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2001 VINTAGE in Burgundy
A promising start to the new millennium...
Growing season and weather conditions
The winter, during which the vines lay dormant, was a mild one.
The first signs of bud-burst came early but wintry conditions in April accompanied by frosts in the most exposed vineyards slowed down the start of the growing season.
Spring, from May onwards, was marked by periods of fine sunny weather.
The first flowers appeared, precociously, at the beginning of June, but the process was then slowed by a recurrence of low temperatures. Flowering was thus spread out over a period of some two weeks and the resulting unevenness in the progress of maturation persisted until harvest-time.
The natural weight of the crop burden led many growers to resort to green thinning ("vendanges en vert") - cutting out superfluous grape bunches at an early stage to ensure a harvest lower in volume but higher in quality.
Maturation and harvest
July was cool and rainy. Summer only really arrived in August with sometimes scorching heat and high levels of recorded sunshine. Violent rain- and hail-storms caused significant damage to the vines in some localities.
Maturation proceeded under favourable circumstances and the physical condition of the grapes remained good.
A slight drop in temperature at the beginning of September together with some light rain meant that in choosing the right moment to begin picking, growers needed to be alert and exercise great judgement (given uneven maturation and changeable weather conditions), and to make the best use of dry and sunny periods.
The need to wait, in some cases, for the moment of optimum ripeness meant that the harvest period was prolonged. Maturity was variable with sugar levels ranging from moderate to very good, good levels of acidity, and variable polyphenol levels in the red wines.
Estimated yield totals 1.5 million hectolitres, a slightly lower volume than the 2000 and 2001 harvests.
Vinification and character of the wines
Vinification of the white wines proceded in a lesisurely manner and without incident. The red wines demanded more attention in order to extract the maximum potential from their colouring matter and tannins.
As of mid-November, the white wines are fine and straightforward, well-balanced with good concentration and well-developed fruit backed by firm acidity.
The reds are vividly and intensely coloured. They have a well-defined structure thanks to firm tannins and a good level of acidity. They are meaty, with agreeable and expressive fruit.