Fruit from well-managed vineyards on the best sites were able to be picked at optimum maturity, often with higher sugar levels than in 2000 and with fully ripe tannins. It is these wines which offer splendid drinking in 2001 with rich, ripe flavours and full-bodied, succulent, chewy textures. Such wines can be found in all the major regions, although the greater presence of early ripening Merlot gave a slight advantage to producers on the right bank.
Overall, 2001 offers more fruit and concentration than 1999, more flesh and charm than 1998, whilst in most cases falling short of the glorious, concentrated 2000 vintage. In many cases 2001 is similar to that of the 1988’s with their classic flavours and elegant structures, which make for delicious drinking now. Vineyard management and wine-making has moved on considerably so perhaps 2001 is best summed up as a modern day 1988.