Bordeaux / The year 2001 is known as the year of the growers. The whole of Bordeaux suffered from a lot of rain and the resultant noble rot. Sauternes produced its best wines for decades, and there is good reason to talk about the Sauternes revolution. The best wine of the year is clearly Yquem.Parker's hundred-point Yquem sold at 300 euro en primeur, and today the price is a whopping 600 euro a bottle.

For red wines, the year was difficult. Cabernet Sauvignon, thanks to its thicker skin, did better than Merlot. The chilly, rainy and cloudy growth period ripened the grapes too slowly. The estates had to work more intensively. The grapes were rather small and produced concentrated wines. Latour can be considered the best buy. Good purchases also include Ausone, Pétrus and Le Pin. 

Sauternes Vintage Report: Rapid onset of botrytis on ripe grapes, high in sugar. Ideal October: brief rainstorms, elevated temperatures, windy & sun-filled afternoons. Very sweet yet balanced wines with pronounced noble rot & noteworthy complexity. A memorable year & highly uniform success for all liquoreux.


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Vintage Report

Burgundy Vintage Report by DRC:  At the time of this writing, the vineyards resemble a purplish red and gold tapestry under the sun that is shining through a light autumnal mist. The picture is sumptuous. At last we can feel the calm and softness of the "Indian Summer" which has set in over Burgundy. 

This calm and this softness strikingly contrast with the chaotic year we went through : successively rainy, cold, warm, often without any transition, every warm spell being followed by storms... once again we were faced with a difficult year and we had to be as vigilant as ever regarding our treatments and work in the vineyards.

What are the turning points of the year 2001 ?

-    The budburst (débourrement) took place at the beginning of May and was two weeks late compared to last year, which was excessively early. Beautiful bunch setting resulting in a severe disbudding.
-    May was beautiful, but June was cold and rainy. The flowering began around June 10th in cool weather, which, surprisingly enough, did not slow it down and therefore did not prevent a rather uniform maturation of the grapes.
-    The month of July was a succession of beautiful days and storms, of cold and heat. The beginning and second part of August were "bakingly hot" (up to 38°C during 4 consecutive days !) resulting in storms that struck very hard some places in the Côte, but did not affect the Domaine. In every way, the number of sunny days and accumulated heat were equal to what we observed in a year like 1995. 

Through that ever changing weather, grapes were forming with rather thick and anthocyane-rich skins, but also fragile, which the vines were not always going to bring to complete maturity.

It is, I believe, the greatest characteristic of the year, which had major consequences on our decisions : the old vines with few grapes and the younger ones that had been carefully thinned out brought their grapes to complete maturity. But, much more perhaps than in other years, the grapes that were borne by vines that were a little more loaded, too vigorous or with large bunches, did not mature completely and created all the conditions for botrytis to develop.


This heterogeneity among the vines was worsened by the few days of cold that preceded the harvest and the day before we started, it appeared obvious to us that it would be necessary to sort out the perfectly ripe and healthy fine grapes from those whose maturation had stopped, leaving aside the grapes that were not ripe enough or exposed to grey rot.

That is the reason why we decided to have a very selective picking and to pass twice through the vineyards. The work was very difficult and required everybody to be very vigilant : from the pickers to the sorting-team at the winery. But the expected result was achieved and if the 2001 vintage reaches the quality that we hope for, we shall owe victory to the "haute-couture" selection that was performed.

It is at present too early to give our opinion on the final quality or to venture comparisons with other vintages. The vinifications proceeded very well and at the time of the devatting, which we are finishing, we can already say that the wines have beautiful colours, are extremely aromatic - the powerful fragrances are fit to knock you down ! - and show a beautiful length in the mouth. We shall see during the next weeks and months whether these positive impressions are confirmed.

The harvest began on September 24th and was completed by the 30th in the following order : Echezeaux, Grands-Echezeaux, Richebourg, Romanée-Conti, La Tâche and Romanée-St-Vivant.

The Montrachet was also harvested on September 30th, which was very late compared to other producers, but as you know now, this very great terroir makes it possible to wait for extreme ripeness without losing the freshness that gives it its balance.

2001 is once again a "vigneron's year" : that is to say as far as the work before the harvest enabled us to bring in ripe grapes that were produced according to a controlled yield, we can expect a beautiful quality.

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Vintage Report

Napa Valley Vintage Report: An early spring, a surprise frost and early heat spikes led to a bit of a roller coaster ride for the 2001 vintage crop. But the weather evened out, condensing the harvest and producing a near simultaneous harvest of grapes. The up and down temperatures began with a cold and harsh March, with two deceptive heat spikes into the 80s, which coaxed the vines into a slightly earlier bloom. The hottest May on record and the third hottest June (in total degree days) led to a harvest time around two to three weeks ahead of normal. August cooled to near perfect temperatures with cool nights, allowing the grapes to settle and extend the all-important hang time on the vine, producing remarkably clean fruit.

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Italy Vintage Report by Tb: In 2001 growers’ fears concerning an early spring were realised. The new buds that were exposed to April’s sub-zero temperatures suffered severe damage, which was apparent in the small crop size. The very hot and dry summer weather drove vineyards nearly to their breaking point, until, just in the nick of time, early September rains rescued the parched crops from dying of thirst. The result was a very ripe and heavily fruity vintage, which is dominated by a high essence concentration, rich colour and stout tannins. All in all, Piedmont and Tuscany both produced an excellent long-lasting vintage.  These wines can be matured for decades.


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The best wines of the 2001 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 d'Yquem 98.2 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
2 Château L´Evangile 98.0 Château L´Evangile Pomerol, France
3 St. Eden 97.6 Bond Estate Napa Valley, United States
4 The Napa Valley Reserve 97.0 The Napa Valley Reserve Napa Valley, United States
5 Harlan Estate 96.8 Harlan Estate Napa Valley, United States
6 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon 96.8 Roger Sabon Rhône, France
7 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 96.7 Domaine de la Mordoree Rhône, France
8 Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 96.7 Abreu Vineyards St.Helena, United States
9 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 96.5 Shafer Vineyards Napa Valley, United States
10 Le Désir 96.5 Verite Wines California, United States
11 Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 96.3 Araujo Estate Napa Valley, United States
12 Hommage à Jacques Perrin 96.0 Château de Beaucastel Rhône, France
13 La Muse 96.0 Verite Wines California, United States
14 Château Pape Clément 96.0 Château Pape Clément Bordeaux, France
15 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Eiswein 96.0 Weingut Selbach-Oster Mosel, Germany
16 Reserve des Célestin CNP 96.0 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf du Pape, France
17 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 96.0 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
18 Meursault Caillerets 96.0 Coche Dury Burgundy, France
19 Richebourg 96.0 Domaine Jean Grivot Burgundy, France
20 Screaming Eagle 96.0 Screaming Eagle Napa Valley, United States
21 Château Filhot 96.0 Château Filhot Sauternes, France
22 Trotanoy 96.0 Château Trotanoy Pomerol, France
23 Montrachet 96.0 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
24 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 96.0 Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
25 Riesling G-Max 96.0 Weingut Keller Rheinhessen, Germany
26 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 95.9 Whitehall Lane Estate California, United States
27 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey 95.7 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Bordeaux, France
28 Grace Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 95.5 Grace Family Vineyard Saint Helena, CA, United States
29 Château Climens 95.5 Château Climens Bordeaux, France
30 Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon 95.5 Colgin Cellars Napa Valley, United States
31 IX Estate 95.5 Colgin Cellars Napa Valley, United States
32 Château Nairac 95.3 Château Nairac Bordeaux, France
33 Château Suduiraut 95.3 Château Suduiraut Bordeaux, France
34 Vecina 95.3 Bond Estate Napa Valley, United States
35 Lafleur 95.3 Château Lafleur Bordeaux, France
36 Masseto 95.3 Ornellaia Tuscany, Italy
37 Redigaffi 95.2 Tua Rita Italy, Italy
38 Corton-Charlemagne 95.2 Coche Dury Burgundy, France
39 La Joie Sonoma County 95.0 Verite Wines California, United States
40 Cirsion 95.0 Bodegas Roda Rioja , Spain
41 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 95.0 Whitehall Lane Estate California, United States
42 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 95.0 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
43 Bonnes Mares VV 95.0 Domaine Christophe Roumier Burgundy, France
44 Chambertin Clos de Bèze 95.0 Domaine Armand Rousseau Burgundy, France
45 Barolo Cannubi Boschis 95.0 Luciano Sandrone Piedmont, Italy
46 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 95.0 Weingut J. J. Prüm Mosel, Germany
47 Termanthia 95.0 Bodegas Numanthia Valdefinjas, Spain
48 San Leonardo 95.0 Tenuta San Leonardo Trentino , Italy
49 Chevalier-Montrachet 95.0 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
50 Tychson Hill 95.0 Colgin Cellars Napa Valley, United States
51 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux Centenaire 95.0 Andre Brunel Rhône, France
52 Maya 95.0 Dalla Valle Napa Valley, United States
53 ILR Reserve Semillon 95.0 Brokenwood Hunter Valley, Australia
54 La Tâche 95.0 Chevillot Burgundy, France
55 Barolo Gran Bussia Riserva 95.0 Poderi Aldo Conterno Piedmont, Italy
56 Romanée Conti 95.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
57 Montrachet 95.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
58 Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 95.0 Domaine Ponsot Burgundy, France
59 L'Ermita 95.0 Álvaro Palacios Catalonia, Spain
60 Musigny 95.0 Domaine de la Vougeraie Bourgogne, France
61 Château Hosanna 95.0 Château Hosanna Bordeaux, France
62 Rubicon 95.0 Inglenook Napa Valley, United States
63 Hill of Grace 95.0 Henschke Eden Valley, Australia
64 Eiswein Oberhäuser Brücke 95.0 Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff Nahe, Germany
65 Barolo Rocche 94.7 Vietti Piedmont, Italy
66 Château Raymond-Lafon 94.5 Château Raymond-Lafon Bordeaux, France
67 Ermitage Ex-Voto 94.5 E.Guigal Rhône, France
68 Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet 94.5 Domaine Ramonet Burgundy, France
69 Bernkastler Badstune Riesling Eiswein 94.5 Weingut Selbach-Oster Mosel, Germany
70 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 94.5 Bryant Family Vineyard Napa Valley, United States
71 Number 6 94.5 Kracher Neusiedlersee, Austria
72 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra 94.5 Conterno Fantino Piedmont, Italy
73 Richebourg 94.5 Meo Camuzet Burgundy, France
74 Clos Mogador 94.5 Clos Mogador Priorat, Spain
75 Kiedricher GräfenBerg Auslese 94.3 Weingut Robert Weil Rheingau, Germany
76 Hermitage 94.3 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Rhône, France
77 Château Rieussec 94.1 Château Rieussec Sauternes, France
78 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 94.0 Château de Beaucastel Rhône, France
79 Costa Russi 94.0 Angelo Gaja Barbaresco, Italy
80 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon 94.0 Abreu Vineyards St.Helena, United States
81 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 94.0 S.A. Prüm Mosel, Germany
82 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac 94.0 M. Chapoutier Rhône, France
83 Château Doisy-Daene 94.0 Château Doisy-Daëne Bordeaux, France
84 Clos de Vougeot 94.0 Meo Camuzet Burgundy, France
85 Calvario 94.0 Finca Allende Rioja, Spain
86 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes 94.0 Chateau La Nerthe Rhône, France
87 890 Gran Reserva 94.0 La Rioja Alta Rioja, Spain
88 Diana Madeline 94.0 Cullen Wines Margaret River, Australia
89 Barolo Vigna Giachini 94.0 Fratelli Revello Piedmont, Italy
90 Château Clinet 94.0 Château Clinet Bordeaux, France
91 Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley 94.0 Kistler California, United States
92 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga 94.0 Bruno Giacosa Barolo, Italy
93 Catena Malbec 94.0 Catena Zapata Mendoza, Argentina
94 Scharzhofberger Spätlese 94.0 Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof Saar, Germany
95 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline 94.0 E.Guigal Rhône, France
96 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 94.0 Philip Togni Vineyard Napa Valley, United States
97 Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles 94.0 Louis Jadot Burgundy, France
98 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 94.0 Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz, United States
99 Montrachet 94.0 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Burgundy, France
100 Villa de Corullon 94.0 Descendientes de J. Palacios Leon, Spain


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