Skip to main content

Twenty years on: Neal Martin reviews Sauternes 2001

By October 1, 2021Fine Wine Market

Neal Martin reassesses the 2001 vintage from Sauternes twenty years on and awards an old favourite an uncontested 100-point score. 

Château d’Yquem

  • Martin rates 25 different Sauternes 2001s, awarding them between 85-100 points. 
  • According to him, the supremacy of Yquem in 2001 cannot be challenged. 
  • His report features two scores for different bottles of Yquem 2001. 

Points of comparison

In Vinous’ latest report, Neal Martin reassesses the 2001 Sauternes, to which he admits has always had a ‘contentious view’ of being ‘a little overhyped’. 

He explains that this was due to ‘the adulation heaped on the 2001 Yquem [that] implied that the entire region produced wines of equal calibre’. For him, the vintage was ‘bejewelled with some excellent sweet wines. It’s not quite the shoo-in that you might expect’, however. 

While recognising it was an extremely good year, Martin challenges “these 2001s to show what they can do against the 2005s or stellar 2009s’. 

Unchallenged supremacy 

In his eyes, only one wine has achieved perfection – Yquem 2001, which also boasts 100-point scores from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW and Robert Parker. Martin himself has already given the wine 100-points on several occasions during his career. 

Martin reviewed the wine on two occasions in September – at the estate, awarding the bottle 99-points, and over lunch in London, when he gave it 100-points. 

‘Just weeks after tasting the 2001 Château d’Yquem at the estate, another bottle was served at a lunch in London and it was perfection,’ he said. He also commented that ‘irrespective of points, it is simply one of the most magnificent wines of any kind that can pass your lips’. 

Yquem 2001 is the most traded white Bordeaux on the secondary market. The wine has risen 59% in value since release and commands a current Market Price of £4,642 per 12×75. 

Yquem 2001


Not a member of Liv-ex?  Request a demo to see the exchange and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.