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 Ducru Beaucaillou – The 2001 Ducru is showing very well, better than I expected given its performances a few years ago. Here, it has a warm, rounded, almost sensual bouquet with black fruits, bay leaf and cedar – certainly more generous and expressive than the 2000 but without the same level of complexity or delineation. The palate is just entertaining the notion of secondary flavours with some intriguing gamey notes infusing the dark black fruit with the finish seasoned by the Cabernet Franc. This should drink well over the next decade. Tasted October 2010. 92 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 Leoville Barton (47%, 8 Votes)
  • 2001 Ducru Beaucaillou (29%, 5 Votes)
  • 2001 Cos d'Estournel (24%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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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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