Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

Pick My Next Bottle – 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. Voting will close this Saturday and the winning bottle will be opened this Sunday. A Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

2001 was simply a great vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The Summer of 2001 was somewhat cool with temperatures rarely exceeding 85 degrees. This led to wines with somewhat higher acidity that have aged absolutely gloriously. The vintage has been compared to other Napa classics like 1974 and 1991.

The Contenders:

    • 2001 Pahlmeyer – More primary and backward, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon needs 4-6 more years of cellaring, but is capable of lasting three decades or more. Composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a dollop of Malbec, it exhibits a dense, thick, black/purple color as well as emerging aromas of cedar, black currants, ink, graphite, charcoal and forest floor. This full-bodied, packed and stacked Cabernet offers a sexy, open-knit opulence on the attack followed by noticeable tannins. However, the latter component is clearly balanced by the wine’s stunning concentration, texture and overall depth. As stated above, forget this beauty for another 4-6 years and drink it over the following 25-30. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Spottswoode – This is a beautiful wine, although more recent vintages may ultimately prove to be even better, particularly the 2007. This blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, from one of Napa’s prestigious sites on the valley floor tucked behind the town of St. Helena, has a dense blue/purple color and a beautifully sweet nose of spring flowers intermixed with raspberry jam, blueberries and black currants. Some licorice and subtle oak are followed by a quintessentially elegant yet substantial wine with sweet tannins, medium to full body and a seamless texture. Drinkable already, the wine will continue to offer the more elegant, complex, evolved style of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon produced in 2001 for at least another 15-20 years. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Plumpjack – A more long distance runner, although approachable now, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exhibits a similar dense plum/purple color in addition to notes of white flowers, black raspberries, black currants, lead pencil shavings and burning embers. Full-bodied and rich with low acidity, sweet tannin and a corpulent, nicely textured, long mouthfeel, it should hit its prime in 2-3 years, and last for 2+ decades. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should I open?

  • 2001 Spottswoode (43%, 25 Votes)
  • 2001 Plumpjack (29%, 17 Votes)
  • 2001 Pahlmeyer (28%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 58

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the July installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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14 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. Pahlmeyer, from the WA write up, the strong tannins should be perfect after 13 years. More curious to see how it turned out. Plus I do love a Bordeaux blend!

  2. My vote is the 2001 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve read that the Pahlmeyer is still in a backward, primary phase, so give this one more time. Also, I’ve read that both the Spottswoode and Plumpjack are drinking well now, so really a toss up as to which to go with. The ’01 Plumpjack might be a bit longer lived that the Spottswoode, so I’m going with the ’01 Spottswoode. Great trio, Tom! Enjoy!

      1. ’01 Spottswoode solidly in the lead. Amazing vintage for California Cabernet Sauvignon, as you know. Any of the trio of wines you ultimately go with will be superlative, I’m sure! Enjoy!

  3. Seems like you could hold Spottswoode and Pahlmeyer even longer, for that reason I went with Plumpjack. But maybe I’m wrong. Very interested in hearing the results. 01 is an anniversary year for me, so would love to know how great Cali Cabs are hanging in.

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