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It has been 20 years since the spectacular German Riesling vintage of 2001. What made the vintage so special was the "Golden October" with warm weather that allowed the grapes to ripen to perfection. Wine Spectator gave the vintage it's highest rating of any year since 1971 (it remains the highest rated vintage still). When the vintage was released, Wine Spectator wrote this glowing article:

I'm sure there are many of the older members of this board who bought heavily into that vintage. I think I ended up with about 6 cases of which I still have about 2.5 cases left. Most of what I have left falls into the Spatlese and Auslese categories with a few GG's and dessert wines. I've been drinking them slowly (more slowly than I thought I would). Over the last few years I've had the following wines:

2001 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese *** - 91 points

2001 Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese #5 - 90 points

2001 Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese - 88 points.

2001 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese ** - 96 points

2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - 92 points

In my opinion, they are holding up very well and showing some beautifully aged profiles. Creamier and richer than the pure tropical fruit notes in their youth.

For those who bought into the vintage, I'm interested to hear your opinions on your experiences together with how many bottles you might have left in your cellar and what you may have drunk recently.


Last edited by Vino Me
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My last two bottles of '01 JJPrüm WS Spat I opened for my wife and I over the last year and a half and both times I turned around and my wife had polished off the bottle while I only got a glass.

My wife is a glass, maybe two out of a bottle type of person and she would have fought me over these bottles if she had to. They are singing at the moment. Wonderful vintage.

@Vino Me posted:

Rob, I saw your VDP post in the buying thread. Where were you able to bid on them?


Vom Boden acts as an agent at the auction. You give them your bids (it's a modified dutch auction) and they bid for all of their customers on your behalf. Then they take care of everything, ship to New York for you and will then ship from there to you (or you can keep them in bond in London). They charge €10/bottle for the work.

The auction works as they have say 100 bottles available, you bid how many for what price you want them and the highest price that sells all the bottles is the strike price (so there will be people that were willing to buy bottles for higher than the price but not enough to sell all of them). Some there is only one bottle of, some like Egon Mueller and Lauer there are about 900.

So for instance  the Emrich-Schonleber Auf der Lay GG, the opening bid was €50 and I would have bought 3 bottles €177, 2 bottles at €213 and 1 bottle at €246. It sold through at €215 and I got one bottle at €215 but if the strike had been €213 I would have got 2 at that price.

It's not huge in terms of total supply. the Schafer-Frohlich Felseneck Auslese GK I got a bottle of there was only 96 available and the Peter Lauer Schonfels GG Mags that I got there are only 120 made, so in both cases I own more than 1% of the entire world's supply...

Last edited by robsutherland

Over the last year I've had another 6 Rieslings from the 2001 vintage. Basically, anything Spatlese or above from a top producer seems to be holding up rather well. Wines from lesser producers should have already been consumed as they seem to be past their prime. Some notes (the first 3 below I've had in the last 2 weeks):

2001 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Spätlese
My 3rd and last bottle. This still had a medium straw color and was not gold at all. The fruit was still pronounced with some tropical notes with apple and minerals. Low to moderate acidity. Another wine which would have been better consumed prior to 2016. 86 points.

2001 Bollig-Lehnert Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese ***
My last bottle. This was one of the top wines from a good but lower tier producer. Deep gold color with aromas of stewed pears. No real petrol notes and the acidity was rather low in this 22 year old wine. It had a creamier texture than before but seemed more one dimensional. This was better when it was closer to 10 years old. 84 points.

2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
Opened by Blue Oval. No formal notes. 92 points.

2001 Karl Erbes Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese
The cork was semi wet but came out in 1 piece with an ah-so. Golden color with a tropical nose. Moderately sweet with apple, kiwi and pineapple notes. Light acidity. Still a nice aged wine but this was better 10-15 years ago. 89 points

2001 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling Spätlese
My last bottle. Last had this in 2011. This had a typically crumbly cork for a 21 year old German. Needed an ah-so to get the cork out. Clear golden yellow color. Only a hint of petrol on the nose. Great complexity. Moderately sweet with tropical notes mixed with pears and slate. A little smoke on the finish. Drink now if you have any. 94 points.

2001 Bollig-Lehnert Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Auslese ***
3rd time I have had this wine and my last bottle. Paired with roast duck, sauerkraut and dumplings. Light golden yellow color. Not as much acidity as the prior bottles but this had more depth. This has also shed some of it's sweetness. Notes of tropical fruits, peaches and slate.  90 points.


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