2001 Napa Valley - The Wine Independent

2001 Napa Valley

2001 Vintage Ratings:


Red wine vintage rating: 96

2001 Top Three Napa Valley Wines Today:


Harlan Estate


Dalla Valle Maya

The stars aligned for producing high-quality Napa Valley reds in 2001, many of which remain stunning today.


The spring started unusually warm, leading to a dangerously early bud break in late March. Temperatures then dipped below freezing in parts of the valley in early April, causing considerable frost damage in Carneros and other cooler areas. This would eventually account for the lower yields this year. May came in hot, featuring highs in the 90s and briefly spiking over 100 degrees F. June and early July remained hot before temperatures moderated in August and September.


The early bud break and hot, sunny growing season led to an early harvest. Some growers started bringing Cabernet in during the first week of September, while others waited until late September. A heat spike at the end of September/early October pushed the remaining fruit to ripeness, meaning harvest was pretty much over by mid-October.


The 2001 Napa Cabernet Sauvignons have a powerful, muscular, savory style with plenty of layers and firm backbones of nicely ripe tannins for long aging. The wines took a few years to come around, but most of the top labels are drinking beautifully right now.