On September 20, 2016 we hauled out the remaining bottles of our 2001 Bordeaux to revisit this vintage. These wines were 'left overs' from a tasting we conducted in 2012 and the club decided to put them back into our cellar for another future tasting. It's rare that we get to try the same wines twice, several years apart but we thought it would be fun and interesting to do.
2001 was considered a classic Bordeaux vintage, producing aromatic, fresh and well-balanced wines, not as heavy and concentrated as 2000 but significantly better that the vintages of the late 1990s (if you’re fortunate enough to be able to compare). Seven of our wines were from the Left Bank of the Gironde River while one was from the Right.
Guest speaker Paul Sturgess of IWEG Drinks Academy joined for the evening.
We decided to pour the wines in reverse order of how they were ranked by our members back in 2012. So the wine that was ranked 8th, was poured first, etc. It was interesting to see how the group ranked them this time.
HOW THE WINES WERE RANKED IN 2016
COMPARED WITH HOW THE WINES RANKED IN 2012
The group placed the Duhart Milon last in 2012 and again in 2016. The Pichon Baron and Smith Haut Lafitte were ranked very similarly as well. In fact, our members ranked these wines almost the same four years apart. Quite amazing!
Note – prices shown are from the time of purchase; these wines would be considerably more pricey in today’s market.
2001 Clerc Milon, Pauillac $52
“The 2001 Clerc Milon is undeniably a sleeper of the vintage, and an effort that may actually turn out better than the brilliant 2000. The blend has changed since I tasted it last year and is now 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. A roasted espresso character in the nose, along with melted chocolate, licorice, crème de cassis, and new oak jumps from the glass of this impressive, sweet, expansive, full-bodied Clerc Milon. This is impressive stuff, pure, dense chewy, and sexy. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020.” 88 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, April 2003.
2001 Pichon Baron, Pauillac $73
“A very successful effort for this vintage in the Medoc, this deep ruby/purple-colored Pauillac exhibits class/nobility/breed along with black currant liqueur, licorice, and incense notes. Sweet, expansive, fleshy, and medium to full-bodied, with good structure, ripe tannin, and a long, 30-35 second finish, it can be drunk now, but will be even better in 2-3 years; it will last for 12-15 years.” 93 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.
2001 Duhart Milon, Pauillac $39
“The Rothschilds are making enormous investments in this estate, so I’m expecting a breakthrough effort to emerge (maybe the 2003 qualifies). The deep ruby-colored 2001 exhibits a moderately intense, noble bouquet of graphite, plums, and currants. Elegant (much in the style of Lafite) with medium body, sweet tannin, and a lively finish, it will be at its finest between 2007-2017.” 89 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.
2001 Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac $56
“As usual, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, this deep ruby/purple-colored wine shows sweet, straightforward creme de cassis notes, excellent concentration, a certain elegance, good weight, and light to moderate tannin in a velvety-textured finish. It should be a forward and delicious Grand-Puy-Lacoste, reminiscent of the 1999, but with more weight and depth. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2015.” 88 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, April 2003.
2001 Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan $63
“A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 13% Cabernet Franc, it was macerated for four weeks, enjoyed malolactic in barrel as well as stirring of the lees, and was bottled with minimal clarification. This elegant, stylish, deep ruby/purple-colored effort reveals notes of smoke, graphite, and red as well as black fruits in its perfumed, nicely evolved bouquet. With sweet flavors, medium body, outstanding concentration, and impressive purity, this finely-etched Pessac-Leognan should hit its peak in 4-5 years, and drink well over the following 12-14+.” 92 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.
2001 La Croix de Gay, Pomerol $42
“This is a strong effort from a property known for producing delicate, understated, restrained Pomerols. The unfined/unfiltered 2001 La Croix de Gay (90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc) is a sleeper of the vintage. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of raspberries, cherries, smoke, and espresso. This sexy, lush, medium-bodied, opulent claret possesses loads of fruit as well as a plush texture. Enjoy it now and over the next 10-12 years.” 89 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.
2001 Leoville Poyferré, St Julien $59
“Sweet notions of plums, black currants, caramel, and spicy oak are provocative and alluring. Subtle but substantial, layered, and textured, with medium body as well as sexy, up-front flavors, low acidity, and ripe tannin, this beauty is among the most evolved and flamboyant of the appellation. Nevertheless, it should age well. Anticipated maturity: now-2016” 90 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.
2001 Talbot, St Julien $49
“The 2001, which represents only 50% of the production, is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. A dense saturated ruby/purple color is followed by notes of smoked herbs, licorice, cedar, incense, plums, and black currants. The wine is medium-bodied and moderately tannic for a 2001, with good depth as well as power. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and consume it over the following 12-14 years.” 89 pts. Robert Parker, erobertparker.com, June 2004.