Rainbow Trust: Bordeaux 2001 Tasting

Written By

March 12th 2014

It was deja vu all over again on Monday night as we found ourselves at the Savoy once more, this time tasting the top 2001 Clarets at a Rainbow Trust event.

The day had kicked off with a fashion show of some absolutely stunning Julien Macdonald dresses…

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…before moving into a Champagne reception courtesy of Billecart-Salmon, a tasting of all the top Left Bank Clarets from the 2001 vintage (tasting notes below), diner and auction.

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The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity is an absolutely brilliant charity that provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. They commented “I am delighted to confirm that with your generous support, we raised a fabulous £220,000 overall. This is a really significant sum for Rainbow Trust and will mean that our teams of Family Support Workers can support 90 families like those of Charlotte Prunty (who spoke at the dinner), who so desperately need our help. Each family is different, and for some our help is vital to help with long days at hospital; for others we are need to help siblings come to terms with how having a sick brother or sister is affecting them; and in other instances it is providing an emotional backbone for parents who have no-one else to turn to. Whatever their needs, Rainbow Trust is there for them, for as long as they need us.

Here are the tasting notes from the Goedhuis team who decanted and helped out at the tasting:

Château Palmer 3ème Cru Classé Margaux 2001
Showing just a hint of tawny on the rim this wine reveals a taut array of dark bilberry fruits, there are blackcurrant leaf notes that add to the complexity. Medium body, emphasis on elegance rather than power, a wine of finesse. James Low

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Château Léoville Barton 2ème Cru Classé St Julien 2001
This 2001 Barton represents great value for money. This is a brilliant effort, and one of the stars of the Medoc and the tasting. This is very polished with great structure and balance. It has aromas of cassis, smoky cedar wood. Very attractive. It is drinking beautifully now, but lively enough to keep for a while. Hugo McMullen

Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru Classé St Julien 2001
Bright red plum fruit on the nose, with a touch of cinnamon spice, and whilst there’s depth there at the moment it is a bit closed. Light weight in the mouth, the palate has more of that same juicy red plum fruit, although a touch short in terms of flavour intensity. Well balanced acidity backed by some chewy tannins. For me this was a touch underwhelming at the moment, and I suspect it needs time. Arthur Coggill

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Château Lynch Bages 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac 2001
More obvious deep dark fruit, more open than the Palmer, as I coax the wine it opens up to reveal a heady aroma of smoky black currant fruit, hints of cedar and cranberry! The palate is fresh, open and luscious, really delicious right now but has years ahead if it. James Low

Château Pichon Lalande 2ème Cru Classé Pauillac 2001
Exotic nose of coffee and creamy plum, palate firm and fresh, hints of smoky black fruit – wonderful balance. Julian Chamberlen

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Château Montrose 2ème Cru Classé St Estèphe 2001
Lots of power and structure. Big bold tannins which in time will develop and soften. This beauty needs a little more time. But have patience, it will be a very good. The nose is amazing and the palate has juicy black currant flavours, slightly austere on the finish. It will develop into a classic Montrose. Hugo McMullen

Château Cos d’Estournel 2ème Cru Classé St Estephe 2001
Masculine, sweet blackcurrant fruit on nose and great purity on palate with grip and structure. Needs plenty of time to breathe. Julian Chamberlen

Château La Mission Haut-Brion Grand Cru Classé Pessac Léognan 2001
A dense full nose, packed with plum, black cherry, hints of milk-hot-chocolate backed by almost savoury spice notes. The palate feels fleshy and rounded in the mouth, full of juicy sweet black fruit, firm grippy acidity and tight tannins means that this needs food at the moment, but is seriously good. Finishes slightly shorter than its sister, but is very nice nonetheless. Arthur Coggill

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Château Haut-Brion 1er Cru Classé Pessac Léognan 2001
There is a lot of depth in the nose, but still rather closed. Touches of mint, soy and cassis. The palate is really sweet, luscious and soft, thankfully no sugar but good ripe fruit. Soft and fleshy backed by an almost biting acidity and chewy tannins. There is more of that mint and soy complexity in the mouth. The finish is refreshing and distinctly moreish – rather delicious. Arthur Coggill

Château Margaux 1er Cru Classé Margaux 2001
A very class act indeed. Beautiful rich blackberry nose, wonderful aromatics. Firm classic palate, touch of cedar, blackcurrant and lead pencil. Real vitality and concentration. A long finish. Julian Chamberlen

Château Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru Classé Pauillac 2001
This is a Mouton of great power. It was one of the stars of the tasting, a true joy to drink. Surprisingly developed on the nose. The palate was rich and full of lushes, opulent fruit. This Mouton 2001 has wonderful intensity, length and grip. This is a very sophisticated wine which gives immense pleasure now and can go on for many more years. Hugo McMullen

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Château Lafite Rothschild 1er Cru Classé Pauillac 2001
A fully rich dark red colour in the glass, the nose is full and dense; filled with notes of crème de mure, cassis and plum, touches of cedar spice. The palate is delicate and almost light, with a juicy fruit entry courtesy of a fresh balanced acidity. The flavours follow the nose with more strawberry fruit notes. This is very good, whilst still quite young and tight. The mouth feel is cool, with integrated tannins and a long length on the very moreish finish. Arthur Coggill

Château Latour 1er Cru Classé Pauillac 2001
As soon as you put your nose to the glass two words springs to mind, complete compactness. A fabulous density of deep dark blackcurrant fruit, not quite exotic, it is too taut, notes of iron. On the palate it is silky and perfectly balanced, with a few more years this will be fantastic. James Low