Rhône 2021 – red Hermitage, Côte Rôtie and Cornas

hill of Hermitage looking away from the river

The vintage really left its mark on the three key red wines. Above, vines cling to the hill of Hermitage. See also this guide to our Rhône 2021 coverage.

As expected, the headlining duo of Hermitage and Côte Rôtie were largely lighter in body, alcohol and concentration in 2021 than in other recent vintages. In Côte Rôtie chaptalisation was commonplace, as potential alcohols at picking were often less than 12%. Considerable sorting was required in the vineyard, which meant that yields were down. Pretty much every winemaker I spoke with said it was the most physically exhausting vintage they...