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


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Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 2009, Joseph Drouhin
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Brut Rosé NV (10's), Thiénot
Meriame Barolo 2012, Azienda Agricola Sukula
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