EWG - 2001: A Taste Odyssey

Conrad Green's Abode
Tasted Sunday, December 18, 2011 by WetRock with 795 views


In what has become an annual event the East-side Wine Group makes it's holiday a look back to the vintage of a decade prior. The chance to look at 2001 made everyone excited at the prospects of possible wines to look at as it seems to be a very good to great vintage in many places. We settled on German Auslese, the Rhone Valley, Napa Cabs and Sauternes for our lineup with a few misfits thrown in for good measure. Predictably we had lots of great wine.

Luckily for all of us, Conrad agrees to host us for our showcase while he and Rick prepare an excellent meal for us. They once again made a meal as good as any we might have in a restaurant but in the cozy atmosphere of Conrad's home near the kitchen. His hospitality and attention to pairings really make this even shine for all of us. In our joy we immediately begin talking about the next edition.

For this edition I can say I really enjoyed it. Lots of great wine with plenty of variety within each flight. This particularly surprised me among the Auslesen where we seemed to have everything from trocken to something like a late harvest dessert wine. Lots of highlights here and I'm not sure I could pick a WOTN. Narrowly standing out for me would be the Christoffel, Ogier, Pegau, Forman and Climens.

I can't wait for next year.

Here is the menu which was well thought out and paired very well with our wines. Nice work Conrad and Rick. I'm hoping someone will share some pics of these dishes.

Flight #1: Butter lettuce salad with apple, candied pecans and a buttermilk dressing
Flight #2: Beef Bourguignon
Flight #3: Lamb chop over green lentils and vegetables
Flight #4: Cheese- Colton Basset Stilton (UK), Lou Bergier Pichin (Italy), Andeerer Traum (Swiss) - One of these was replaced by what I cannot remember.
Flight #5: Iles Flottantes

Flight 1 - German Auslese (6 Notes)

Such surprising variety here. The Christoffel was quite easily drinking the best for me and is already spectacular. The Karlsmuhle was quite a surprise for it late harvest character as well as the Karthauserhof for it's very dry feel. The Prum clearly needs more time as do most of these. The Diel would be second to the Christoffel for me but it seemed to have barely reached it's potential. A terrific flight and good pairing. I should mention that our first bottle of Karthauserhof was corked and Conrad quickly grabbed another one so it was an immediate pop 'n pour.

Flight 2 - North vs South Rhone (6 Notes)

This was the best food and wine pairing for me. The CdP's worked great with the Beef Bourguignon. Another great flight from top to bottom without a loser in the bunch. The Ogier and Pegau were drinking the best for me, both being expressive and complex. The Beaucastel was great showing a contrast from nose to palate that was unexpected. The Chave, Janasse and TL were very nice but seemed to be speaking more to their potential.

Flight 3 - California Cabernet (5 Notes)

I love Forman Cabs and brought this one. It was my fav on the flight for certain even trying to dampen my bias. It has a long future ahead of it. The Motelena didn't show as dense as I might have expected but it still carried the classic stylings that I love. With one Bond being corked the other two were quite a contrast. The St Eden showed very oaky and ripe to me. But the Vecina showed as a well put together modern styled Cal Cab showing some balance and complexity. I'm still partial to the classic styles but this surprised me, especially next to the St Eden.

Flight 4 - Delicious Misfits (4 Notes)

Some extras and wines that didn't fit in the other flights. The '91 Ridge stood out here for me. The baby Bello from a great vintage is always a winner. The Casanova is going to need some time for that oak to integrate. The Tablas Creek was very nicely styled Cal Rhone blend with still primary fruit. This could go a while.

Flight 5 - Sauternes (4 Notes)

My first go with the vaunted 2001 Yquem and it did not disappoint. But the Climens stole the spot light for me. It was just that much more expressive and delightful on the night and that is no slight to the Yquem.

  • 2001 Château d'Arche Sauternes

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Nose of baked apricots.Palate of Rich fruit with caramel and nuts.

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  • 2001 Château Rieussec

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Wild nose showing tart apricot and buttery pie fruits. Rich sappy fruit. There is plenty of structure behind it but it will need more time to clean up and integrate.

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  • 2001 Château Climens

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac

    Complex and rich nose with notes of cobbler. Ripe stone fruits on the palate. Complex, fresh, pretty, focused. Gorgeous. This was shining brightly on the night and out classed the d'Yquem for me. Outstanding.

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  • 2001 Château d'Yquem

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Tropical fruits and apricots on the nose. Very focused and well put together. Driving acids behind fat fruits. Pretty with notes of vanilla. Lovely with loads of potential.

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