Vintage 2021

Vintage 2021

Constant attention !

Annual climate benchmarks

Beginning of the budburst : 1er avril,

Flowering : du 13 au 23 Mai,

Harvest : du 18 au 29 septembre,

Harvesting : 14 octobre 2021.


Automn-winter 2020/2021 :

A historical frost by its reach and its intensity!

Winter 20-21 was marked by an alternating mildness with the months of December and February respectively 1°c to 2 °C above the average. The coldest period was from the 9th to the 16th of February. During this time, the lowest temperature dropped to -9°C. In spite of this episode, on average, the winter was temperate with a higher-than-average rainfall (exceedingly more than 100mm of rain). Despite the spring-like weather during the second half of February, the ground was not dry in the beginning of March and thus the return to working the soils took place under difficult conditions.

After notable cooler weather toward the middle of March, temperatures rose significantly and became summer-like during Easter week (29th of March to the 3rd of April).  

Thus, the vegetative cycle of the vines was suddenly stimulated. This was precisely when a brutal weather change occurred, on the night of the 5th of April. A large mass of polar air provoked devastating frost, particularly during the nights of the 5th to the 8th of April (-3° to -8°C). Even with diverse attempts to protect the vines, these frost episodes hit the entirety of the vineyards, as the buds, already burst, were very fragile. The future harvest was largely impacted, and yet it was impossible to evaluate the loss.

Spring - Summer 2021

The vines, shocked by this violent episode, took time to get back into their cycle, especially with the month of May being globally cooler and wetter than usual.

The secondary buds did not bring a great surprise: they only produced very little fruit. The vineyards differed greatly in terms of their evolution between the vineyards that suffered from the frost and those that were pardoned.  

Thankfully, the temperatures went back to their seasonal norms within the first days of June. They even "rocketed" from the 8th of June, happily culminating above average.  

An ideal and rapid flowering.

The flowering took place (very) rapidly; accompanied by warm and dry weather, the conditions for pollination and forming the future fruits were remarkable.

The dates of the mid-flowering phase (50% open flowers) were close to those observed in 2019: between the 13th of June for the Chardonnay, and the 18th of June for the Pinot Noir in the Côte de Nuits.

The continual elevated temperatures provoked a very quick vegetation growth, allowing the 2021 vintage to make up part of the delay that occurred between April and May.

To Summarize - 2021

Up until the first cuts of the pruning shears, the 2021 viticultural year was very trying for the winegrowers. The brutal meteorological changes imposed their tempo: the winegrowers had to be reactive and attentive at every instant. They had to sacrifice to guarantee the quality!

Summer with a cool start

From the end of June to the beginning of August, the winegrowers experienced a turn in the meteorological conditions, with a rainy period. The vines grew very quickly, requiring considerable work (the lifting was particularly time consuming), the pruning, and the prevention of diseases that appeared.

Relief finally arrived in the middle of August, with a return to dry weather. The mid-ripe phase globally occurred around the 15th of August. The dry weather combined with a wind coming from the North allowed the grapes to progressively mature.

A selective entry to the winery.

The first cut of the pruning shears resonated on Monday the 20th of September, but it didn't last long due to the arrival of an incessant downpour...A second start was thus necessary on Tuesday the 21st of September!

It was necessary to deal with low harvesting volumes, some of which extremely low.

This phenomenon was accentuated by a meticulous sorting in the vineyards, then on the sorting table.

The musts were then cooled to extract all the subtilties, tannins, colors, and aromas in the most preserved conditions. The exchange between the matter and the juice progressively took place during this cool maceration.

The Pinot Noir began the harvests

This interlude is short lived.


The end of August marked the beginning of the autumnal episode that lasted until the harvest. It was necessary to daily monitor the parameters of aromatic and phenolic maturity.

Surprisingly, for once, the black varieties (Pinot Noir, Gamay, César) were the most advanced in maturity, especially the Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay was a little late, without a doubt due to the stress from the frost. It was harvested last.

The yields were very heterogenous.

As far as we were concerned, the plots located North of Gevrey-Chambertin - Lavaut and En Champs - were severely damaged by the frost then by a serious episode of hail on the 9th of June.

Words from Jacky Rigaux

« Complicated, but rich in lessons, such is the 2021 vintage. With climate change, the winegrower must be even closer to his vines throughout the year. It started off well in 2021, with summer-like temperatures at the end of March, resulting in a very early budding. From the 6th to the 8th of April, we went from 30°C to three consecutive nights of frost, with rain and even a little bit of snow! The protection candles were lit, limiting the destruction, but nevertheless a loss of almost a quarter was experienced compared to the averages in Gevrey-Chambertin, whereas it was more like one-third in the Côte de Beaune, and almost one-half in the Côte Chalonnaise. The lack of heat in July was redeemed by a good month of August. With a lot of presence in the vineyards, mildew and powdery mildew were well controlled. By maintaining a large leaf surface, the maturation occurred but we had to be patient for the harvest. If the consistency of the wine is less than in 2020, 2019, and 2018, the wines are supple, gourmet, with silky textures and a long and beautiful aromatic persistence of spices, red berries, and delicate floral touches. The natural vivacity makes the wines vibrant. »

Extract from the Roi Chambertin Event 2022



Côte d'Or Chardonnay

0% VE, 30% FN


Côte d'Or Pinot Noir

 20% VE, 30% FN


10% VE, 40% FN


Morey-St Denis

'Très Girard'

50% VE, 30% FN


 'Dix Climats'

15% VE, 30% FN


'En Combe'

15% VE, 30% FN


'En Champs'

20% VE, 30% FN


16% VE, 40% FN

Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru

Les Lavrottes -Négoce

0% VE, 40% FN

Premiers Crus

'Au Closeau'

15% VE, 60% FN


15% VE, 60% FN

'Clos Prieur'

10% VE, 60% FN

'Lavaut-St Jacques'

0% VE, 60% FN

Grands Crus


15% VE, 75% FN

Latricières Chambertin

15% VE, 75% FN


15% VE, 80% FN

Clos de Vougeot

0% VE, 80% FN

Chambertin Clos de Bèze

20% VE, 80% FN


0% VE, 60% FN

Tasting notes

1srt october 2022,

« The 2021 vintage was constructive for the winegrowers and their vigilance in the vineyards proved to be fruitful!

During the winemaking, the challenges were vast, extracting without hardening, building without harming...a formative challenge, where each decision was made with vigilance and professionalism!

The extraction of the tannins had to be done with precision - a very gentle punching down and moderate pumping over - to give the juice aromas that are dense, robust, and complimentary!

The tastings of the barrels allowed us to catch a glimpse of a more harmonious and denser wines than we had imagined...The Pinot Noir expressed a certain delicacy, with smooth notes, a generous and silky mid-palate accompanied by beautiful, vibrant, and well-balanced aromas!

In the end, 2021 was a discreet harvest with a beautiful ending...

Probably well deserved... »

All together, Caroline & Nicolas Drouhin