Bordeaux 2001: Sauternes in 2010
Put yourself in my shoes. It is early 2002 and the memory of missing out on the 2000 vintage – which for Bordeaux was proclaimed in some quarters to be “the greatest ever” – is still fresh in your mind. It’s not that you were caught napping, but in order to buff up your curriculum vitae you took a highly regarded but severely underpaid (a pay cut to the tune of 50% in fact) research job. But that two-year contract is now history, its short-lived financial straitjacket just a memory. And now along comes the 2001 vintage with its fabulous Sauternes, and suddenly the adjectives so recently applied to the red wines of the previous vintage are now being appended to these sweet nectars. What else would you do – provided you are in love with Sauternes as much as I am, of course – other than load up?
That is just what I did. And so with the cellar well stocked with dozens (or rather elevens and tens now) of numerous different wines you can be certain that I will be looking in on this vintage from time to time over the coming years (the coming decades I hope!) to see how they are getting on. I plan repeated examinations of this selection of wines, a representative sample which should act as an indicator of how the vintage as a whole is progressing. I first looked at the wines in July 2006, at five years of age, alongside a taste of Yquem (not sourced from my own cellar, sadly) and they showed very well indeed. As a whole they were largely vibrant, fresh and rich, and so nearly four years on from that date I concluded it was time to take another look.