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Angélus, Palmer, Léoville Barton join 2021 en primeur releases

Releases in the Bordeaux 2021 en primeur campaign have been building up, with Châteaux Palmer, Pontet-Canet, Angélus, Léoville Barton and Léoville-Las Cases among the latest to make debuts.

Château Angélus 2021 was released en primeur at €265 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, according to Liv-ex, up by around 2% on the 2020-vintage opening price. Merchants were offering Angélus 2021 for £3,120 (12x75cl in bond).

Decanter’s Georgie Hindle scored Angélus 2021 95 points, praising its ‘exceptional finesse’. She said the wine represents an excellent effort, following a Bordeaux 2021 growing season that presented many weather challenges.

This vintage of Angélus contains a record proportion of Cabernet Franc, making up 60% of the blend.


Bordeaux 2021 en primeur: See our full verdict on the vintage


Analyst group Wine Lister said the release was around 2% below the current price of the 2018 vintage, although prices varied by merchant.

Commenting on the price, Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade at Bordeaux Index, said the release was likely to appeal more to keen followers of the Château, rather than drive wider buying at this stage.

Angélus follows top St-Emilion wines Cheval Blanc and Pavie in joining a Bordeaux en primeur campaign that is beginning to gather pace. 

Palmer and Pontet-Canet 2021 released

Château Palmer 2021 debuted on Tuesday (24 May) at €240 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, level with the 2020-vintage opening price but with 30% less volume released this year, according to Liv-ex.

UK merchants were offering the wine for £2,844 (12x75cl in bond), which Liv-ex said was slightly above the price of Palmer 2019 and 2016 but significantly below the 2018 price.  

Decanter’s Georgie Hindle gave Palmer 2021 96 points, putting the biodynamic estate among the top successes of a difficult vintage for Bordeaux in general.

‘It may be less glamorous and overtly plush and seductive than bigger previous vintages but I love the classicism on show – a focus, precision and sophistication,’ Hindle wrote.

Bordeaux Index recently highlighted Château Palmer as one of several Bordeaux ‘super second’ estates that enjoyed strong trading momentum on its LiveTrade platform in 2021. 

Another biodynamic estate, Pauillac-based Château Pontet-Canet, also released its 2021 vintage on Tuesday. Farr Vintners and Bordeaux Index were selling the wine for £890 (12x75cl in bond).

Decanter rated Pontet-Canet 2021 95 points. ‘If you love Pontet, and classic Pauillac claret, this is an impressive reference point,’ Hindle wrote in her in-depth tasting note.

Wine lister quoted a UK release price of around £74.17 per bottle in bond, similar to the 2020-vintage opening price. Pontet-Canet 2019 debuted at £60 per bottle but has risen in price by around 50-60% since release, Lister said.

Léoville Barton and Léoville-Las Cases make debut

Château Léoville Barton 2021, released Monday (23 May), was being offered by Farr Vintners and Bordeaux Index at £669 (12x75cl in bond).

The wine was rated 94 points by Decanter. ‘I like this a lot,’ wrote Decanter’s Georgie Hindle in her tasting note. ‘Smooth and silky tannins give the gentle frame, letting the strawberry, creamy raspberry and red cherry fruit do the talking,’ she wrote. 

It marks the final vintage produced at the estate prior to the passing of the highly respected Anthony Barton

O’Connell at Bordeaux Index said the significance of the vintage for the estate, plus a ‘reasonably well-judged price’ on release, ‘has led to good demand’.

Wine Lister said, ‘An opening price of £55.71 [per bottle, in bond] for 2021 comes below market prices of five of the six preceding vintages’. 

Léoville-Las Cases 2021 was released at €169 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, down by nearly 15% on the opening price of the 2020 vintage, according to Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade. It said international merchants were offering the wine for £1,950 (12x75cl in bond).

‘A brilliant Las Cases in 2021,’ wrote Hindle in her tasting note for Decanter Premium subscribers. She gave the wine 95 points.

Liv-ex said buyers looking for physical vintages might be interested in the 2014 wine, available at around a 32% discount to the new release.

Langoa Barton 2021, rated 93 points by Decanter, was also released at €29.4 per bottle ex-Bordeaux level with the 2020 debut price, Lister added. Bordeaux Index offered the wine for £355 (12x75cl in bond).

The wine will eventually be bottled with a special label to mark 200 years of Barton family ownership.

Among other releases, Château La Lagune 2021 made its debut. Hindle described the wine as a ‘stellar effort’ in the vintage. Rating the wine 92 points, she said, ‘It’s certainly on the more delicate side, but this has such vivacious energy and will be lovely to enjoy soon.’

It was being offered at £320 (12x75cl in bond), according to Liv-ex, having been released around 2% up on the opening price for 2020, on an ex-Bordeaux basis (€ per bottle).

Updated on 24 May to include details of Château Palmer’s release. Original article published on 23 May.


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