but they of course haven’t made it onto our list), most were reasonably well balanced from that perspective. The 2021s are undoubtedly a lighter version of the preceding vintages and some Châteaux could certainly have done with a greater depth of core fruit in the mid/end palate, but our job is to separate the wheat from the chaff, hence our MANY rounds of tasting. We have refined our selections to bring you seventy-five or so wines that we aremore than happy with this vintage. The Wine Advocate recently released their scores, and they tend to corroborate our views, as you’ll see. Naturally, we all have slightly different tastes, but broadly speaking, we’re in agreement, with over 50 wines tasted having a 95 pts or above in the score. THEMARKET In terms of themarket and prices, it’s the same old story. Us consumers will demand a price decrease citing market conditions, the dreadful events in Ukraine and FX pressures (the usual story) whilst the proprietors will demand price increases citing inflationary production costs and the lack of yield (the usual story!), so for any predictions, let’s all stick our fingers in the air and have a guess…

I suspect we’ll see prices around last year’s levels. A Petit Château out yesterday morning was down three percent on last year’s price, but I wouldn’t read too much into that. In terms of the €/£ level, we’re trading flat compared as last year, though usefully the € vs. $ has weakened by nearly 15% over the same period which could play favourably in the Europeans’ pricing strategy to their US$ relatedmarkets. Let the games begin... Alex



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