2021 Chateauneuf du Pape Report, Buying Guide, Part 1, Wines A-C

Winemakers

2021 Chateauneuf du Pape wines are not the product of an easy vintage. Yet, the end results turned out an array of charming wines that can be enjoyed in their youth. In fact, as you can see, most 2021 Southern Rhone wines are going to be delicious on release!

Having tasted so many 2021 Chateauneuf wines, this report has been divided into 3 parts. 2021 Chateauneuf Guide Part 2 featuring Wines D-L2021 Chateauneuf du Pape Guide Part 3 Covers Wines M-Z

You can either find the wines you are seeking by clicking on the links above and reading alphabetically, or you can use the wine tasting note search function, else the article search will help you find what you are looking for.

2021 Chateauneuf du Pape Growing Season, Harvest Report

The 2021 vintage in Chateauneuf du Pape started with quite well with pleasant, sunny and occasionally warm conditions, which were beneficial to the vines. However, conditions changed by April when the Southern Rhone Valley endured, severe attacks of frost on April 7 and April 8. During the coldest hours, temperatures plummeted to -3°C to -4°C.

Making things worse was the mistral winds, which helps provide warmth ceased to blow. 2021 Chateauneuf was shaped in part by the lack of the mistrals. The frosty conditions were a major issue. This is due to the Grenache vines which were precocious, leaving them vulnerable to frost. Syrah was also problematic this year. But, Mourvedre, due to its late ripening characteristics performed well. Blends this year often included more Mourvedre, when possible, as the grape was quite successful.

Overall, the result for 2021 Chateauneuf ranges from a moderate to dramatic crop loss for some growers. The degree of damage varied, depending on the terroir, vine age and vineyard. The amount of crop loss varied from vineyard to vineyard. At its worst, some growers reported crop losses ranging from 40% up to a staggering loss of 80%!

The summer offered variable conditions, which included light rains as well as thundershowers. Those rainy conditions coupled with warm weather caused some vineyards to develop mildew, further exacerbating crop losses. Add to that, overall, the usually warm, sunny conditions enjoyed in Chateauneuf were replaced by cooler temperatures, and less hours of sunshine. Fortunately, as the summer drew to a slow close, bouts of heat, and sun helped the grapes gain maturity in late July and August.

The 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape harvest occurred late. It was also longer than most growers usually experienced. Picking varied depending on the terroir and the grape varietal. While much of the growing season was difficult in the Southern Rhone Valley, fortunately, conditions during the harvest period improved. Picking for the majority of the 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape vintage took place starting in early-to-mid September, finishing in early October.

Rains in mid-September impacted the harvest, forcing growers to either pick early, or risk weather conditions, and wait. For those that waited, the weather during harvest time improved the character and quality for 2021 Chateauneuf. Perhaps, it even saved the vintage for many vignerons.

As you can see from the tasting notes below, the majority of the 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape wines we tasted are going to be at their best in their fruit-forward youth. I really like the charm, freshness and vitality in the fruits. Across the board you find lower percentages of alcohol than in the past few, or even several vintages. You also find increased sensations of freshness.

Maybe, 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape represents a modern, classic style. But, 2021 Chateauneuf is not a vintage to lay down for years. Being precocious, 8-12 years for the majority of wines is about right.

All of the 2021 Chateauneuf du Pape wine tasting notes below are from bottles tasted in non-blind conditions in Chateauneuf. Thank you to all the producers for making this possible. And a big thank you to the team at the Federation of Chateauneuf that assisted me, as I could never had done this without their help and efforts.

2021 Chateauneuf du Pape – The wines A_C…

2021 3 Cellier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Alchimie – The flowers, and licorice add to the ripe kirsch notes in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is juicy, fruity, and firm, with an olive edging to the cherries in the spicy, fresh finish. The wine blends 60% Grenache with Mourvedre, Syrah, and various other, assorted grape varieties. Drink from 2024-2030. 91 Pts

2021 Alain Jaume Vieux Terron – Earthy, herbal, spicy, and fresh, the wine is packed with mineral-tinged, fresh, vibrant, salty, kirsch, strawberry, and black raspberries with a white-peppery edge on the palate, and in the medium-bodied finish. The wine was produced using 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre. Drink from 2024-2031. 92 Pts

2021 Andre Mathieu – The combination of flowers, and fresh red fruits works perfectly in the perfume. Medium-bodied, leafy, tobacco, and herb, accented , sweet, fresh, ripe, red fruits are found in the mid-palate, and in the cherry and kirsch oriented, lively finish that delivers a tiny drop of cocoa in the endnote. The wine comes from 100 year old Grenache vines, with Mourvedre, Syrah and other AOC allowed grape varieties in the blend. Drink from 2025-2030. 90 Pts

2021 André Brunel Cuveé Réservée – Medium-bodied, light, fresh, forward, soft, and fruity, kirsch oriented wine for early drinking pleasure. This will be at its best over the next few years. Drink from 2023-2027. 87 Pts

2021 Antoine-Ogier Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Licorice, spicy kirsch, and cherries on the nose, and palate are what you find in this ready-to-drink, soft, polished, easy-going, red berry filled, elegant wine. You can enjoy this with ease on release. The wine is made from blending 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% Syrah. Drink from 2024-2028. 88 Pts

2021 Antoine-Ogier Heritages – Fresh, soft, elegant, strawberries, and raspberry notes show with ease on the nose, and on the medium bodied, forward, light, refined palate. This will be fun to enjoy on release. Drink from 2024-2028. 88 Pts

2021 Baptiste Hillaire La Part des Anges – Earthy red fruits, and herbs on the nose, the wine is medium-bodied, forward, and early-drinking, with a core of sweet kirsch that is produced from a blend of 90% Grenache with 10% Syrah. Drink from 2024-2028. 90 Pts

2021 Baron de Montfaucon Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Raspberries, strawberry and herbs create the perfume. The wine is medium-bodied, light, fresh and already fully-ready-to-go with its sweet, kirsch character. The wine is made from a blend of 92% Grenache with 8% Mourvedre. Drink from 2024-2027. 89 Pts

2021 Baron de Montfaucon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Bimard – Flowers, strawberry, and kirsch form the nose, and character of this medium-bodied, light, vibrant, silky styled, red berry-filled wine. The wine blends Grenache, Cinsault ,and Mouvedre from the estates oldest vines. This can be enjoyed on release. Drink from 2024-2029. 90 Pts

2021 Beaucastel – Meaty, spicy, flowers, thyme, and peppery, dark red berries pop in the nose. On the palate, the wine really shines, due to its larger than usual percentage of Mourvedre in the blend. Concentrated, rich, lush, deep and intense, you find a minty, peppery edging to the red berries on the mid-palate and in the long, salty finish. The wine blends 35% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and various other AOC allowable red wine grape varietals along with 10% white wine grape varietals. Drink from 2024-2040. 95 Pts

2021 Beaucastel Hommage a Jacques Perrin – Dark in color, in fact, this is the darkest wine of the vintage, the aromatic profile shows its complex array of nuances easily. Mint, licorice, grilled meat, black fruits, flowers, peppery spice and hints of blue fruits create the perfume. Opulent, deep, fresh, long and vibrant, the wine is deep, concentration, richness and sweetness. There is vibrancy, lift, and length, finishing with layers of black, red and blue, peppery fruits. The wine blends 60% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Picking on the Mouvedre began October 4, finishing October 12. Like all the great vintages of Hommage, this is a wine for patient collectors as you need to give it at least 10 years of aging, and 20 would be even better! Drink from 2030-2060. 97 Pts

2021 Beauchene Grande Réserve – Fruity, forward, fresh, and on the cherry and garrigue aside of the style range, the wine is medium-bodied, open and elegant, with sweet, red fruits in the finish. Drink from 2024 – 2030. 90 Pts

2021 Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Garrigue, black raspberries, flowers, and kirsch open the nose. On the palate, the silky fresh, elegant, wine is medium-bodied, soft, and refined, with a forward style, making this delicious to enjoy on release. While dominated by 50% Grenache, the wine includes 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and Cinsault along with various percentages of most if not all of the AOC allowable grapes. Drink from 2024 2031. 91 Pts

2021 Beaurenard Boisrenard – With good color, on the nose you find an array of spices, smoke, licorice, and dark cherries. The palate is lush, supple, round, deep, and fruity. The wine was made from an old vine Grenache dominated blend from vines varying in age from 70 to more than 100 years of age along with old vine Mourvedre, Syrah and all the other allowable grape varieties in the appellation. Drink from 2024-2034. 92 Pts

2021 Benedetti Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Flowers, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries create the wine on the nose, and on the palate. Medium-bodied, soft, fresh, and open, this will be easy to enjoy on release. Drink from 2024-2028. 89 Pts

2021 Benedetti Les Larmes Papales – Flowers, raspberries, strawberries, and herbs define the nose. The wine is fresh, forward, fruity, soft, and loaded with ripe, sweet, mildly, peppered , sweet, ripe, strawberries. You can enjoy this with pleasure on release. The wine is produced from old vine Grenache from vines planted on La Crau. This is one of the more unique wines from Chateauneuf as a portion of their grapes are dried on straw mats. Drink from 2024-2030. 90 Pts

2021 Berthet-Capeau Elixir des Papes – A hint of smoke adds complexity to the red berries, and spice on the nose and palate. Elegant, forward, and fresh, with polish, and sweetness to the strawberries, and raspberries on the palate, this will be easy to enjoy on release. The wine was produced using 100% Grenache. Drink from 2024-2030. 90 Pts

2021 Berthet-Rayne Tradition – Kirsch, flowers, and garrigue on the nose brings you to the core of the wine, which offers silky, fresh, sweet, kirsch, and strawberries. You can enjoy this on release with pleasure. Drink from 2024-2031. 91 Pts

2021 Bosquet des Papes Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes – Herbs and spice accompany the ripe red, cherries, kirsch and strawberry in the nose. The palate is silky, sweet, soft and fresh, with layers of creamy-textured red cherries and peppery strawberries from start to finish is this elegant, seductive wine. The wine was made using mostly old vine Grenache that is more than 80 years of age, along with Syrah and Mourvedre. Drink from 2024-2034. 94 Pts

2021 Bosquet des Papes Tradition – Dark kirsch with flowery accents open the wine. The palate, with its medium-body, freshness, creamy-tannins and sweetness is round, and ready-to-go, delivering its cherries and kirsch with ease as soon as it is released. Drink from 2024 – 2033. 91 Pts

2021 Boutiniere Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Medium-bodied, soft, fresh, sweet, light, strawberry, and kirsch dominated, elegant charmer that is ready-to-go on release. Enjoy over the near term. Drink from 2024-2028. 88 Pts

2021 Cabrieres Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Flowers, licorice, herbs. and red fruits with a touch of spice is what you initially find here. On the palate, the wine is round, lush, spicy, and fresh with sweetness, dark red fruits, and a silky, fruit-packed finish. The wine was made from a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, and 10% Cinsault. Drink from 2024-2032. 91 Pts

2021 Chante Cigale – Flowers, cherries, raspberries, and a touch of fennel create the perfume. Soft, juicy, and fresh, with sweetness, lift, and purity in the mid-palate, and in the finish, this is already a pleasure in your glass. The wine was made from a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault. Drink from 2024-2031. 91 Pts

2021 Chante Perdrix – Floral in nature ,with touches of licorice, spice, smoke, and red fruits are all over the place here on the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, elegant, fresh, and silky, with purity to the fruits and a forward approach, you can enjoy this with pleasure on release. The wine blends 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Muscardin. Drink from 2024 – 2031. 92 Pts

2021 Chapelle St. Theodoric La Guigasse – Flowers, black raspberries, strawberries, and kirsch with white pepper accents open the perfume. The red fruits are clean, ripe, fresh, and sweet. There is elegance, vibrance, and energy, as well purity in the medium-bodied palate, and finish. The wine is produced from 100% old vine Grenache. Drink from 2024-2032. 92 Pts

2021 Charvin – Peppery red fruits, flowers, herbs, and spice open the nose. The wine offers elegance, freshness, lift, and sweet, peppery red fruits with a touch of licorice, herbs, and chocolate in the endnote. The wine was made blending roughly 82% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 4% Counoise, and 4% Vaccarese. Drink from 2024-2032 93 Pts

2021 Château Sixtine Cuvee du Vatican – Sweet, fresh cherries, and kirsch with supple-textures, medium-bodied, soft, elegant and fresh. You can enjoy this with pleasure on release. Drink from 2024-2030. 90 Pts

2021 Clef de Saint Thomas La Clef de St. Thomas – Underbrush, herbs, licorice, and spicy red fruits fill the nose, and medium-bodied, peppery, spicy, vibrant, herb-tinted palate. There is a touch of bitterness in the finish giving the wine a classic edge. The wine blends 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvedre, which helped this year. Drink from 2024-2030. 89 Pts

2021 Clos Bellane Urgonien – A bit reserved, so it takes some effort for the flowers, spice, and peppery red berries to show. Medium-bodied, spicy fresh, and chewy, there is a touch of mint in the finish, giving the wine an extra dose of freshness. Clos Bellane Urgonien takes its name from the type of limestone in the soil, Urgonien. The vineyard is a tiny 1.14 hectare of vines blending 77% old vine Grenache with 23% Mourvedre. Drink from 2024 – 2032 90 Pts

2021 Clos Saint Michel Grand Vin – Packaged in an oversized bottle, the wine delivers smoke, flowers, black raspberries, cherries, herbs, and greenery in the perfume. On the palate, the wine is rich, lush polished, and intense. The fruits are ripe, plush, and polished, long, fresh, and dark, with an oaky edge, so this is going to need a bit of time before it shows its best as the oak needs to fully integrate. The wine blends 50% Grenache with 50% Syrah. Drink from 2025-2036. 94 Pts

2021 Clos Saint Michel Homage to Heritage – Flowers, herbs, pepper, leaves, and spicy, black raspberries open the wine. On the palate, the wine is lush, supple, creamy, and fresh with sweetness to the fruits, and an opulent, fruit-filled endnote. One of the more interesting blends tasted year as it uses roughly 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Grenache Gris. Drink from 2024-2033. 92 Pts

2021 Clos Saint Michel Reservee – The wine opens with olives, white pepper, flowers, black raspberries, thyme, and cherries. Round, lush, sweet, and fruity, there is a nice palate presence with its layers of fruits. Forward, and accessible, this is already easy to enjoy for all of it black raspberries with their peppery edge. The wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 30% Syrah. Drink from 2024-2032. 92 Pts

2021 Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape – Medium-bodied, soft, elegant fresh, spicy, and sweet in character, this ready-to-go, refined, fruity wine is already delicious in your glass with its layers of juicy, ripe, kirsch, and plums. The wine is a blend of 80% Grenache with Syrah, and Cinsault. Drink from 2024 – 2030 92 Pts

2021 Clos des Papes – Flowers, licorice, kirsch, black raspberries, underbrush and peppery spices fill the perfume. Elegantly styled, refined, soft and supple, with silky tannins, freshness, and lift in the kirsch, black raspberry, cherry and spice filled palate. The wine is a blend of 58% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah and the remaining 5% consists of various, allowable grape varieties. The grapes are as always 100% destemmed. The production is quite low this year at only 18 hectoliters per hectare due to hail. This is also why you see less Mourvedre in the blend than usual. The wine is 15.1% ABV, but you do not sense any heat. Drink from 2024-2036. 95 Pts

2021 Clos des Papes Blanc – White peaches, honeysuckle, licorice, pomelo, orange rind, spice and white flowers create the perfume. The wine is sweet, lush, fresh and fruity, with lift, energy and a touch of salt on the backend. The wine is a complex blend of all 6 allowable, co-fermented, white wine grape varieties. The wine was produced from yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare, due to frost. Drink from 2023-2031. 94 Pts

2021 Clos du Calvaire Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Strawberries, kirsch, and black raspberries, with a touch of licorice create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, vibrant, forward and fruity, finishing with herbs, olives and spicy red berries. This will be easy to enjoy on release. The wine blends 55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 3% Cinsault and 2% Counoise. Drink from 2024-2028. 90 Pts

2021 Clos du Calvaire Pere Pape – Floral in nature, the sweet red fruits are accompanied by licorice, and spice. Fresh, forward, and fruity with a touch of salt to the juicy kirsch, this is already showing quite nicely. The wine is made from a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvedre. Drink from 2024 – 2030. 91 Pts

2021 Comte de Lauze Reserve de la Comtesse – Very successful for the vintage, the wine weaves flowers, thyme, smoke, red plums, herbs, and kirsch to create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, fresh, silky, and lively with a nice sweetness to the red fruits in the finish. The wine is made from blending 60% Grenache with 40% Syrah. Drink from 2024-2032. 91 Pts

2021 Cote de lAnge Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Flowers, strawberries, and black raspberry notes open the perfume. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, elegant, fresh, soft. and forward, with a sweetness to the red fruits in the refined, finish. Drink from 2024-2029. 90 Pts

2021 Crous St. Martin Hommage a L’an 1879 – Peppery herbs, garrigue, black raspberries, and kirsch notes create the nose. and the core of the medium-bodied, silky, fresh. and sweet palate. The finish wraps everything up with a nice sweet layer of kirsch. The wine blends 80% Grenache with 10% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah. Drink from 2024-2030. 91 Pts

2021 Crous St. Martin Vieilles Vignes – Creamy, sweet, soft, and fresh, with a myriad of red fruits, spice, and soft-textures all work together to create a wine that will be delicious on release. The wine blends 70% Grenache with 30% Mourvedre. Drink from 2024-2030. 90 Pts

Up next part 2… 2021 Chateauneuf Guide Covering Wines D-L

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