The 2001 italian wines vintage caps off a remarkable string of outstanding vintages for Piedmont that began in 1996. During that relatively brief time period producers gained a great deal of knowledge and experience, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, a positive trend which continues today. In addition, 2001 featured the growing conditions in which Nebbiolo thrives: hot daytime temperatures alternating with cool nights. The favorable weather, along with producers' newfound sense of maturity combined to produce an extraordinary set of wines. Simply put, for Barolo, 2001 is the most complete of the vintages between 1996 and 2001.
2001 wine : This vintage is characterised by wines that are in a classic style with high tannic qualities and with fresh acidity and medium body. The weather throughout the growing season was cool and cloudy. A mostly dry September and October contributed allowed the late harvest of a large crop. The wines will be relatively slow to evolve given the relatively good acid and tannin levels.
The 2001 port was a good vintage yielding dark and well structured wines. Not generally declared but an excellent vintage nevertheless coming after the 2000 vintage. Some excellent single quinta wines were produced. One of the wettest winters on record, Pinhao recorded 1,057mm (17.3”). A moderately hot summer with light winds which helped prevent disease. Harvest started at Quinta de Vargellas on September 17th and on the 20th in the Pinhao Valley. 10mm of rain on the 29th and again on the 5th of October affected only the end of the vintage. Yields were up almost 30% over 2000. David Guimaraens wrote, “This year is certainly distinguished by being a year of larger production with a consistently high overall quality, as has not been seen since 1995.”
The Rothschilds are making enormous investments in this estate, so I’m expecting a breakthrough effort to emerge (maybe the 2003 qualifies). The deep ruby-colored 2001 exhibits a moderately intense, noble bouquet of graphite, plums, and currants.
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