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Olivier Bernstein: 2021 Limited First Release

2021 En Primeur Allocation

CASE OF 3 BOTTLES (3 X 75cl)

*** Allocations can be converted to large format bottling;
magnums (1.5L) & jeroboams (3L)
Please enquire directly for further details

70 year old vines
“The King”

70 year old vines
“The Queen”

90 year old vines
“My companion”

60 year old vines at 250m altitude
“The Giant”

60 year old vines at 250m altitude with eastern exposure
“The thousand and one nights”

90 year old vines
“An Oscar for this monument”

50 year old vines
“The most Charm-ing of the Grand Crus”

60 year old vines at 340m altitude
“A truly great Premier Cru”

All wines are offered in bond, subject to remaining unsold & final confirmation, E. & O.E.
Please note that our en primeur and in bond GBP prices exclude VAT and Duty but include shipping from the producers to our UK warehouse.
Payment is kindly required on invoice so to secure reservation.
Estimated stock arrival from the Domaine: Autumn 2023
Limited quantities are available

The Philosophy

In the beating heart of Burgundy – Beaune – Olivier Bernstein’s property is breathtaking, even before trying his wines in the cellar below. Located in Beaune’s old district Olivier completely renovated No. 4 rue Jean Belin between 2005 and 2010, with the help of celebrated architect Michele De Lucchi. The level of detail and the authentic craftsmanship that the building exudes is staggering. A perfect mirror to both the obsessive level of attention to detail and the authentic beauty you find in his wines.

“It was a crazy bet with myself that shouldn’t have paid off” – Olivier Bernstein

From 2007, his first Burgundy vintage, he set the bar sky high as to successfully compete with the finest wines coming out of the Cote d’Or, receiving superb critical reviews from his very first vintage;
a trend that was cemented with each and every subsequent vintage.

Old Vine Grand Cru
The negociant house which bears his name produces very small quantities of supremely high-quality old-vine Premier and Grand Cru Burgundy. Olivier owns a plot of Premier Cru Gevrey-Chambertin “Champeaux”, and works closely with select growers across seven Grand Cru’s; where he and his team manage the viticulture year-round.

All the cuvées have a high proportion of whole bunches used in fermentation (typically from 60% to 80%). Keen to preserve elegance, Olivier uses a gentler extraction, careful not to mark the delicate fruit with too much tannin. Instead only a very light pump over, taking the juice from the bottom of the tank and pumping it back over the top of the tanks where the skins and stems have formed a hard cap on the surface. The aim being to enhance rather than overpower the pure, red-berry fruit.

The Essence of Oak
The wine is then transferred to barrels where they are aged for a further 15 months, with just one racking in July. His attention to detail extends beyond the viticultural, working directly with esteemed cooper Stéphane Chassin who visits Olivier following harvest every year to taste each of the cuvees. Based on the individual cuvée’s profile, Stephane adapts the type of oak and the toast levels of the barrels, informed by the characteristics of the vintage. They source from two different forests, Jupilles and Fontainebleau, the Jupilles giving amplitude and roundness to the wines whereas the Fontainebleau provides tension and flavour complexity.

The Hallmark
There is a distinct and recurrent hallmark to the wines which carry the signature of Olivier Bernstein. Sharing a refined textural quality, each Grand Cru identity is encapsulated and retained across his range of cuvée’s. These wines are grown-up, alive and built to age, aided by the high proportion of new oak that beautifully frames the purity of fruit without ever overpowering it; surely a lasting influence from his time spent with the late, great, Burgundy legend Henri Jayer.

World Renowned
His wines are now among the region’s most sought-after and sell out every vintage when the wine is still in barrel. Notably in August 2022 a one-of-a-kind Jeroboam of Olivier Bernstein Romanée-St-Vivant 2017 sold for a record £57,000 making it the most expensive bottle of RSV Burgundy ever sold, comfortably aligning Bernstein with Burgundy icons such as Domaine Prieuré-Roch, Domaine Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

These are unquestionably wines worthy of the most discerning collections and cellars. The miniscule production in the 2021 vintage will limit access to those who are ready to act promptly and secure an allocation.

The 2021 Vintage
Cool-climate Burgundy, if you’re fortunate to find any

“There are no difficult vintages if you are happy to work at the weekend.”
Richard Seguin, Vineyard Manager at Maison Olivier Bernstein

The 2021s are a new enthralling chapter in the Bernstein adventure. His wines are always impressive in stature and weight, but this vintage is less about those impressive depths and more about the soaring heights. The resulting wines show supreme balance, insane purity and a scintillating freshness that ensures these will be some of the best wines you will find in Burgundy this year.

Just one elephant to discuss. A growing season like no other. Stylistically it signals a welcome return to classicism across the region. It is likely that the 2021 vintage will bring great joy to Burgundy purists, the cooler-than-usual growing season failed to force high alcohol levels – as has been the case in recent years – leaving instead an arguably more refined style. However, as yields were so tiny, for those with a penchant for cool-climate Burgundy, to secure the best examples, be ready to act quick.

In 2021, the defining point arrived following three nights of devastating frost in early April robbing many producers of up to 80% potential 2021 crop. It hit many of the more prestigious vineyards: better placed and warmer sites were naturally more advanced in their budding than vines in the cooler areas and on the plains and lower slopes.

Temperatures went as low as -7°C and almost all forms of frost protection were rendered useless. Wind turbines and helicopters found no warm air to circulate, and candles, whilst offering some protection, cost around €4,000 per hectare, making them a realistic option for wealthier domaines only. Even then, availability of the candles in sufficient volume was difficult to source.

The problem was further compounded by snow on a second night of cold weather, accentuating cold and freeze. When the sun finally did come out, the ice around the buds acted as a magnifying glass, scorching many of the remaining buds that had not yet been touched.

Overall, it is likely that the 2021 vintage for Burgundy will be far more a vintage for reds than for whites as yields for whites were heavily reduced – although yields for reds were not high either. The quality of what was made, however, is said to be very good.

How do I order?

Simply click on a Request your 2021 Allocation button to view Bernstein’s 2021 Burgundy En Primeur release and submit your preferred selection. We will confirm all orders promptly, subject to availability.

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
From all the Wine Source Team