Bordeaux 2001: Tasting in 2014

There is no doubt that the true stars of the 2001 vintage in Bordeaux were the wines of Sauternes and Barsac. With a wealth of botrytis, and vibrant acidities, they were superb from the outset, and clearly set up for the long haul. Despite this all-too-evident aging potential I have returned to 2001 Sauternes & Barsac several times over the last few years, just to see how the vintage was getting along in its youth. I looked at them first in July 2006, following up with a return visit in May 2010.

Along the way I encountered a selection of Pomerols, tasted in February 2008; I was struck on tasting these by the excellent quality they clearly possessed. In a vintage where all the attention had been focused on the sweet wines, had the red wines – maybe not just Pomerol, but other appellations too – more to offer than we originally thought? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that a vintage of very good quality was greatly overshadowed by a great one that immediately preceded it; it may well have happened with 2000 and 2001, and I have also long thought that 1983 had something of a bad rap, especially for communes such as Margaux which bettered their performance in 1982. The same is true for 1990 and 1991.

Bordeaux 2001

Alright, that last one’s a lie (I was just checking you were paying attention), but you get the picture. The only way to tell for sure though is to take a look. With the wines now past ten years of age it seemed like a good idea to pull a few bottles for myself, with a very small selection of wines. So this isn’t a comprehensive overview of the vintage, more just me checking in one some maturing wines recently pulled from the racks and bins of the Winedoctor cellars. The wines were opened and tasted during February and March 2014, and tasted one wine at a time, one evening at a time. This allows all the qualities of the wine to shine through, as well as any niggles of course. It can also, on occasion, lead to some rather wordy tasting notes; my apologies for this in advance.

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