Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2001 Bordeaux

The September Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2001 Bordeaux from some of my favorite producers. 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. The winning bottle will be opened next weekend and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

The 2001 vintage in Bordeaux was widely swept aside following on the heels of the highly regarded millennium vintage. Weather in 2001 was variable. Cool months followed by hot months. Wet months followed by dry months. 13 years later several things are clear. First and foremost, 2001 was one of last truly affordable vintages. Secondly, the wines are better than was expected, particularly on the Right Bank.

The Contenders:

    • 2001 Leoville Barton – Civilized and approachable for a young Leoville-Barton, it exhibits a saturated plum/purple color along with classic Bordelais aromas of damp earth, creme de cassis, smoke, vanillin, and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied and rich, with high but well-integrated tannin, and a long, 40+ second finish, it should turn out to be a brilliant effort, and one of the stars of the Medoc. However, patience is essential. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020. 92 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Troplong Mondot – This estate continues to merit substantial praise. Let’s hope in the upcoming revised Classification of the Wines of St.-Emilion, Troplong Mondot merits elevation to Premier Grand Cru Classe, which it has deserved for some time. Not far off the pace of the spectacular 2000, the 2001 is performing even better from bottle than it was from cask. A gorgeous perfume of plum jam, creme de cassis, flowers, licorice, black fruits, a hint of graphite, and well-integrated wood notes is followed by a medium to full-bodied St.-Emilion with superb texture, great flavor purity, and tremendous harmony as well as elegance. Remarkably approachable despite its impressive concentration and well-concealed tannin, this is a beauty. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2017. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Cos d’Estournel – A beautiful effort, the 2001 Cos d’Estournel (65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot) exhibits a poised, noble bouquet of black currants, cedar, spice box, and licorice. A hint of truffles emerges as it sits in the glass. Medium-bodied with sweet fruit (mostly black) and nicely integrated wood, it builds incrementally in the mouth, ending with a 50-second finish. Drink this sylish, restrained yet substantial claret over the next 15+ years. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2001 Bordeaux should I open?

  • 2001 Troplong Mondot (41%, 12 Votes)
  • 2001 Cos d'Estournel (41%, 12 Votes)
  • 2001 Leoville Barton (17%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 29

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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 October installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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11 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2001 Bordeaux

  1. Picked Cos ’cause it’s a personal fave however, my guess is the Troplong is the better wine right now. 2001 was pretty good to the Right Bank I think.

  2. Outstanding trio, Tom! My pick is the 2001 Cos d’Estournel. Cos seems to make their wines to be more accessible earlier than either Leoville Barton or Troplong Mondot. That’s not to say Cos cannot age for 30+ years because it can. Of these three wines, Leoville Barton will always take the most time to come around, so Barton would be my last choice. Troplong Mondot will be drinking fine but not as well as Cos, in my opinion. Enjoy!

      1. Anthony Barton is certainly a traditionalist when it comes to wine making. 50+ years longevity, on average, is how he builds the Leoville Barton. Takes a while for it to come around. But when it does – “liquid gold”!

        1. From what I understand the recipe changed a bit in recent years and the wines are being made slightly more approachable. Thus the more favorable press from the Wine Advocate. That being said I am in no hurry to open my 09’s and 10’s.

          1. Agreed. I’ve read that most of the winemakers in Bordeaux are now trying to make their wines more approachable because most consumers don’t have the patience to wait several years to open the bottle. I think one reason Napa Valley wineries have been so successful in the last 20 years or so is that most of their wines are drinkable upon release but can also age.

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