Any wine producer will tell you, the best vintage he/she has ever made is the vintage that needs to be sold. With few exceptions (such as undeniably catastrophic weather conditions) this is always the message. Like wine experts whose answer to the question, “What’s your favourite wine?” is, “The wine in my glass.”

It would be difficult to imagine a more difficult vintage year than 2021 for most West European vineyards. The proverbial plagues descended on most appellations: hail, floods, droughts — pretty much everything the heavens could visit upon those countries home to the classical names that used to dominate the wine lists of fancy restaurants and the cobwebbed cellars of traditional wine merchants...

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