I still have to try the La Tour Blanche and Guiraud—I will update this post when I do, probably tonight. This was the Sauternes table I put together from my big event on Saturday.
2001 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey
From a full. Fine cardamom, vanilla and spices nose. Drenched pear on the tongue, guava and cantaloupe follow. A lot going on and I think I heard this smoothed out over the day and was a favourite for many.
2001 Chateau D’Yquem
What is there to say? My friend Dave filled a taste in my glass and brought it to me. Sniff. Taste. “D’Yquem”. I will say this–that, good as the first taste was last night, this was clearly better with the aeration today. I’ll also say that I think the power and intensity is currently a bit dormant. Instead, the star fruit, light pineapple, edge of vanilla and kiwi/melon just glow. I honestly do not know if I’ve ever had a more harmonious wine touch my tongue. My third privileged opportunity to have this. From half bottle, it is surely the WOTD and definitely not a fake. 99+
2001 Chateau De Fargues
From a full. Vanilla, honey, buttercream and marzipan all take hold. This is intensely sweet, pouring on the fruit, honey and light caramel. In its way, irresistible, it does have enough latent acidity to provide some balance. Really took my fancy.
2001 Chateau Climens
This is the Pizzarro to the D’Yquem’s (current) Renoir. This is my third try of this too (also from half) and it is, I think, the slowest-evolving of all of these great Sauternes. The bouquet is still very, very shy, with floral notes and wildflower honey and star fruit slowly coaxed out. It carries itself with an elevated sense of poise–and kimono-like reserve. Honey notes with maybe tinges of sweet rice and kiwi. It is still relatively tight, but the promise remains exceptional. I have no idea when the wine will actually be ready, but what a wine it will be when it is!
2001 Chateau De Malle
From a half, still a little closed aromatically. Dans la bouche, this is more on the soft almost-luscious side, with peach and pineapple. Sort of unexpected, though not in any way a bad wine.
2001 Chateau Rieussec
From a full, lightly spiced scents of vanilla, honey and pineapple. I have heard varied reports about Rieussec from this year, but I must have gotten a good bottle. Persistent and really lovely here–I think it is ready, with melon, citrus and vanilla bean. Its balance is exemplary and this is back to being nearly super wine. 95+ Bravo.
2001 Chateau Doisy-Daene
From a full, hints of white and yellow flowers, this is still near-lashing acidity. Some spicy caramel and nougat add to the palate intrigue.
2001 Chateau Coutet
Teasing lime and guava nuzzie. I wasn’t sure about the wine on a quick first sip 1.5 days ago, but today this is yummo. Has that Coutet lightness of being, good sweetness for all that, with lime and star fruit. Nice wine again. From half.
2001 Chateau Guiraud
From full. The crisp part of coffee crisp with apricot jam and mango. To taste, a little richer and a bit simpler than the top wines, there’s nothing wrong with the expressive replays, along with a unique lilac aftertaste which I’ve never seen. In an uneven year for this house, this is a good bottle.
2001 Chateau Suduiraut
From half. I get baked maple fudge with orange underneath. Sheez! The first mouthful takes your breath away with the focused intensity. Luscious and fresh at the same time, the orange, nougat and honey is intoxicating. Revelicious, just a smidge under the D’Yquem today. I should note that it does pull back the next day.
2001 Chateau Rabaud Promis
Very dark orange/amber. Creme brulee for sure, apricot buried underneath. This is excellent–sweet apricot and pineapple and a bit of raisin, yet lifted by the 01 acidity. Could sip at this all night and not get bored.