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Southern Rhône 2021: full report and top-scoring wines

Despite adverse weather conditions, white wines have come out strongly this vintage, with many fresh, bright and intense wines. The reds were hit harder, but look out for top Châteauneuf-du-Papes.

Southern Rhône 2021 overall vintage rating: 2/5

Fresh, bright, intense white wines throughout the region. A hard frost reduced yields and produced a fragile harvest for reds. Quality is mixed; many wines lack ripeness, but there are some very good wines in a lean, fresh style with relatively low alcohols.

‘In this chaotic, unpredictable and atypical vintage, buying by appellation, or even producer, isn’t a reliable strategy.’

Southern Rhône 2021 red wine of the vintage

Château de Beaucastel, Hommage à Jacques Perrin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Southern Rhône 2021 white wine of the vintage

Domaine de Beaurenard, Boisrenard, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Though Châteauneuf-du-Pape wasn’t the worst hit, many producers, such as Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes, suffered reduced yields due to the frost. Temperatures dropped to -4 ̊ C here, but ‘what was mad is that it was 19 ̊C that afternoon,’ he said, ‘and 25 ̊C less than a week earlier.’ No wonder the vines were shocked.

Top-scoring southern Rhône 2021 wines:

The wines below all scored 95 points or above, and are listed white then red in score order.

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