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 0.5% petit verdot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Since Mouton-Rothschild itself this year derives exclusively from the two plateaus that always make up the core of the blend, the 2021 Le Petit Mouton benefits from the inclusion of parcels that often make it into the grand vin. Exhibiting aromas of crème de cassis, mint, cigar wrapper, violets and espresso roast, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and fleshy, with a rich core of fruit, powdery tannins, succulent acids and a persistent finish. Characterful and beautifully made, I wonder if I'm being a little severe with my score?

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Beautifully rich and ripe, with sweet black cherry and raspberry fruits, and soft tannins that are earthy and supple. This is an excellent Petit Mouton that delivers consistency in an inconsistent year, managing to exert a gentle pressure of grilled oak without pushing too hard - one of the best 2nd wines of the year. 50% new oak. 40% Petit Mouton, harvest September 25 until October 6. The first vintage where it was Jean-Emmauel Danjoy from beginning to end, after Philippe Dhalluin retirmement. No frost impacting the yield here, and no significant impact from mildew.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

Representing 40% of the total volume, a little more than usual, the 2021 Le Petit-Mouton, is aged in 50% new oak. A very Cabernet nose with conspicuous graphite scents infusing the black fruit, a little Earl Grey in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy opening, not amazingly complex but well balanced with fine tannins and just a pinch of black pepper on the finish. Classic in style, it should give 15-20 years of drinking pleasure.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

The second wine of this great estate, the 2021 Le Petit Mouton De Mouton Rothschild checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19.5% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new barrels. It has plenty of class and charm, with pure Cabernet notes of cassis, graphite, tobacco, and damp earth. These carry to a medium-bodied, balanced, elegant, seamless wine with fine tannins, integrated oak, and a great finish.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark-fruit and chocolate notes. Medium-bodied with supple fruit and plush tannins on entry. Reasonably generous palate, the acidity cutting through on the finish giving bite and freshness. Low key but looking to give pleasure.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Petite Eglise (2nd label of Eglise Clinet) Pomerol £205 6x75cl 90-92 93-94 89-91 91 90-92 91-93
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The 2021 La Petite Eglise is bright and nicely focused, with lovely energy to match its mid-weight personality. Sweet dark cherry, plum, cinnamon, leather, menthol, licorice and pipe tobacco come together in the glass. The 2021 is an easygoing Petite Eglise that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The Petite Eglise is all Merlot this year, now that a parcel of Franc that once was used for the blend has acquired the requisite age to be promoted into use for the Grand Vin.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2041

A dark-fruited Pomerol with pretty notes of cloves, sandalwood, dried lavender and tar. Medium-to full-bodied with ripe, powdery tannins. Coffee notes at the end. Excellent intensity and structure for the vintage. 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 La Petite Eglise opens in the glass with aromas of dark berries, licorice, loamy soil and black truffle. It's medium to full-bodied, concentrated and tensile, with terrific depth at the core and a long, saline finish.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

A touch of gun smoke reduction on the opening beats, showcasing cloves, spice, raspberry, beautifully precise and well constructed fruits. Not luscious in the usual Pomerol way but with estate signature and subtly moreish. Harvest September 28 to 29, with 60% new oak (a little more than usual but will be used for less time). No chaptalisation. One less plot of Cabernet Franc this year, as it was used in L'Eglise Clinet. Noémie Durantou-Reilhac winemaker.

Score: 91 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

The 2021 La Petite Eglise was picked September 28–29 and raised in 60% new oak. It has a pretty, floral bouquet that is, as usual, a little more expressive than the Grand Vin at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, taut at first though offering finely tuned, tart red fruit on the finish. Just give it a couple of years in bottle. (14.0% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

The 2021 La Petite L'Eglise Clinet comes from designated parcels that never seemed to blend well with the rest of the parcels, as well as some of the younger vine Merlot. It's 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, brought up in 60% new French oak. A beautiful wine in its own right, it has plenty of plum and cassis fruits, notes of violets, earth, and graphite, medium-bodied richness, silky tannins, and just a forward, charming, delicious profile.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Petrus Pomerol ---- 6x75cl 95-97 98-99 93-96 94 93-95 -
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The 2021 Petrus is terrific. Elegant, refined and aromatically present, the 2021 is a Petrus built on linear energy and persistence more than volume. Crushed red berry fruit, blood orange, cinnamon and sweet floral accents are all finely knit together, framed by discreet oak (50% new) and vibrant saline underpinnings that lend energy. Medium in body, the 2021 is wonderfully finessed from start to finish. It will be interesting to see if it gains a bit more depth with élevage. Technical Director Olivier Berrouet was especially selective. About 60% of the vineyard was used. Yields were 33 hectoliters per hectare as opposed to the more typical 36/37. Musts were lightly chaptalized. "It was a year without sun. Debourrement (budbreak) was the same time as 2020, but harvest was three weeks later," he explained.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Beautiful length and depth here for the vintage, with blackberry, raspberry and blueberry character. Cloves and sandalwood, too. Full and layered. Ripe and ample, yet balanced and fresh. Crunchy and very bright.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

One of the most structured, introverted wines of the appellation, the 2021 Pétrus unwinds in the glass with aromas of sweet cherries, licorice and black truffle, framed by an extremely discreet patina from its élevage in barrel. Full-bodied, ample and concentrated, it's lively and intensely flavored, built around bright acids and powdery tannins that assert themselves on the long, sapid finish. This is a terrific effort in a challenging vintage from Olivier Berrouet and his team, but it will require patience.

Score: 93 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

To say Petrus is a benchmark wine in Bordeaux is to state the obvious, but it’s fair to say that when this wine doesn't blow you away En Primeur, you know you are up against a challenging year. It's not to say this isn't impressive - there is density, as ever, and concentration, helped by the sticky clays that always encourage water stress even in difficult years, but the black fruits don't have the flesh that has been so abundant over recent vintages. As it opens, violet and peony aromatics begin to uncurl, along with earthier black truffle notes and waves of ferns, rosebuds, and liquorice bud. This has character and juice, showcasing many of the best things about the vintage, but not rising above it. Around 20% lower crop than usual, with a final yield of 33hl/h, harvest September 30 to October 5, 33hl/h yield.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Pétrus was picked from September 30 until October 9 and aged in the usual 50% new oak. It has a completely different aromatic profile compared to the previous vintages, a return to the Petrus that I know at this stage. It made me think of the 2008, possibly the 2014: cool and linear, refined, very complex, offering lightly spiced red fruit with a small pinch of Chinese five-spice. The fresh, focused palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit, good depth and fine tannins, and as usual, it opens exquisitely with aeration, becoming linear and very saline. Long and sustained toward the finish. This Pétrus represents one of the few 2021s that will rank alongside the 2019 or 2020.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2055

[Add to shopping basket] Phelan Segur St Estephe £186 6x75cl 92-94 93-94 92-93 90 92-94 91-93
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The 2021 Phélan Ségur is bright, punchy and full of character, with all the youthful vigor and fruitiness of a barrel sample. I very much like the energy here. There's less density than in the preceding years, but that is not a bad thing at all. Cedar, tobacco, sage and bright red berry fruit open nicely, all woven together by the aromatic intensity that is such a signature of the year. This is the second vintage that incorporates a touch of Petit Verdot, while the Cabernet is the highest it has ever been here. Readers will find a classy Phélan marked by a sense of strict classicism that is hugely attractive. Tasted four times.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

Plenty of cabernet character with currant and blackberry and some fresh-herb undertones. Medium body. Fine, firm tannins. Refined and together. Oyster shell and hints of spices such as cloves and white pepper. Tapenade. Typical for the appellation. 75% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot and 21% merlot.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Unfurling in the glass with aromas of dark berries, plums and cherries mingled with notions of rose petals, pipe tobacco, sweet spices and loamy soil, the 2021 Phélan Ségur is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with impressive depth at the core, ripe tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, saline finish. Concentrated and well-constructed, this is a serious wine with a bright future ahead of it. It's a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Tasted five times, twice at the estate.

Score: 92 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Attractive, carefully-extracted damson and black cherry fruit with austere tannins. This is a little drying on the finish, and is clearly impacted by the issues of the vintage, after a series of truly brilliant years at Phélan Ségur. Harvest September 29 to October 13. IPT 85. 55% new oak.

Score: 90 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Phélan Ségur has an attractive bouquet of blackberry, raspberry and dried rose petal scents, quite fragrant and appealing even at this early stage. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red fruit, fine tannins, well-judged acidity and quite a tensile finish. This is very promising, though it will need four to five years in bottle. It might represent one of the best values for money… depending on the release price, of course.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2050

Tasted on numerous occasions, the 2021 Château Phélan Ségur (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) makes the most of this challenging vintage and offers terrific purity in its cassis fruit as well toasted spice and violet notes. It has some background oak, medium-bodied richness, good mid-palate density, and outstanding length.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep purple. Deep flavours on the nose – intense! Drier, perhaps more ‘serious’ than de Pez. Fully ripe flavours but still quite youthful with marked tannins on the end. Real drive here as well as length. And a dry, almost drying, finish. Not flattering but true to the appellation.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2029-2045

[Add to shopping basket] Pichon Baron Pauillac £660 6x75cl 93-95 96-97 94-96 94 95-97 93-95
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The 2021 Pichon-Baron is a dense, packed wine, its mid-weight structure notwithstanding. There is a lot of wine here, but readers have to be patient. Red-toned fruit, blood orange, mint, rose petal and cinnamon add layers of nuance, but more than anything else, the 2021 stands out for its persistence.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Blackcurrant, blueberry, violet and blackberry notes, as well as plenty of spices. Medium to full body with plenty of richness and blackcurrant and ink character. Tar and graphite, too. Precise and structured. Very Pichon Baron in nature here. 88% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A brilliant achievement, the 2021 Pichon-Longueville Baron opens in the glass with aromas of dark berries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, pencil shavings and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's concentrated and penetrating, with terrific concentration and a beautifully refined, classy profile. A blend of fully 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, it represents the wine this great estate could have produced in 1996. One of the real successes of the vintage, readers who overlook this wine will live to regret it.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Gorgeous depth through the palate, plenty of character, enjoyable, clear power to the well structured tannins. There is less density than the past three vintages of Pichon Baron, but they focused instead savoury Cabernet-dominant fruits and added complexity by drawing out the fennel, rosemary and pencil lead character that keeps us firmly in Pauillac. Highest level of Cabernet Sauvignon ever (just more than 2018), with 70% new oak for ageing. Harvest through to October 8.

Score: 94 Jane Anson, Decanter.com

The 2021 Pichon-Longueville Baron (which, incidentally, has been the legal name since 2021!) is matured in 70% new oak. It opens up nicely in the glass, revealing a straight-down-the-line, floral bouquet of violets intermingled with graphite notes. There is a delicacy about the aromatics that distinguishes it from recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very pure and "athletic.” No extra fat here; instead, perhaps, slender like the Mouton-Rothschild, which is not a bad thing. Nimble might be a better word. Very fine.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2055

As to the Grand Vin, the 2021 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that's a selection of 50% of the total production and is resting in 70% new barrels. This straight, pure, incredibly focused and impressive 2021 has deep blue fruits as well as notes of cassis, graphite, chalky minerality, and hints of tobacco. It's elegant and balanced, with ripe tannins as well as good acidity and density.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Distinctive Cabernet nose (highest percentage ever in the blend) with graphite and cassis notes. Very pure and precise. Dense, tight and assertive on the palate, the tannins abundant but just a little wayward. Needs time to settle. Very long finish. Enough substance for ageing.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2046

[Add to shopping basket] Pichon Comtesse Reserve (2nd Wine Pichon Lalande) Pauillac £198 6x75cl 88-90 91-92 89-91 87 92-94 90-92
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The 2021 Réserve de la Comtesse is a seriously great wine in its peer group. Or any peer group. Rich and layered, with no hard edges and compelling balance, the 2021 opens beautifully in the glass. Savory accents run through a core of black cherry and plum fruit, with hints of gravel, spice and leather that develop later. This year's blend includes 14% reserve wine, but that is not especially evident. I don't think I have ever tasted a more refined Réserve de la Comtesse. Superb.

Score: 92 - 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

Very beautiful wine with blackcurrants, blueberries, ink and iodine. Medium body, fresh center-palate and a firm, fresh finish.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Resèrve de la Comtesse offers up aromas of sweet berry fruit, blackcurrants, petals and classy new oak, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively concentrated palate that's framed by lively acids and beautifully refined tannins. It's a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 11% Petit Verdot, and Nicolas Glumineau tells me that some wine was sold off in bulk this year to guarantee the quality of the Resèreve. It's certainly among the best second wines of the vintage.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Savoury blue fruit, nice balance, concentrated through the mid palate, soft tannins that have been carefully handled to emphase the fruit. 14% press wine. 15hl/h yield (after the Merlot in particular was impacted by mildew and unevent fruit set). First year of organic conversion. 40% of overall production in this, 50% new oak for ageing.

Score: 87 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Réserve de la Comtesse has a pretty bouquet, not intense but well-defined, featuring blackberry, cedar and light graphite aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and quite saline in the mouth, with grippy tannins, good body and just a slight austerity on the finish. Not bad at all, though there is a considerable gap between this and the Grand Vin this year. Give it three to four years in bottle.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2038

The 2021 Pichon Comtesse Reserve should be outstanding, and for a second wine certainly offers terrific quality. A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot that will spend 12 months in 40% new French oak, it has solid dark fruits (currants, darker cherries), notes of ripe tobacco and subtle cedar, medium body, a balanced, elegant mouthfeel, and outstanding length.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

[Add to waiting list] Pichon Lalande Pauillac £804 6x75cl Sold Out 93-95 94-95 94-95 95 96-98 94-96
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Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Let's start with the good. The 2021 Pichon Comtesse is epic and certainly among the great wines of this vintage. Sadly, the coulure and mildew in the first year of organic farming plus dehydration at the end of the growing season took with it fully two thirds of the crop. In other words, there's not much wine to go around. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, yet clocking in at 12.9% alcohol, the 2021 is beautifully layered and totally sensual from the very first taste. Hints of red fruit, flowers, mint, white pepper and dried savory herbs develop with a bit of coaxing. The Cabernet Sauvignon, at 88%, is very high by historical standards. Quite simply, the 2021 is a tour de force from Technical Director Nicolas Glumineau and his team. If there is one wine readers will absolutely jump on en primeur it is Pichon Comtesse. Should the bottled wine turn out as well as this sample, pricing is likely to jump materially because of the tiny production. Don't miss it.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

This is really spicy with peppercorns, cloves and Chinese spices, especially on the finish. Blackcurrants, too. Medium-bodied, firm and polished with a long, intense finish. 88% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc and 2% merlot.

Score: 94 - 95 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

This estate is one of the most dynamic in contemporary Bordeaux, so it's no surprise that the 2021 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a terrific wine—though it’s a very atypical blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot, cropped at a derisory 15 hectoliters per hectare, hints at what a challenging year this was in the vineyards. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of wild berries, blackcurrants, iris, licorice, black truffles, cigar wrapper and sweet soil tones, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and a supple but serious profile. It will see 60% new oak and, in all likelihood, a classical élevage of fully 18 months.

Score: 94 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

JConcentrated, with mint leaf, black chocolate, cassis and blueberry, spice, and clear tannic hold. This is the highest level of Cabernet Sauvignon in Comtesse since 2013 when it was 100% Cabernet (and 13hl/h yield) and you feel it in the character of the fruit, and the tension through the core. A more serious Comtesse than we have got used to in recent years, without sacrificing the signature finesse and elegance. IPT 76. Tasted twice. Harvest September 22 through to October 6. First year of organic conversion, 60% of production in 1st wine, 15hl/h yield, 3.76ph. 65% new oak for ageing.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande needs more coaxing from the glass than previous vintages. Blackberry, juniper and iris flower scents reluctantly unfold, though tasting a second glass, I found the nose more forthcoming. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. The Cabernet is in the driving seat, imparting black fruit, a touch of graphite and chimney soot. Edgy, with a structured and quite serious if slightly short finish. A cerebral proposition for serious Pauillac lovers.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

One of the gems in the vintage is the 2021 Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a Cabernet Sauvignon-heavy blend that includes 10% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Merlot, aging in 60% new barrel. Yields here were devastated due to mildew and poor flowering, and the final wine comes from a horrific 15 hectoliters per hectare. The final alcohol hit 13%, and it has a healthy pH of 3.69 and an IPT of 75. In addition, a fair bit of press wine was used this year. Regardless of the numbers and technical data, the wine is brilliant and offers a pure, seamless, medium to full-bodied style carrying notes of dark currants, liquid violets, graphite, and chalky minerality. Possessing ultra-fine tannins, beautiful mid-palate depth, and a great finish, it's going to benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and be a long-lived Pauillac. It's another incredible success from this team.

Score: 94 - 96 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Characteristic elegance but the Pauillac character still evident. Fragrant nose with dark-fruit and floral notes and just a hint of chocolate. Persistent fruit through the mid palate with finely edged tannins. Well structured with good energy and drive, the finish persistent. Balanced and harmonious.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Pontet Canet Pauillac £438 6x75cl 91-93 95-96 91-93 95 93-95 93-95
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The 2021 is the most classically Pauillac Pontet-Canet I have tasted in modern times. Medium in body, with striking aromatic presence, the 2021 screams with character. Grilled herbs, incense, leather, lavender and plum open with a bit of coaxing, all framed by beams of tannin and bright, salivating acids that give the wine shape and real sense of direction. There's a bit more Petit Verdot in this year's blend, and that comes through in the wine's intensely savory profile. Aging is 50% in new wood, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old barrels. The 2021 was impressive all three times I tasted it.

Score: 93 - 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2046

Plenty of blackberry and blueberry with wet earth and crushed stone. Some spice,tobacco and lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with layered tannins and brightness. Fine and chewy at the end.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Offering up wild, exotic aromas of blackberries, cloves and Indian spices mingled with notions of rose petal, bruised orchard fruit and cherry pit that evolve rapidly in the glass, the 2021 Pontet-Canet is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a layered mid-palate and refined tannins that assert themselves on the firm, saline finish. Always one of the Médoc's most singular, idiosyncratic wines, it will be interesting to see how it performs in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Bright berry red in colour, nuanced blackberry and loganberry with bitter black chocolate notes from the first attack. Lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud. This was the third vintage with mildew pessure, but the team are now experienced, and I can attest to seeing the vines during harvest and remarking on how healthy they looked, with no-till farming helping concentration. Plenty of tannins give structure and are shot through with sinew and juice, this is an impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet, with Pauillac typicity. Harvest 24 september until 12 October. 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year barrels, 15% press (aged in the amphora).

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Pontet Canet is quite perfumed on the finely delineated nose of blackberry, briar and pressed iris flower, a touch of inkwell coming through with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a pinch of white pepper on the entry and gentle grip. Not as enormously deep as other vintages, as you would expect, but it displays a fine bitter edge and a graphite-infused finish. This should drink earlier than other vintages yet has the substance to mature in bottle.

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2050

The 2021 Château Pontet-Canet is rock solid in the vintage and certainly shows the vibrant, vivid style of the estate today with its bright, exotic blue fruits, violets, and graphite-like aromatics. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, I love its mid-palate density, it has notable freshness and purity, some chalky tannins, and outstanding length. The 2021 checks in as 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, and the aging consists of 50% in new barrels, 35% in concrete amphora, and the rest in second-fill barrels.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Purple-crimson hue. Dark, dense and rich with a brush-stroke of vanilla oak. Broad across the palate on attack then prominent tannins on the finish. Certainly, chalky, dry and chewy. Elévage should help. Awkward at present but hopefully will pull together.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Potensac Medoc £99 6x75cl 87-89 92-93 89-90 - 90-92 88-90
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The 2021 Potensac is beguiling. Perhaps it is the high amount of Cabernet Franc (23%) in the blend this year. The 2021 exudes refinement from the very first taste. Rose petal, spice, crushed red berry fruit and sweet pipe tobacco all open effortlessly. Readers will find a Haut-Médoc endowed with compelling aromatic presence and exceptional balance. The purity of the flavors is striking.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

Real clarity of fruit with currants, blueberries and crushed stone. Some saltiness. Medium body and fine tannins. Perfumed and peppery, with peppercorn notes.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and an unusually high 23% Cabernet France, the 2021 Potensac offers up attractive aromas of cassis, loamy soil, wilted rose petals and pipe tobacco. Medium-bodied, supple and lively, with ripe, powdery tannins and a saline finish, it's a charming, perfumed rendition of this Médoc estate. Tasted three times.

Score: 89 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Potensac was picked September 29 through October 13 and contains the highest-ever percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%). Aged in 20% new oak, it has a light blackberry and raspberry nose with touches of tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied, though clearly lighter and airier than recent vintages, and displays slight attenuation on the finish. Two bottles tasted, the second at the château showing slightly better. (13.10% alcohol)

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2034

The 2021 Château Potensac might be outstanding and certainly has lots to love. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, it has solid cassis and almost raspberry-like fruit, notes of cedar, tobacco, and flowers, medium body, and silky, polished tannins. It's a classic Bordeaux to enjoy on release and over the following 10-12 years or so.

Score: 88 - 90 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep crimson. Fresh nose suggests some sort of vegetation but is not unripe. Rich and sweet palate entry with beguiling fruit that is superficially pleasing but there is not quite the structure needed for long ageing. Nothing at all wrong with this and it could be GV. Just a little inky and ungenerous on the finish.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Poujeaux Moulis £109 6x75cl 91-93 91-92 89-91 - 89-91 87-89
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The 2021 Poujeaux offers terrific energy to match its mid-weight, yet fleshy personality. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint and sage come together effortlessly. The 2021 is beautifully rendered. It's one of the under the radar gems of the year. Tasted three times.

Score: 89 - 91 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2041

A fresh and focused 2021 with fine tannins that are pretty in the center-palate. Medium body, firm tannins and a racy finish. Pretty wine.

Score: 91 - 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Poujeaux is a strong effort, opening in the glass with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with notions of pencil shavings, violets and loamy soil. Medium-bodied, elegant and seamless, it's a pretty middleweight, framed by lively acids and powdery, melting tannins.

Score: 89 - 91 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Poujeaux was impacted by the frost, so there is more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year. This was picked September 30 to October 14. It is well-defined on the nose, offering brambly red berry fruit, incense and light pine cone scents; the sense of airiness here is very appealing. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and saline, with firm but fine tannins and touch of sour cherry and graphite on the precise finish. This is a very commendable Poujeaux that I suspect will age well in bottle. (13.0% alcohol)

Score: 91 - 93 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2048

The 2021 Château Poujeaux comes a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot representing 70% of the production. It offers a solid array of ripe red and black fruits as well as tobacco leaf and cedar notes. These carry to a medium-bodied, round, charming, forward wine with lots of character. The Moulis region did reasonably well with regard to the frost in 2021, but they were still hit by it, so this cuvée represents 70% of the total production.

Score: 87 - 89 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Deep crimson. Fresh nose suggests some sort of vegetation but is not unripe. Rich and sweet palate entry with beguiling fruit that is superficially pleasing but there is not quite the structure needed for long ageing. Nothing at all wrong with this and it could be GV. Just a little inky and ungenerous on the finish.

Score: 15.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Prieure Lichine Margaux £150 6x75cl 89-91 92-93 90-92 - 90-92 89-91
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The 2021 Prieuré-Lichine is a sensual, classy wine. Bright floral accents run through a core of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint and spice. There's good energy, if not quite the mid-palate pliancy that is typical. There was some inconsistency in the barrel samples I saw, so I remain somewhat cautious.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024 - 2033

A fresh and vivid PL with currant and floral character and fine tannins. Medium body. Hints of lemon rind. Bright finish. Builds at the end. Juicy. Solid.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Prieuré-Lichine shows promise, exhibiting aromas of sweet berries, petals, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, with ripe tannins and a fleshy core of fruit, it's a fine-boned, nicely balanced wine that concludes with a persistent finish.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Prieuré-Lichine has an understated bouquet of slightly earthy red fruit, tobacco and sage. The taut, fresh palate is medium-bodied with a slightly angular entry and fine acidity. Not a powerful or complex Margaux, but it respects the limitations of the growing season, so there is freshness and brightness.

Score: 89 - 91 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2043

Lots of violets, blue fruits, and spicy oak notes define the 2021 Château Prieuré-Lichine, which shows more red fruits and sandalwood notes with time in the glass. Medium-bodied, elegant, and pretty, it's a classic Margaux in the making that will shine for its complexity and nuance more than outright power or richness.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Purplish crimson. Solid, substantial, young red bordeaux that doesn’t taste as though it came from an underripe vintage. Mouth-filling with quite enough fruit and decided freshness. Plus quite a bit of ripe tannin on the end. More concentrated than most Margaux. Very solid performance even if a little chunkier than archetypal Margaux.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2042

[Add to wish list] [Add to pre-order list] Quinault l'Enclos St Emilion ---- 6x75cl 88-90 92-93 88-90 - 91-93 91-93
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The 2021 Quinault L'Enclos is exquisite, but is the kind of wine that needs a bit of time to be understood. Incisive, soaring Cabernet aromatics are quite vivid. Hints of rose petal, mint and dried savory herbs lead into a core of dark red fruit. Beautifully persistent, the 2021 is wild, even a bit exotic perhaps, but certainly long on personality. Challenging conditions reduced the crop by nearly 50%.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2036

Pretty blue fruit with graphite and fine, juicy tannins. Medium-bodied with a fine, silky texture. 59% merlot, 23% cabernet franc and 18% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Quinault l'Enclos delivers aromas of cherries, strawberries and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping palate that's supple and charming, with lively acids and a demonstrative, fruit-driven style. Some 80% of the blend is matured in foudres rather than barriques. It's produced by Cheval Blanc's winemaking team.

Score: 88 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Quinault l'Enclos has a perfumed nose of cranberry jus, wild strawberry and blood orange, intense but maybe a missing a little complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins on the entry, and quite strict and slightly peppery, leading to an almost Left Bank finish. Fine.

Score: 88 - 90 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2040

From the team at Cheval Blanc, the 2021 Château Quinault L'Enclos is another impeccably made wine that has more red and blue fruits, some violet and peppery herb nuances, medium body, and the precise, focused, elegant style of the vintage front and center. It's finesse-driven, yet still brings texture and richness and will unquestionably be an outstanding wine.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

59% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Franc. Forward, fruity and fragrant. Light and round on the palate, the structure delicate but fine. Digeste and for drinking on the fruit. (JL) 13%

Score: 15.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Rauzan Segla Margaux £360 6x75cl 94-96 93-94 93-95 - 94-97 93-95
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The 2021 Rauzan-Ségla is absolutely gorgeous. It offers up scents of graphite, savory herbs, licorice, chocolate and plum, all beautifully lifted by strong Cabernet Sauvignon inflections. Naturally, the 2021 doesn't have the mid-palate richness and overall intensity of recent years. Readers will find a tightly wound Margaux that balances classic structure with modern-day precision. I can't wait to see how it ages. Tasted four times.

Score: 94 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

A firm and linear wine with crushed stone and some citrusy acidity, Medium body, creamy tannins and a fresh finish, Lively at the end. Currant, blackberry and fresh tobacco in the aftertaste. 75% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 93 - 94 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Representing around 44% of the estate's production (more or less as usual), the 2021 Rauzan-Ségla unwinds in the glass with aromas of minty cassis, blackberries, loamy soil, dark chocolate and warm spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and impressively concentrated, it's layered and seamless, with a sweet core of fruit, powdery tannins, lively acids and an impressively penetrating finish. The Rauzan team opted to ferment Merlot rather cooler than normal this year to moderate extraction. Tasted six times.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

According to Nicolas Audebert, the 2021 Rauzan Ségla has a reduced proportion of Merlot, as a consequence of which it was felt that the Petit Verdot crowded out the final blend and was thus demoted to the Deuxième Vin. Matured in 60% new oak for an intended 18 months, it has a surprisingly opulent bouquet with conspicuous Merlot that has the hubris to vie for attention with the Cabernet. Very pure and well-defined, this gains intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with very finely chiseled tannins, displaying disarming purity and poise. Minerally on the finish, with just the faintest hint of dark chocolate on the aftertaste. Precision, precision, precision. (13.0% alcohol)

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2060

One of the undeniable successes is the 2021 Château Rauzan-Ségla, which emerges from yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare and is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. It has remarkable depth and density as well as classic aromas of cassis, tobacco, spicy oak, and subtle floral notes. These all carry to a medium-bodied, concentrated 2021 with polished tannins and a great finish. It's one classy, seamless, elegant Margaux that will drink well right out of the gate yet keep for 20 years.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Pretty solid crimson. Much more complex nose than the Rauzan-Gassies. Sweet start and very polished tannins. A saline note adds interest. No sign of oak. The finish is impressively long and interesting without any dryness nor any excess of acidity. Very well judged and very Margaux though the opposite of concentrated or flashy. Complete and already relatively accessible.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2026-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Reynon Blanc £75 12x75cl 90-92 - - - 88-90 -
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The 2021 Reynon Blanc is gorgeous. It offers lovely Sauvignon aromas and flavors with an added exotic touch that is hugely appealing. All the elements meld together effortlessly.

Score: 88 - 90 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2022-2027

The 2021 Reynon Blanc has a perfumed gooseberry and nettle bouquet, well-defined with fine vigor. The palate is fresh and citrus-driven, delivering good concentration and a malic finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. This will be difficult to resist once bottled and should provide great value for money.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2030

High-toned lemon on the palate, this has a vein of freshness - quite linear and direct. The tension is apparent and the focus is all on the line of lemon, lime and green apple with good acidity driving from start to finish. Not so expansive at this point but feels well worked with such a bright fruitiness. Easy to enjoy and so persistent.

Score: 90 Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2022-2030

[Add to shopping basket] Saint Pierre St Julien £230 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 91-93 93 91-93 91-93
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The 2021 Saint-Pierre is very nicely done. It shows all of its typical signatures - dark fruit, brooding intensity and muscle - but with the intensity dialed down a bit, which I must say, is not a bad thing at all. Plum, lavender, crushed rocks, menthol and licorice are nicely pushed forward. With a bit less tannic clout than most vintages, I suspect the 2021 will also drink well with minimal cellaring. Tasted two times.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2046

Blackcurrant and blackberry aromas and flavors with graphite and licorice. Medium body, fine tannins and a savory finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Saint-Pierre is very pretty, offering up aromas of plums, wild berries, sweet spice box, cigar wrapper and nicely integrated new oak. Medium to full-bodied, ample and layered, it's a charming, fleshy wine with lively acids and fine length on the finish. It's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and fully 7% Petit Verdot—the latter having, in fact, been co-planted among Cabernet in some of the estate's older vine holdings, but only formally identified as such now.

Score: 91 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Enjoyable damson and red cherry fruit, sandalwood smoke adds depth though the mid palate, with stretched out tannins studded through with white pepper and turmeric. This is bight and well handled, good strcutre, firm tannins, austere but finessed. 34hl/h yield, first year organic conversion, Jean-Michel Comme consultant.

Score: 93 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien) is tighter and more controlled on the nose compared to the Gloria, which was picked one day later. It feels nicely focused, with a little more mineral tension. The palate is medium-bodied and a bit coarser than the Gloria. Quite dense, with fine grip, driven along by the Cabernet Sauvignon, and fine tannins. Over three samples, it just narrows a little toward the finish, which is missing a bit of heft. Nevertheless, a commendable and classic Saint-Pierre.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2027-2048

I loved the 2021 Château Saint-Pierre, a medium-bodied, fresh, focused, yet still concentrated and textured Saint-Julien. Based on a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot representing a selection of 70% of the total production, it offers plenty of red and black fruits, notes of tobacco and crushed stone, terrific purity of fruit, and just a beautiful sense of elegance and finesse. The balance is spot on, and it's going to offer pleasure right out of the gate yet should also evolve gracefully.

Score: 91 - 93 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Cassis notes to the fore. Palate firm and structured, the tannins present offering plenty of drive and persistence. Less St-Julien fruit present but solid, upright, the tannic structure firmly in place. Some potential for ageing.

Score: 16.5 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Saintayme St Emilion £135 12x75cl 87-89 90-91 88-90 - 90-92 90-92
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The 2021 Saintayme is bright, tense and understated. There's naturally a bit less volume here than in most years, but in exchange the 2021 offers tons of energy and plenty of verve. Pretty floral accents lend vibrancy throughout. Dark red cherry fruit, sweet spice and flowers all grace this classy, reserved Saint-Émilion from the Durantou family.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025 - 2038

This pure merlot is bright and fruity with crushed berry and orange peel. Medium body and fresh acidity. Very citrusy.

Score: 90 - 91 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The Durantou family's 2021 Saintayme derives from soils rich in large stones in Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse. Offering up aromas of sweet blackberries, licorice and spices, it's medium-bodied, lively and charming, with a fleshy core of fruit and fine, powdery tannins.

Score: 88 - 90 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Saintayme was picked from September 28 to October 11 and raised in 30% new oak. Kirsch and cranberry jus burst from the glass. The palate is not complex but well balanced, showing a touch of plushness toward the finish. Enjoy this after a couple of years in bottle.

Score: 87 - 89 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2033

Coming from the talented team of Château L'Eglise Clinet, the 2021 Saintayme is all Merlot from more gravelly clay soils. It's medium-bodied, has beautiful red and blue fruits, some floral and chalky nuances, fine tannins, and a great finish. It should be outstanding.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

100% Merlot. Round, aromatic and gourmand. Chalky freshness and tannins. Lighter weight but pleasure in the fruit and freshness. (JL) 13.5%

Score: 16 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2025-2032

[Add to shopping basket] Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Dry Whites £631 6x75cl On allocation 94-96 98-99 94-96 - 96-98 95-97
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The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc is one of the great white wines of the vintage. Soaring in its aromatic intensity and sheer volume, the 2021 saturates every corner of the palate with its unctuousness and richness. Even with all of that volume, the 2021 remains bright and sculpted. Crushed rocks, lemon confit, orchard fruit, white pepper and mint build into the memorable finish. The 2021 is positively stunning, that's pretty much all there is to it.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2024-2036

This has so much depth and power, with complex notes of flint, oyster shell, white pepper, dried mango, lemon, papaya, apricot stone and chalk. Medium-to full-bodied. Bright, yet creamy. It’s so long and concentrated. Wait and see. 90% sauvignon blanc, 5% semillon, 5% sauvignon gris. From organically grown grapes.

Score: 98 - 99 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

At this early stage, the 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc appears set to number among the best white wines this estate has produced to date. Wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, nectarine, grapefruit, pastry cream and smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, with a concentrated core of fruit, racy acids and a taut, chiseled profile, concluding with a saline finish. Balancing texture and tension to compelling effect, this beautifully integrated, characterful white is going to be thrilling to revisit in bottle.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc was picked September 2–20 and raised in 50% new oak. It needs some time to really cohere in the glass and certainly is not as immediate as the Le Petit Smith Haut Lafitte. Eventually, it reveals fresh lime, pineapple, honeysuckle and touches of curry leaf. The taut, fresh palate is well balanced and intense, with a fine bead of acidity. Complex with plenty of salinity, this is a cerebral Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc that will benefit from three or four years in the cellar.

Score: 94 - 96 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

The Grand Vin 2021 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc checks in as the usual blend of 90% Sauvignon and 5% each of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. It has a kiss of green in its gold hue as well as brilliant aromatics of melon, stone fruits, minty herbs, chalky mineral, and flowers. Complex, nuanced, and medium to full-bodied, with both richness and elegance, it's a brilliant white in the making.

Score: 95 - 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Reductive and a little green on the nose – less opulent than more-mature vintages on the nose but then it’s very broad and mouth-filling with some lanolin notes. Quite complex, combining many different elements. Still unformed.

Score: 17 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2024-2036

[Add to shopping basket] Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge Graves £545 6x75cl 92-94 96-97 93-95 - 95-97 93-95
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The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte is fabulous. Rich and explosive in the glass, the 2021 possesses tremendous intensity, much of that the result of low yields of just 20-22 hectoliters per hectare, about half of what is typical here. The tannins are a bit firm today, but there appears to be more than enough fruit behind all of that structure. Vivid aromatics further suggest all the 2021 needs is time. I can't wait to see how it ages.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

Lots of clove, black-licorice and cigar-box character. Already perfumed. Medium body with fine, chalky and precise tannins. Lead-pencil shavings. Well framed and structured with a fresh, lengthy and spicy finish. Extremely long and intense. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot. From organically grown grapes.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A brilliant wine, the 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte offers up aromas of blackberries, violets, coniferous forest floor and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless, it's deep and impressively multidimensional, with good concentration, beautifully refined tannins and notable purity of fruit, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. The fruit of a severe selection, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot is testament to the Cathiard family's unwavering commitment to quality.

Score: 93 - 95 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Smith Haut Lafitte was picked from September 22 to October 14, and matured in 60% new oak. It has an open, expressive bouquet of blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco and subtle crushed rock aromas, well-defined though obviously not as flamboyant as the previous three vintages. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh and mineral-driven, with fine tannins, a touch of chalkiness, and hints of seaweed on the estuarine finish, even though it lies a few kilometers from the Gironde! Classic in style, and maybe a little austere for some on the finish, yet it feels long in the mouth. Fabien Teitgen and his team have overseen a superb Smith Haut-Lafitte, even though I suspect that it will not reach the heights of the 2010 or the 2016.

Score: 92 - 94 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

The flagship 2021 Château Smith Haut Lafitte checks in as 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and a splash of Petit Verdot. It's a rich, powerful wine, delivering lots of ripe black fruits (currants, some cassis), notes of scorched earth and graphite, medium to full body, ripe tannins, and a great mid-palate. It shows the straight, focused style of the vintage yet brings plenty of mid-palate depth, ripe, building tannins, and outstanding length.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark crimson. Some ripe red fruit on the nose. Polished tannins and there is energy here. This sample seems to have a more convincing core than yesterday’s sample tasted at the château. Good level of interest and detail here. Even if the level of acidity is higher than usual and the tannins obviously took some taming. Sweeter than some.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Talbot St Julien £236 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 91-92 92 91-93 90-92
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The 2021 Talbot is impeccable. Soft and inviting, the 2021 is absolutely charming. Red-fleshed fruit, blood orange, mint and spice are front and center. Although pretty easygoing in style, the 2021 is beautifully balanced and is not penalized by some of the rougher edges that have been an issue in the past. If the 2021 is an indication of where the estate is heading, that direction appears to be quite positive.

Score: 91 - 93 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2041

A fruity and attractive 2021 with currant and berry aromas and flavors. Hints of citrus. Medium body. Fresh finish.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Talbot is promising, exhibiting aromas of wild berries, cherries, cigar wrapper and sweet spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety palate that's bright and seamless, with an enveloping, charming profile despite analytically rather high levels of polyphenols. This is a fine effort that reminds Jean-Michel Laporte of the 2001 vintage in style—though the 2021 will benefit from all the improvements that the last two decades have witnessed at this address. Tasted four times.

Score: 91 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This feels old school in the best way, a nod to the classic vintages of the past, with concentration and structure, powerful but savoury and sculpted cassis and blackberry fruits, curls of bitter black chocolate and spice. Great quality. 44hl/h yield, and a natural 12% alcohol, really leaning into the vintage, successfully so.

Score: 92 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Talbot, the Saint-Julien stalwart now under the aegis of Jean-Michel Laporte for several years, was picked from September 27 to October 11 at 44hL/ha and matured in 60% new oak, the alcohol registering 12.8%. It has a clean, focused and correct bouquet, hints of blood orange and graphite surfacing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple entry. This feels cohesive and smooth, delivering moderate depth and a touch of licorice toward the finish. I would have just liked a little more on the aftertaste. (12.8% alcohol)

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2025-2045

The 2021 Château Talbot is another solid Saint-Julien, an appellation that excelled in the vintage. Giving up lots of red and black fruits, leather, dried flowers, and some loamy earth notes, it's medium-bodied, has good mid-palate depth, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It should be an outstanding wine.

Score: 90 - 92 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Open and aromatic with blackcurrant and mineral notes. Palate unusually seductive at this stage, the fruit supple and tannins finely honed. Some grip and drive on the finish. Medium-bodied and compact, if not quite the depth of a top year.

Score: 16 James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2028-2038

[Add to shopping basket] Tertre (Margaux) Margaux £160 6x75cl 90-92 92-93 90-93 - 90-92 89-91
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The 2021 du Tertre is a big, powerful wine. A blast of dark cherry, plum, spice, chocolate tobacco, licorice and incense give the 2021 its flamboyant personality. The 2021 is a dense, powerful du Tertre. It will be interesting to see how the 2021 comes together. It is certainly promising.

Score: 90 - 92 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2029-2041

A juicy and soft textured, medium-bodied red with cherry, earth and orange-peel character. Creamy and delicious. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 20% cabernet franc, 10% merlot and 6% petit verdot.

Score: 92 - 93 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 du Tertre is a very pretty, elegant wine, bursting with aromas of wild berries, exotic spices, cigar box and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, it's velvety and enveloping, with bright acids, beautifully refined tannins and a mouthwatering finish. The blend this year is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, a mere 10% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot.

Score: 90 - 93 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

The 2021 Château du Tertre was picked from September 28 until October 12 and aged in 50% new oak. It is quite bold on the nose, offering expressive blackberry, mint and cedar scents, almost Pauillac-like in style. Affording it a few minutes in the glass, it seems to gather momentum. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, concentrated black fruit, a little graphite toward the finish courtesy of the Cabernet Sauvignon, and quite a spicy aftertaste. This is a commendable 2021 that should age with style.

Score: 90 - 92 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2026-2050

The 2021 Château du Tertre showed well, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it end up being an outstanding wine. With solid ripeness in its blue fruits, flowers, violets, and spicy aromas and flavors, it's medium-bodied, has a round, supple, plump mouthfeel, and a good finish.

Score: 89 - 91 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

Dark crimson. Intense, rather glamorous nose. Rich and silky-smooth. Quite seductive and none of the café-crème (oak?) notes that this wine used to have. Good combination of intensity and refreshment. Very long. Quite a success! Even if it comes to a rather sudden halt. Medium tannic grip on the end.

Score: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2040

[Add to shopping basket] Tour Saint Christophe St Emilion £138 6x75cl - - 90-92 - - -
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The 2021 Tour Saint Christophe has turned out very well, delivering aromas of cherries and sweet berries mingled with hints of loamy soil and sweet new oak. Medium to full-bodied, pure and lively, it's elegantly muscular, with powdery tannins and a penetrating finish.

Score: 90 - 92 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

[Add to shopping basket] Troplong Mondot St Emilion £426 6x75cl 93-95 95-96 93-96 - 95-97 -
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The 2021 Troplong Mondot is shockingly raw and untamed, but in the very best sense of those terms. A wine of energy and pure power, the 2021 is going to need a number of years to be at its best, but it is certainly very impressive in the early going. The 2021 clocks in at 13.5%, which has not been seen here since the 1990s. The 2021 is not an easy wine to taste at this stage, as it is not fully formed. I won't be surprised if the 2021 turns out even better than this note suggests. It is a dazzling wine by any measure, and a far cry from the wines of decade ago, when the malolactic fermentations were often not finished when en primeur samples were presented! Superb.

Score: 95 - 97 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2051

Lovely density here with a solid center-palate of fruit and fine tannins. Medium body. Underlying salinity and oyster-shell character in the finish. Well defined. Grows at the end.

Score: 95 - 96 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The 2021 Troplong Mondot shows considerable promise, exhibiting aromas of plums and wild berries mingled with notions of sweet spices, rose petals, vine smoke and raw cocoa, followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless palate endowed with impressive intensity and texture. Built around beautifully refined, powdery tannins and lively acids, it concludes with a long, mouthwateringly saline finish. Macerations here were long but gentle, including a long cold soak before fermentation, and the blend, after much deliberation, is 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Tasted four times.

Score: 93 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

Aymeric de Gironde, who without exaggeration has revolutionized this Saint-Émilion estate, told me that in 2021, the Troplong Mondot comes exclusively from the heart of the original vineyard, mainly on molasse soils. It was picked from September 17 to October 18, unusually finishing with the Merlot, and has 13.5% alcohol without any chaptalization or saignée. The focused blackberry, raspberry and iris petal scented nose is very delineated, yet more reserved than recent vintages. (A second sample at the château had a little more chutzpah.) The palate is medium-bodied with firm, slightly chalky tannins and a fine bead of acidity that imports liveliness and verticality. This Troplong-Mondot is imbued with a palpably mineral-driven finish. I am full of admiration for this cerebral wine, though I wager that it will need several years in bottle.

Score: 93 - 95 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2044

85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. 47 hl/ha. Cask sample. Deep colour. Floral notes with an attractive density of fruit. Finely structured, velvety tannins providing the framework. Minty freshness as well, the finish chalky. Balanced with all the components in place. (JL) 13.5%

Score: 17 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2042

[Add to shopping basket] Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol £1,368 6x75cl Low Stock 95-97 96-97 94-96 95 96-98 93-95
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The 2021 Vieux Château Certan is a spectacular tour de force from Alexander and Guillaume Thienpont. What a wine. Vibrant and magnificent in its precision, the 2021 races across the palate, revealing seemingly endless layers of nuance over time. Dark blue/purplish fruit, cinnamon, new leather, graphite, lavender and crushed rocks all build effortlessly. The Cabernets are dialed up in 2021 and that comes through in the wine's flavor profile and overall feel. The purity of the flavors is just mind-bending. Harvest took place between September 25 and October 4. The blend is 67% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Readers who can find the 2021 should not hesitate, as it is truly magical.

Score: 96 - 98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com Maturity: 2031-2061

Medium to full body with a supple, textured and firm tannin structure. Velvety and perfumed with fragrant notes of flowers, cloves, plums and raspberries. Broad and layered. Very supple and evolving. Opens on the palate. 77% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon.

Score: 96 - 97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

A blend of 77% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 Vieux Château Certan wafts from the glass with lovely aromas of violets, rose petals, sweet wild berries, exotic spices, orange rind and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, it's an elegant, fleshy wine with a bright core of fruit, ultra-refined tannins and a precise, saline finish. Despite its almost Burgundian finesse, this Pomerol's remarkably penetrating, perfumed finish gives the lie to any notion that it's in any way lacking in intensity of flavor. As is almost invariably the case, Vieux Château Certan is one of the finest wines of the appellation this year.

Score: 94 - 96 William Kelley, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com

This has a classic structure, wet stones, smoked earth, plenty of sappy redcurrant and cassis fruits, graphite and subdued power, will easily age for 15 to 20 years. The emphasis is on graceful structure rather than exuberant fruits, but it has clarity and complexity, and the most beautifully drawn out finish. Skilful winemaking. No chaptilisation, 65% new oak, 3.63ph. Harvest September 24 to October 6.

Score: 95 Jane Anson, Jane Anson Inside Bordeaux, JaneAnson.com

The 2021 Vieux Château Certan was picked from September 24 to October 6 at 38hL/ha and registers 13.2% alcohol. It is a VCC defined by its Cabernets; Guillaume Thienpont told me ]they used all they had. "I would have blended more if we had more vines," he quipped. The nose unfurls with air to reveal graphite-infused black fruit, touches of undergrowth and tobacco – quintessential VCC aromatics. The palate is beautifully balanced with exquisite definition, not powerful and certainly not opulent, yet built around finesse, precision and charm. It seems to grow in stature in the glass. Pure class.

Score: 95 - 97 Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2028-2058

The 2021 Vieux Château Certan is another pure, elegant Pomerol with plenty to love. Giving up a very pretty, precision, and medium-bodied style, it has lots of pure blue fruits, notes of spring flowers and graphite, finely polished tannins, and a great finish. It shows the cooler, fresher style of the vintage but has incredible purity and certainly brings good intensity. The tannins here are also terrific. The blend is 77% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which is still resting in 65% new French oak.

Score: 93 - 95 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com