2001 Sauternes Horizontal Tasting

Tasted March 10, 2019 by WhatsSamSipping with 59 views


I put this tasting together because of an article about the declining popularity of Sauternes. I went looking around and found that there were a lot of bottles to be had from this stand out vintage at really good prices. It seemed like a fun idea to see how influential a vintage would mold a Sauterne. Ha! Mold!

Flight 1 (5 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Nairac France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
This wasn't as aromatic as I expected it to be upon the first pour. There was a powdery/pollen aroma that I associate with botrytis. A lacquered palate of toffee, honey, and semi-dry fruit.

On second pass it had sweeter aromas: sweet spices and stone fruits. The palate was also more focused and juicer in texture.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Rabaud-Promis France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Unrepentantly rich! Both the aroma and palate were brimming with sweets and fruits. The texture was the thickest of all the wines that evening. This is something that could scare someone from trying anymore Sauternes because it was so bold. This needed some more acidity to make it less unwieldy.

Second time around this wine showed more focus but was still very grandiose and ripe.

This was truly a dessert all on its own.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
This was already quite graceful when we first poured it. The stone fruits were creamy and the acidity made it seem almost lean, especially when comparing it to the other Sauternes of the evening.

It is great Sauternes for a large savory meal. It had richness to stand up to bold flavors but enough acid to mingle with meat. There were also more exotic aromas like saffron and nutmeg.

Tasting it the second time around it seemed more coy, though this is relative to the other wines.

Lovely stuff I wish to have again some day.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Doisy-Védrines France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
A heady aroma, like how the aroma of Lavender seems thick. That said it was also probably the most interesting bouquet of aromas of the evening. Raw honey, air freshener, balsam, and dried stone fruits.

The palate had some healthy acid and fairly straightforward flavors. In fairness I don't think I was paying as much attention to the palate as I was enjoying the scent of the wine a lot more.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Guiraud France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
While this was the last one it seemed to me to be the most youthful. The fruit was juicy and ripe, instead of dry and concentrated. The acid played more of a role and cut a lot of weight off the palate.

Orange slices, honey, vanilla, and even some black bitter tea.

On second pass the fruit had faded a bit more and the Sauternes gave into more vanilla, honey, and toffee.

A lot of dimension to this wine. I think it will gain a lot of depth with time.
3 people found this helpful Comment


The vintage seemed to carry these wines on its back. There wines were different enough from each other yet there seems to be a common thread of easy ripeness and it was hard to ignore the botrytis in the room. Makes me want to do a tasting of a really bad vintage in Sauternes and see who is resourceful.

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