The 2021 Vintage
Remember 2021? Just when vaccinations made us feel more like going out, the dreaded heat dome hit, sending us fleeing back inside with valley temperatures reaching as high as 116 degrees. That’s Phoenix hot. That’s fir tree frying hot. And the impact on the vintage? Not so bad. 2021 is now being considered a stellar vintage, producing collectible pinots that will cellar for 10 – 20 years.
Zut alors, as they would say in France. How did this happen?
Well, first, while the heat dome was damaging to many native plants and mature crops, it came at a point in the season that was not as harmful to grapes as it might have been either earlier or later. The weather moderated after that and while we had a warmer and drier than normal summer, it was not dramatically so. The warm, dry weather also contributed to smaller, more compact clusters. While this reduced yields and, no doubt, pissed off bankers (they like it when we have lots of grapes to sell), it also made for bigger whites with higher alcohol and more cellaring potential. As for reds, mon Dieu, are they good! With well-structured tannins, delightful color and higher alcohol, these wines may be the finest since the celebrated 2012 vintage. Tony Rynders thinks this may be Saffron’s best vintage ever, with wines distinguished by their supple and refined tannins. These are wines that can be put down for 10 years, some even say 20.
But you need not wait 20 years to enjoy these delights. We’re not talking Barolo here, after all. As with all of our red wines, we only release a vintage when we consider them ready to delight our customers. You will find the 2021 wines immediately approachable and a fine (and welcome) addition to any dinner party. At the same time, these are case-purchase-worthy wines that will delight you and your guests for years to come.