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Of all vintages in my 30 years of experience with Burgundy, 2001 is the year I have found the most difficult to pin down. The growing season was a touch anonymous with good weather in late May, late August and thankfully during the harvest in late September, but otherwise too many cool, grey and somewhat rainy periods, including the all important first three weeks of September. For whatever reason, to date, I have never been able to put my finger on the particular character associated with the wines of this vintage.
A ‘Ten Year On’ tasting held by Clive Coates and Becky Wasserman with many of the growers also participating gave me a chance to put that right, and so it has. The full details are apparent in the main article here which includes tasting notes on all the leading wines,
2001 falls short of a first class vintage but there is much to enjoy. You sense the slight lack of sunshine, especially in the bouquets which rarely leap out of the glass in seductive fashion. The whites were perhaps more ready, some beginning to tire, others still in their prime.
There were virtually no red wines which seemed to be tiring. There were no truly outstanding wines either, lacking the extra coat of velvet which a great year can give. The style of 2001 is a touch on the austere side but the fruit is there to be appreciated and the structure is balanced. Hardly a tasting note remarked on either a surplus or a deficit of acidity, and very rarely did tannins impinge.
One interesting observation was how well the wines showed where stems had been used during vinification – Domaines de la Romanée Conti, Dujac, Lambrays, de l’Arlot and from the Côte de Beaune de Courcel and Chandon de Briailles for example.
It should be noted that the wines were not tasted blind and that the samples came directly from the producers’ own cellars, hence stored under the best possible conditions. Many producers provided magnums and these have been marked (M) in the text.