2001 wines at 20 years of age...

I have a half case of the 1999 of Nicolas Potel RSV in storage so Andy’s review of the 2001 was welcome and encouraging. However, I notice the reviews of the 1999 on Cellartracker are decidedly mixed - as they are for the 2002, but they are generally more positive on the 2001 - so this reinforced my view that I should leave this alone for a few more years.
 
Most 1999s are not, Mark, and that would particularly apply to Potel's wines. It is certainly possible to begin to have doubts about the vintage if one is that way inclined.
I have been concerned recently about a combination of tired and evolved fruit and unresolved structure but that is absolutely par for the course for a top vintage. Good wines should sort themselves out.
 
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Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 2001

Decanted 6 hours ahead of consumption and served slightly warmer than I would say a RSV 2001. Straight up the perfumed aromas tell you that you are in the presence of something special. Dark fruit, florals, earth, spice - you name it this wine seems to have it. The palate too makes a big impression. It is thickly textured, concentrated with maybe a touch of the luxe about it but without in any way compromising its essential Nebbiolo soul. There is so much power, so much grace, the tannins are so smooth, so refined.... truth be told mere words don’t do this wine justice. It is that good.
 
If a wine isn’t ready (as opposed to at its peak) after 20 years, it smacks of poor winemaking, IMHO.
That is to allow theory to override reality; though as one for whom Jancis Robinson's 'Vintage Timecharts' was one of the first wine books I don't accept the notion of 'at peak', at least for red burgundy.
 
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Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 2001

Decanted 6 hours ahead of consumption and served slightly warmer than I would say a RSV 2001. Straight up the perfumed aromas tell you that you are in the presence of something special. Dark fruit, florals, earth, spice - you name it this wine seems to have it. The palate too makes a big impression. It is thickly textured, concentrated with maybe a touch of the luxe about it but without in any way compromising its essential Nebbiolo soul. There is so much power, so much grace, the tannins are so smooth, so refined.... truth be told mere words don’t do this wine justice. It is that good.
Thanks Nigel. It sounds just great and I’m reading into your note that it may be 20-30 years away from full tertiary evolved glory?

Rapturous notes don’t help me live with the regret of not buying Giacosa 15-20 years ago when they were pricey but not completely out of reach. Sad face.
 
That is to allow theory to override reality; though as one for whom Jancis Robinson's 'Vintage Timecharts' was one of the first wine books I don't accept the notion of 'at peak', at least for red burgundy.
Reality is I’m not interested in waiting 20 years. Moreover, I won’t award any credit to a producer who lacks the skill & will to make wines drinkable earlier.
Never understood the correlation of longevity in itself being the defining measure of absolute quality. But doesn’t mean I’m correct, just an opinion.
 
Thanks Nigel. It sounds just great and I’m reading into your note that it may be 20-30 years away from full tertiary evolved glory?

Rapturous notes don’t help me live with the regret of not buying Giacosa 15-20 years ago when they were pricey but not completely out of reach. Sad face.

Quite right, Andy. It is still perhaps a little young which is why I decanted it for so long and will easily last 10 and most likely 20 or 30 years. I think that you probably like your wines more mature than I do. Your “full tertiary evolved glory” (nice one!) might be my idea of “past its best”. I drink a fair bit of Nebbiolo and in my book broadly speaking savoury is fine marmite is not. As it happens I had the Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2001 last night which was much more savoury than tonights Rabaja Riserva but it was just but only just on the right side of marmite and altogether leaner and more austere than the majestic Rabaja. I will be consuming the rest of my Falletto bottles sooner rather than later. Happily I bought a lot of 2001s including Giacosa about 15 years ago and hope to post notes on some of them here. Happy face!
 
Never understood the correlation of longevity in itself being the defining measure of absolute quality.
Even nowadays the market disagrees with you-it is those wines with the longest projected life that cost the most money. I think it's bizarre to count longevity as a fault, though in itself it is not interesting. Nor is deliberately vinifying grand appellations for early drinkability. At the age of 58 it would be absurd of me to take up my enormous allocations of 2019 Musigny, Chambertin and Romanee-Conti.
 
Hello Ian,
we had intended to have the Trotanoy last week in line with this thread but due to a couple of work hiccups it never happened.
im a big fan of 01 pomerols as probably you are ......also right bank ST Emillion too.
colour still dark but lightening at the edges,deep core, fully open after 1+ hour, nose subdued to start,prickly berry fruit before settling down to undergrowth ,burning charcoals ,cherry mocha.lovely mid palate,grip and long balanced tell tale mineral finish.
lovely now and plenty of pleasure time ahead. 01 has surprisingly aged very well,Gazin albeit abit richer style than Trotanoy pips it for me.
 
Thanks Ian. Gazin must be quite something. I have a few Trotanoy 01s marooned in New York near where I used to live. At a Trotanoy vertical here in London, which must have been in early 2019, the 2000 was the one to drink now; it was an old style Pomerol right in the sweet spot, whereas the 1998 while magnificent was still holding plenty in reserve. We did not try the 01. The other 01 Pomerol which is drinking well now is Certan De May in its inimitable, old-fashioned, bordering-on-rustic style.
 
I had a couple of 01s over the last couple of weeks.

Rollin Corton Charlemagne was pretty much oxy and mostly went in the cooking, although I had a glass last night when I finally took the cork out of the bottle that was very very odd but still a little wine there.

Grivot NSG Pruliers showed rather stern out of the coravin, correct and with a nice nose, showing a little iron, which I like in NSG but a rather austere palate. The last third or so of the bottle 'au natural' last night was rather better, mature, and pleasant if not rich (which is fine, of course).
 
My contribution to the thread, a 2001 Octavius Barossa Shiraz, by Yalumba. Even the accompanying blurb on the label thinks drink by 2015. It's fully evolved, but not falling off its perch anytime soon. Excellent full throttle chocolate and menthol old vine Barossa. Big but balanced, not heavy nor tiring to drink. No tannin, all chocolate, dark fruit and bootpolish. Very good indeed.
 
I got the chance to taste two 2001s last night as part of Neil Holland's Bromley Wine Circle Zoom session. The theme was 2001 and/or 2011. Both of my wines were on fire and lovely examples of a vintage I love in Rioja, the N. Rhone, Bordeaux, and the Mosel. 2001 may be a little less compelling and long-lived in Burgundy, but there are some lovely wines there too.

Rioja Reserva Vina Tondonia Lopez de Heredia 2001
Just brilliant on the nose, the oak having melted into the sour cherry and cranberry fruit. Very fragrant. Bright cherry fruit on the palate that has a refreshing hint of sourness, beautifully weighted too - seemingly quite light and airy but with enormous persistence and a really concentrated finish. The tannins are superfine and subsumed into the fabric of the wine. This will carry on for 10-15 years but is a delight to drink now. I know there is batch variation with 2001 - I had some disappointing half bottles, but when it's good it's at the very apex of traditional rioja. Clear **** nudging ****1/2.

Domaine de Chevalier 2001
This has the typical DdC nose of tobacco, red fruits, earth and a flicker of graphite. On the palate this is so effortlessly integrated and it's a wine like the Vina Tondonia that talks quietly and compellingly, rather than shouting. The cool red fruits continue on to the palate and blend with tobacco and the melting tannins. This wine has real presence and if you like DdC and Graves it's a must. At its peak, but will drink well for another ten years if well kept. ****
 
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I got the chance to taste two 2001s last night as part of Neil Holland's Bromley Wine Circle Zoom session. The theme was 2001 and/or 2011. Both of my wines were on fire and lovely examples of a vintage I love in Rioja, the N. Rhone, Bordeaux, and the Mosel. 2001 may be a little less compelling and long-lived in Burgundy, but there are some lovely wines there too.

Rioja Reserva Vina Tondonia Lopez de Heredia 2001
Just brilliant on the nose, the oak having melted into the sour cherry and cranberry fruit. Very fragrant. Bright cherry fruit on the palate that has a refreshing hint of sourness, beautifully weighted too - seemingly quite light and airy but with enormous persistence and a really concentrated finish. The tannins are superfine and subsumed into the fabric of the wine. This will carry on for 10-15 years but is a delight to drink now. I know there is batch variation with 2001 - I had some disappointing half bottles, but when it's good it's at the very apex of traditional rioja. Clear **** nudging ****1/2.

Domaine de Chevalier 2001
This has the typical DdC nose of tobacco, red fruits, earth and a flicker of graphite. On the palate this is so effortlessly integrated and it's a wine like the Vina Tondonia that talks quietly and compellingly, rather than shouting. The cool red fruits continue on to the palate and blend with tobacco and the melting tannins. This wine has real presence and if you like DdC and Graves it's a must. At its peak, but will drink well for another ten years if well kept. ****
Nice notes Richard. I think 2001 was the last vintage before Stephane Derenoncourt was brought in as a consultant at DDC, so maybe worth seeking out.
 
We also drank Tondonia Reserva 2001 a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t think to write a note here. I agree with everything Richard writes - it was truly lovely. I’d only had it once before, two or three years ago, when it was a bit disappointing. It shouldn’t be a question of batch variation because both bottles came from the same case. The latest bottle was quite Burgundian in style, with a hauntingly beautiful nose. In fact, it was in a perfect state of development to my taste and I couldn’t see it actually getting any better for keeping. I’m inclined to drink the rest while they’re (I hope) in this state of perfection - hanging on to them to see what happens would be more an exercise in curiosity than hedonism.
 
Decided to drink one of my younger Rolly Gassmann rieslings with tonight's lobster.



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2001 Riesling Pflaenzerreben de Rorschwihr, Rolly Gassmann
Mid gold. Mature riesling nose, with honey, a touch of petrol and some rather raisined fruit notes.
Big, full, rich palate. Feels younger than it looks. Great depth and a notably zingy acidity, which keeps the sweetness fully in check.
Proper Alsace riesling.
 
Good wine that, Andrew. I have some myself. It’s a shame that Rolly-Gassmann’s top wines don’t seem to be available in the UK these days. (I imagine that that bottle might have come from TWS?)

It’s interesting to note that this 20-year old example is one of your younger R-G rieslings. They do age brilliantly.
 
Domaine de Chevalier 2001
This has the typical DdC nose of tobacco, red fruits, earth and a flicker of graphite. On the palate this is so effortlessly integrated and it's a wine like the Vina Tondonia that talks quietly and compellingly, rather than shouting. The cool red fruits continue on to the palate and blend with tobacco and the melting tannins. This wine has real presence and if you like DdC and Graves it's a must. At its peak, but will drink well for another ten years if well kept. ****
This took quite a while to come around. Our final bottle a couple of years ago was singing.
If I thought about it long enough, probably my favourite Bordeaux producer.
 
A
I got the chance to taste two 2001s last night as part of Neil Holland's Bromley Wine Circle Zoom session. The theme was 2001 and/or 2011. Both of my wines were on fire and lovely examples of a vintage I love in Rioja, the N. Rhone, Bordeaux, and the Mosel. 2001 may be a little less compelling and long-lived in Burgundy, but there are some lovely wines there too.

Rioja Reserva Vina Tondonia Lopez de Heredia 2001
Just brilliant on the nose, the oak having melted into the sour cherry and cranberry fruit. Very fragrant. Bright cherry fruit on the palate that has a refreshing hint of sourness, beautifully weighted too - seemingly quite light and airy but with enormous persistence and a really concentrated finish. The tannins are superfine and subsumed into the fabric of the wine. This will carry on for 10-15 years but is a delight to drink now. I know there is batch variation with 2001 - I had some disappointing half bottles, but when it's good it's at the very apex of traditional rioja. Clear **** nudging ****1/2.

Domaine de Chevalier 2001
This has the typical DdC nose of tobacco, red fruits, earth and a flicker of graphite. On the palate this is so effortlessly integrated and it's a wine like the Vina Tondonia that talks quietly and compellingly, rather than shouting. The cool red fruits continue on to the palate and blend with tobacco and the melting tannins. This wine has real presence and if you like DdC and Graves it's a must. At its peak, but will drink well for another ten years if well kept. ****

Lovely notes, Richard, thanks.
 
As part of the Zoom Richard mentions a few of the local BWC contingent decided on a little last minute dot com sharing. We poured each wine into empty 250ml bottles around 16:30 and recapped. All were sipped between 20:15 and 23:15 (!) in ISOs.

We had a 2011 Brunello di Montalcino, Il Poggione which whilst off topic for this thread was intriguing. Was understated initially but the three tasters on the call all found a rich liquorice character to develop with a classic sour cherry note too. Did show its 14.5% but good gear.

A 2001 Le Dome was also a joy to sip through; although not my bottle I have one or two in the cellar from the same consortium. Initially very blue fruited with a almost new worldy mintiness this really opened up over the evening. In time a real graphite character coming through tanins fully resolved. Have not had many clarets with this amount of Cab Franc (c. 75%). Wonder what my 2003 will be like? Maybe share with some of you at a 20 years on dinner in a couple of years.

Finally a 2001 Vieux Télégraphe. Really enjoyed this too. Paler that the other two wines. Light on its feet with glorious savoury red fruits, some white pepper and just a nod to something a little kirsch like. Very VT. Something earthy too. Yum.

Miss tasting in the same room, open sided tent with air heaters and a scotch egg, ...
 
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