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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW releases Bordeaux 2021 scores

  • Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW has released her Bordeaux 2021 report for The Wine Independent.
  • Liv-ex members listed Perrotti-Brown as one of the most influential En Primeur critics.
  • Perrotti-Brown awarded five wines her highest score of 95-97 points.  

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW has released her first Bordeaux 2021 report for her new venture, The Wine Independent, titled ‘The 10th Plague’.

She listed the challenges of the growing season as consisting of eight ‘plagues’, with the ninth being dilution when the grapes arrived at the winery, and the tenth – her scores.

In a recent survey among Liv-ex members, Perrotti-Brown was ranked as one of the most influential Bordeaux En Primeur critics.

Managing the quality

In summary, Perrotti-Brown said that in 2021, ‘quality is variable across the Bordeaux red wines’. ‘Dilution and under-ripeness were omnipresent regardless of variety or commune,’ she added.

She found that lower yields were a way to achieve better quality in 2021, ‘because, given the cooler, rainy conditions and overall lack of sunshine, there was only so much crop that the vines could ripen’.

In terms of adding other vintages to the final blend to improve the wines, Perrotti-Brown asked why winemakers would add ‘15% of a more valuable vintage to one that was and will always be a difficult sell?’

A stylistic departure

Perrotti-Brown described the 2021 reds as ‘quite a stylistic departure from recent vintages’. ‘At the pinnacles of quality, the 2021s are refreshing, elegant, savoury wines with lower alcohol and light to medium-bodied,’ she said.

But she also observed that ‘the extreme nature of the vintage conditions has undoubtedly put a distinct imprint on the style of the reds, in most cases blurring the terroir signatures, rendering many wines with a somewhat disappointing sameness’.

In terms of vintage comparisons, she was ‘reminded of the 2013’ – ‘a notoriously difficult vintage, but not all 2013s are disappointing’.

Top-scoring wines

Perrotti-Brown started her report with a note on scores. She stressed that ‘scores in isolation can be very misleading’ and that ‘there could be a lot of wines from the Bordeaux 2021 that you may enjoy but which did not score very highly’.

Her top-scoring wines can be seen in table below. Five received a barrel range of 95-97 points, among which was the First Growth Château Margaux. and Château Haut-Brion.

Like other critics who have praised Bordeaux white wines this vintage, thre whites made the list of her favourites – Château Haut-Brion BlancSmith Haut Lafitte Blanc and Domaine de Chevalier Blanc.

Our Bordeaux En Primeur 2021 page contains everything you need to know about this year’s campaign. You can also sign up for our daily En Primeur email alerts using the form below.   

Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 560+ merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £100m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.