2021 St. Emilion In Bottle Wine Guide 150 Best Wines, Pt 1, Wines A-F

Winemakers

By this time you’ve started reading our report on 2021 Saint Emilion, it is likely that you have already heard more than you need to know about the 2021 Bordeaux vintage. But, for those of you wanting to know more about the Right Bank, and 2021 Saint Emilion, these are the high points of the growing season.

The 2021 Saint Emilion vintage is not a simple, one size fits all year. On the surface, perhaps it looks like all growers faced the same challenges, but, that is an oversimplification. Because the appellation covers almost 5,000 hectares, with 2021, the vignerons with the financial to fight both attacks of frost that struck April 7 and April 8, as well as defend against attacks of downy mildew were able to produce some very good, even outstanding wines.

For much of the growing season, growers were concerned that 2021 St. Emilion vintage was dire. It took until late in the season, when the Indian Summer arrived towards the end of August, delivering sun and warmth to the vines that they began feeling hopeful.

Despite the numerous challenges the chateaux experienced during the 2021 Saint Emilion growing season, after tasting the wines, in bottle, and in barrel, it is obvious there are some outstanding wines.

With 2021 St. Emilion wines, it is important to note that alcohol levels are often 1% – 2% lower than you find in recent vintages. At their best, the wines are forward, charming, energetic, soft and approachable. There is a lack of concentration and richness in the mid-palate, and the fruits lean to the red side, instead of black, or blue, but, the best wines deliver ample flesh, purity, and aromatic profiles with intense floral, red berry, mint, and often savory, as well as spicy characteristics.

The best 2021 Saint Emilion wines often came from vineyards where the owners had the foresight, along with the ability to wait to achieve better levels of ripeness. And equally important to note is that most of the better wines often showcase large percentages of Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends.

For an overview of the entire Bordeaux region in 2021, please read 2021 Bordeaux Complete Guide to the Vintage

Please note that because I tasted so many 2021 wines from Saint Emilion, this report is split into 3 separate articles. This is part 1, covering the wines A-F. 2021 St Emilion Part 2 covers wines G-M – 2021 St. Emilion Pt 2 Wines G-M, and Part 3 concludes with wines N-Z – 2021 St. Emilion Pt 3 Wines N-Z

All of the following 2021 Saint Emilion wines were tasted in my home office in non-blind tasting conditions.

2021 Badette – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Incense, spice and espresso with loads of plums create the nose. Round, lush and creamy with oak that needs to resolve before it really shows its best, this is very successful for the vintage. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Pts

2021 Balestard La Tonnelle – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Black cherries, espresso, smoke, flowers and dark chocolate create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is supple, creamy and fresh with sweet, minty plums and a light touch of chocolate at the end of the finish. Drink from 2024-2038. 91 Pts

2021 Barde Haut – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Quite floral in nature, with additional nuances of cherries, licorice, espresso, black raspberries, and a touch of chocolate that creates the perfume. The palate is medium-bodied, with vibrant red berries, cocoa, crushed rocks, and chalk that add to the complexity and finish. This is going to drink well young, yet have the ability to age and evolve for 15 years. The wine blends 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2024-2040. 93 Pts

2021 Beausejour – St. Émilion Grand Cru – The perfume offers flowers, black cherries, licorice, chocolate-covered plums, crushed rocks, stones and espresso as its aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine is silky, spicy, vibrant, refined, and focused on its supple-textured, red plum, and dark cherry-filled profile. The long finish is loaded with sweet, ripe, red fruits with a touch of salted chocolate that comes in at the end of the finish. This is quite successful for the vintage. The wine blends 73% Merlot with 27% Cabernet Franc. Yields were low at only 28 hectoliters per hectare. This is first vintage to sport its new label, and its now, abbreviated name. Drink from 2026 – 2055. 95 Pts

2021 Beau-Sejour Becot – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, cherries, flowers, cocoa, oceanic nuances, and and hint of cigar wrapper aromas crowd into the perfume. On the palate, the wine expresses purity, energy, grace and lift. The tannins are silky, the character is refined, relaxed, and most importantly, there is a gorgeous sense of purity in the red fruits that you sense in the mid-palate, all the way through to the elegant, long, energetic, sensual finish. The wine blends 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a major success for the vintage. Drink from 2025-2050. 96 Pts

2021 Belair-Monange – St. Émilion – Elegant, floral, vibrant , and fresh, the perfume blends sweet red plums cherries, tobacco leaf, spice, mint, cocoa, and a judicious touch of espresso. The medium-bodied palate is about its finesse, over power, finishing with a strong display of minerality that adds to all of the oceanic-influenced bright, fresh, red fruits, with just a touch of spearmint. and chocolate on the backend. The wine blends 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2026-2050. 94 Pts

2021 Bellefont-Belcier – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Still with a touch of oak to resolve, the wine is packed with loads of soft, silky, supple red fruits, spice, flowers, freshness, mint, espresso and cocoa in every sniff and sip. Drink from 2024-2038. 93 Pts

2021 Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Chocolate-topped cherries, flowers and spice fill the perfume. The wine is medium-bodied, soft, forward, fresh and supple, finishing with salty-edged, polished, red fruits on the backend. The wine is made from 100% old vine Merlot. Drink from 2024-2037. 91 Pts

2021 Bellevue-Mondotte – St. Émilion Grand Cru – One of the darker colored wines of the vintage opens with espresso, chocolate, flowers, black cherries, blueberries, plums. The palate is even better due to all of its layers of chocolate-coated cherries, licorice, espresso, and crushed rock characteristics. The finish, with its strong, salty edge lingers. Produced from 100% old, vine Merlot, this is final vintage for Bellevue-Mondotte as the vines were integrated into Chateau Pavie the following year. Drink from 2026-2052. 94 Pts

2021 Berliquet – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, black cherries, licorice and crushed stone aromatics create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is soft, polished, fresh and silky, allowing all the sweet, ripe, salty red fruits to express themselves in the mid-palate and in the refreshing, mint-accented finish. The wine blends 61% Merlot with 39% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2025-2038. 93 Pts

2021 Cadet Bon – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Espresso, black cherries, smoked herbs and red plum notes open the wine. The palate is medium-bodied, vibrant, light and fresh, with a nice, soft, polished touch to all the red fruits on the palate. Drink from 2024-2036. 90 Pts

2021 Calicem – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Ripe, sweet, black cherries, flowers, licorice and smoke fill the nose here. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, fresh and creamy with a strong, refreshing, spearmint and herb note on the backend. The wine is made from a small parcel of100% old vine Merlot planted in 1961. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Pts

2021 Canon – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Talk about on top of their game, even in the difficult 2021 vintage, Canon managed to produce one of the wines of the vintage! The perfume pops with little effort as you already find its bouquet of violets, spearmint, cigar wrappers, black cherries, plums, licorice and cocoa. And the palate is even better with its edgy freshness, sweet, red berries, plums and red plums, fresh cherries, herbs, and a touch of fennel along with salty accents in the elegant mid-palate and finish. The wine blends 71% Merlot with 29% Cabernet Franc. Drink from 2026-2055. 95 Pts

2021 Canon Croix Canon – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Vibrant, elegant, soft, forward, and already approachable with its core of flowers, leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, spearmint, and spicy, savory, olive-tinted, cherries. This fresh, medium-bodied wine is good to go on release. This is perfect for early drinking pleasure while waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. Drink from 2024-2033. 91 Pts

2021 Canon La Gaffeliere – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Elegant, refined, supple and fresh, initially you notice its bouquet filled flowers, dark cherries, spearmint, flowers, red fruits and spices. The palate is already offering its array or sweet, red berries, with their chalky accents. All of the oak has completely integrated leaving you with the vestiges of supple-textured, red fruits, spices, salt, and crushed stones. Utilizing 45% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is interesting to note this blend represents the highest portion of Cabernet used in the history of the estate. in the blend. Drink from 2025-2050. 94 Pts

2021 Cap de Mourlin – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, espresso, red fruits and cocoa form the core of the character here. The wine is soft, medium-bodied, fruity, creamy, easy-to-like and drink, with a noticeable, spearmint tone in the finish. Drink from 2024-2036. 90 Pts

2021 Capet-Guillier – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, cherries, plums, cocoa, licorice and mint crowd into the perfume. Medium-bodied, soft, vibrant, fresh and with just a hint of a savory edge, you can enjoy this with pleasure on release. Drink from 2023-2036. 91 Pts

2021 Cardinal-Villemaurine – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Chocolate covered cherries in the nose and on the palate make this already a pleasure to taste. The wine finishes with more of those soft, short and sweet cherries. You can enjoy this with ease on release. Drink from 2024-2030. 88 Pts

2021 Carteau – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Light, chocolate-covered cherries pop in the nose and on the medium-bodied, round, soft, fresh, plummy, fruit-filled palate, leaving you with a sweet bushel of cherries and cocoa in the finish. Drink from 2024-2035. 90 Pts

2021 Chauvin – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Dried flowers, cardamon, red fruits and underbrush produce the nose. On the palate, the wine is fresh, soft, elegant, medium-bodied and forward, leaving you with zesty cherries with touches of licorice and a drop of citrus on the backend that will be delicious to enjoy on release. Drink from 2024-2036. 90 Pts

2021 Cheval Blanc – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Poised between its regal bearing, and, sensuous, sexy side, this is a clear contender for wine of the vintage, avoiding all of the pitfalls of the vintage. This sublime gem pops from the glass effortlessly with array of flowers, spices, red, and dark red fruits, tobacco, and mint leaves. The palate offers a majestic display of vibrant, al dente red fruits, and ripe, dark red berries, coupled with firm, cashmere, polished tannins, velvet-textured black cherries, and plums. This is showing even better in barrel than it did in bottle! And that is saying a lot from this vintage. The wine blends 52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, making this the highest percentage of Cabernet in over a decade. The willingness to delay harvesting, finishing October 14, along with low yields, at only 28 hectoliters per hectare are part of the reason the vintage was so successful. Drink from 2029-2060. 98 Pts

2021 Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Elegant, silky, refined, vibrant, and almost crisp, this mini Cheval Blanc is already simply gorgeous with its bouquet of flowers, cigar box, mint, cherries, plums and spice. The wine blends its silky-refined-textures with freshness, and lift, as well as purity in its energetic, red berry packed finish. The wine blends 60% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc. It is the high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend that defines the wine. You can enjoy this on release and for at least the next 15 years. Drink from 2024-2040. 93 Pts

2021 – Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval Bordeaux Blanc – Bordeaux – Crisp, bright, and fresh, as well as exotic, the nose exudes fresh, yellow citrus, Granny Smith apples, pear, orange rind, and honeysuckle. The palate follows the nose with its lush, crisp, display of waxy lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines, along with a dab of round to add the right touch of sweetness. Drink from 2024-2037. 94 Pts

2021 Cheval Noir – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, black cherries, spice and mint leaf open the nose. On the palate, the wine is forward, fruity, soft and sweet, with a layered cherry overtone in the finish. Drink from 2024-2034. 89 Pts

2021 Clos Badon Thunevin – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, chocolate, espresso and red fruits are easily found on the nose. The palate is polished, fresh, vibrant, medium-bodied, earthy and spicy, with a judicious touch of cocoa to accompany the red fruits in the finish. You can enjoy this on release. The wine blends 75% Merlot with 25% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% ABV. Drink from 2024-2035. 91 Pts

2021 Clos Dubreuil – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Espresso, cocoa, black cherries and licorice jump from the perfume. Refined, sweet and fresh, the wine is medium-bodied, round and polished with a core of black cherries and chocolate with a hint of Indian spice in the finish. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Pts

2021 Clos Dubreuil Dubreuil Chardonnay – Vin de France – Lemon peel and floral notes pop in the nose. On the palate, the wine delivers fresh, citrus and pears with a nice touch of spice. As the name implies, this is one of the few 100% Chardonnay’s coming from Bordeaux today. Drink from 2024-2028. 90 Pts

2021 Clos Fourtet – St. Émilion Grand Cru – The wine pops with flowers, black cherries, espresso beans, licorice and lack cherries. Medium-bodied, elegant and vibrant, the supple, almost creamy finish is loaded with plums cherries and a refreshing sprig of mint to wrap things up. The wine blends 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink from 2025-2049. 94 Pts

2021 Clos Fourtet La Closerie de Fourtet – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, red fruits and savory herbs create the core of this wine in the nose and on the palate. Forward and already open, this easy-to-drink charmer is ready to go. The wine comes from a parcel selection. Drink from 2024-2030. 90 Pts

2021 Clos St. Martin – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Smoked cherries, espresso, licorice, flowers and plums open the aromatic essence here. On the palate, the wine is soft, polished, supple, creamy and fresh, with a mint, espresso and chocolate-topped, plummy finish. Drink from 2024-2040. 94 Pts

2021 Clos de Sarpe – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Black cherries, crushed stone and floral notes show with ease in the nose. On the palate, the wine delivers its red fruits with a salty edge that comes from its deep, limestone terroir. Drink from 2026-2045. 93 Pts

2021 Clos de la Cure – St. Émilion Grand Cru – At the moment, the oak dominates the nose before you find its light touch of red plums and cherries. Medium-bodied, soft and already approachable, you can drink this on release. Drink from 2024-2035. 87 Pts

2021 Clos des Jacobins – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Medium-bodied, fresh, high-toned, red fruits spring in the nose and on the palate. The wine is forward, elegant, spicy and comes with a bit of chocolate and pepper that adds to the sweet plums and cherries. There is no need to wait with this wine, as you can enjoy it on release. Drink from 2024-2036. 91 Pts

2021 Clos des Prince – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, licorice and red fruits with a dash of espresso fill the perfume. The medium-bodied palate is soft, energetic and savory edged, with a mix of herbs and red fruits in the vibrant finish. Drink from 2024-2035. 90 Pts

2021 Clos-de-lOratoire – St. Émilion Grand Cru – With a strong floral, and mint lean to the spicy, red fruits and crushed rocks in the nose, the wine is fresh, supple. ripe and savory. You also find touches of chocolate, cherries, and salty chalk in the mid-palate and in the supple, finish. Drink from 2024-2045. 93 Pts

2021 Corbin – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Elegant, fresh, and refined, the wine is vibrant, energetic, and almost crisp, with lift to the core of red fruits on mid-palate that carry through to the spice-tinted finish. Drink from 2024-2032. 91 Pts

2021 Cote de Baleau – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, chocolate, dried flowers and black cherries show up easily in the nose. Medium-bodied, vibrant, almost high-toned red fruits with a dark chocolately edge finish the experience. Yields are quite low as more than 50% of the harvest was destroyed by frost. Drink from 2024-2034. 90 Pts

2021 Couvent des Jacobins – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, flowers, red, white and black cherries pop in the nose. On the palate, the wine is soft, creamy, round and fresh, with a nice, plummy character in the finish. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Pts

2021 Croix de Labrie – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Flowers, spice and a strong espresso bean note come on strong, along with the wines dark cherry and blueberry profile. The wine is round, creamy, concentrated, lush and polished with a finish that’s packed with layers of fruit. Drink from 2024-2038. 93 Pts

2021 Croix de Labrie Chapelle de Labrie – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Espresso, chocolate , smoke, and wild cherries create the nose. On the palate, the wine is round, supple and polished with a nice core of sweet fruit on the mid-palate and in the finish. Drink from 2024-2033. 91 Pts

2021 Croix de Labrie Stella Solare – Bordeaux – Honeysuckle, white peach, green apples and pineapple create the attention-seeking nose. On the palate, the wine is rich, fresh and fruity with a lively pineapple note that lingers. Drink from 2024-2029. 91 Pts

2021 Cruzeau – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Medium-bodied, forward, soft and creamy, this lighter, fresh, medium-bodied, cherry and chocolate-edged wine has a peppery edge on the backend of the finish. You can enjoy this easily on release and for close to a decade after that. Drink from 2024-2033. 89 Pts

2021 De Ferrand – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Espresso, cocoa, flowers and red fruits are easy to spot in the wines aromatic profile. The palate is soft, fresh and energetic with its layers of sweet, ripe, pure, raspberries, red plums and hints of strawberries, with just a squeeze of orange rind at the backend of the finish. Drink from 2024-2036. 91 Pts

2021 Des Réves – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, cherries, plums and dark chocolate with a sprig of mint on the backend work together here in the nose and on the soft, lifted, medium-bodied palate. Drink from 2024-2033. 89 Pts

2021 Destieux – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Dried flowers, espresso, spice, wet forest notes and plums pack the nose and palate. Medium-bodied, earthy, round and creamy, the wine leaves you with red cherries, cocoa and chalk on the backend. Drink from 2024-2032. 90 Pts

2021 Du Parc – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Forward, soft, fresh and fruity, all the cherries, raspberries and plums are blending together perfectly on the medium-bodied palate. This is already quite nice and easy to enjoy and will be perfect for tasting over the next decade or so. Drink from 2024-2034. 90 Pts

2021 Faugeres – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Licorice, cocoa, spice, espresso and black cherries line up in the perfume. The palate, with its layers of creamy-textured, black cherries and chocolate accents is polished, and fresh. Drink from 2024-2037. 93 Pts

2021 Figeac – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Floral, energetic, and fresh, this is the perfect example of elegance and class. The nose, with its bouquet of flowers is made even better with the addition of cigar wrappers, mint, cherries, plums, black raspberries, cocoa and espresso. The medium-bodied palate is fresh, with layers of red, and dark red fruits, refined-textures, and a finish with length, purity, and a salty savory, minty endnote. This is a perfect example of a modern classic wine blending 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc and 29% Merlot. Drink from 2026-2055. 96 Pts

2021 Figeac Petit-Figeac – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Floral, racy, fresh, bright, red cherries with savory accents of herbs, cedar and tobacco, the wine is medium-bodied, sweet, refined, elegant, and already delicious. Feel free to pop a cork on release for its vibrant, red cherry, and kirsch profile. Drink from 2024-2034. 90 Pts

2021 Fleur Cardinale – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Chocolate-coated plums, black cherries, espresso, flowers and mint leaf pack the perfume. The palate is even better with its layers of lush, sweet, red fruits, spice, creamy tannins and touch of chalk. The blend is 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. All that extra Cabernet really makes a difference adding more freshness, complexity and individuality. I hope they continue using more Cabernet here in future vintages. This is the first vintage from 100% organic farming. Sadly, not much was made, as close to half the crop was destroyed by frost. Drink from 2023-2039 93 Pts

2021 Fleur Cardinale Intuition Blanc – Bordeaux – – White peach, lemon verbena, honeysuckle, and mangos fill the perfume. On the palate, the yellow and white fruits deliver freshness, length, and creamy-textures, along with loads of sweet fruits. The wine blends 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Gris. Drink from 2024-2028. 91 Pts

2021 Fombrauge – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Espresso, cocoa, black cherries and mint open the wine. On the palate, the wine is round, soft, creamy and open, with sweetness to the fruit that carries from start to finish. The oak has integrated nicely into the wine. Drink from 2024-2037. 92 Pts

2021 Fonplegade – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Incense, espresso, spice, herbs and red fruits make an appearance in the nose. On the medium-bodied palate, the wine is supple, creamy, round and fresh with layers of ripe, plums and dark, red cherries with a hint of sea salt and a refreshing edge of chocolate mint that comes in at the end of the finish. This is quite strong for the vintage. Drink from 2024-2038. 93 Pts

2021 Fonroque – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Black cherries, cocoa and currant nuances open the wine. Medium-bodied, round and fresh, with the added complexity of oceanic influences set the tone for this wine. Drink from 2024-2036. 90 Pts

2021 Franc La Rose – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Savory red fruits, herbs, cedar and a touch of ground pepper open the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, fresh, vibrant and almost high-toned with its bright red fruit profile. Drink from 2024-2030. 87 Pts

2021 Franc-Mayne – St. Émilion Grand Cru – Savory herbs, black cherries and spice crowd into the nose. On the palate, the wine is soft, creamy and fresh, leaving you with sweet, red fruits and peppery spice on the backend. Things are definitely on the upswing here. You can enjoy this on release. Drink from 2024-2038. 91 Pts

2021 Franc-Pipeau – St. Émilion Grand Cru – The nose starts off with espresso, spice, licorice and bright red fruits, blended with citrus. There is not a lot of density here, but you do get softness, and vibrancy to the herbal, savory, red berries on the mid-palate and in the already, easy-to-taste finish. Drink from 2024-2032. 88 Pts

For an overview of the 2021 Bordeaux vintage with links to all of our appellation reports 2021 Bordeaux In Bottle Report for the Best 750 Wines of the vintage We are continuing our reports on all of the best wines tasted in bottle from the 2021 Bordeaux vintage. Up next, we return continue with reports on all the best 2021 St. Emilion wines with our final report on the appellation, 2021 St. Emilion Pt 2 Wines G-M followed by 2021 Saint Emilion Pt 3 Wines N-Z before returning to the Left Bank with daily reports on all the best 2021 Bordeaux wines from St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, and the Margaux appellations.

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