“The 2003 Vinsanto 12 Years Barrel Aged is the traditional blend (80% Assyrtiko, 10% each of Athiri and Aidani), aged in used French oak for 144 months. It comes in at 275 grams of residual sugar, 7.22 of total acidity and 13.5% alcohol. The grapes, from very old vineyards (200 years, minimum, the winery says) in Episkopi, were sun-dried for 12 days. The rapidly increasing price references a 500-milliliter bottle, but it is fair to note the very low yield from old vines and the 12 years of aging. It's also fair to note the great quality. Concentrated and long on the gripping finish, this might be a richer and deeper version than some years, but the complexity and the power are still impressive as well. Tasted the next day, it seemed tighter and more focused—not quite as sexy but better structured and more intense. On the first pour, it was lush and friendly, but overnight and two days later it became something of a powerhouse. The 2004, its sibling this issue, might lean a wee bit more to elegance and precision, defining its flavors a bit better. The 2004 has a purer finish and nose too. But this is rather attention-getting for its concentration. They both have power to spare. In somewhat different styles, they are both impressive.”
Domaine Tollot-Beaut - Decanter
Corton-Bressandes - 2003
“Weighing in with 14.5% alcohol one might expect this to be a very atypical Burgundian Pinot Noir. Deeply coloured, it has great concentration and still seems very youthful, with aromas of baking spices, black conserve fruits and a fine leafiness on the nose. Rich, powerful and luxurious on the palate, this is an impressive bottle of mature wine, which is not falling over and will age. Slightly dry tannins to finish but there is enough acidity here to keep all in check.”
“A juicy and soft wine with chocolate and hazelnut character. Medium body, fruity and friendly. A blend of 70% merlot/carmenere and 30% cabernet sauvignon.”
Wine & Soul - Wine Advocate
Pintas Vintage Port
“The 2003 Pintas Vintage Port, the beginning of our vertical this issue and the first Pintas Port, is a field blend from very old vines (some 80 years or so) coming in at 115 grams per liter of residual sugar. Youthful, sweet and succulent, this is all about sex appeal on opening, even now at age 14. Tannins lurk in the background, though, and this acquires some character and a little complexity with air, the sugar receding and older-Port flavors popping up here and there. It then seemed a lot more complex. Indeed, it seemed very fine every time I took a first pour of it over several days. It seemed terrific again, for instance, on the second day tasted, even when I thought it had turned boring and flabby after several hours open on the first day. At that point, day one, I was ready to give up on it. Yet the next day it was super again. It's the nature of the vintage—this just lacks the lift and definition to the fruit that many of the others have. Yet it still has its moments. Sometimes I liked it a lot. It is an excellent debut, ready to drink, but capable of holding another couple of decades or so. Let's be conservative for the moment.”
“Tasted at the Batailley vertical tasting at the château, the 2003 Batailley continues to be one of the better Left Banks of the vintage. On the nose, ripe black cherries mixed with cassis are all nicely defined and holding on to their freshness. It manifests spicy aromas, almost Moroccan-inspired, as it gradually opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with dense black fruit, a little tarry in texture with firm tannin considering that it is now 12 years old. You could broach this Pauillac now, but it should give another 10-12 years of pleasure without too much difficulty. Tasted April 2016.”
Deep red with ruby highlights. Malbec-dominated aromas of black fruits, violet, licorice and spices. Thick and rich but not especially sweet, in a slightly medicinal style; very Malbec and less complex and refined than the 2001. Finishes with big, chewy tannins and a touch of dryness. This youthfully tight wine needs patience. According to the winery, 2003 featured a cool, long growing season that was especially strong for Cabernet Sauvignon, but today it's the Malbec that's most apparent.
Amber-tinged dark red. Concentrated aromas of smoky blackcurrant and red cherry are complicated by strong notes of broth and beef bouillon. Then rich and ripe, with quite chewy tannins providing support to the soft dark plum, balsamic and spicy flavors. Still young, but I doubt the tannins will ever smoothen fully. Not my favorite Turriga, but I imagine people who like large scaled rich wines will like this more than I do.
“The thing that blew me away about this wine is that it was still incredibly fresh, and the color still had a youthful, bright hue about it. There is no way I’d have pegged it for a white with over a decade of bottle aging under its belt. Still alive. Still kicking. Still sporting more than its fair share of fresh citrus fruitiness. There were hints of its age, for sure: a little nuttiness here, a bit of toast there. But this lady was aging so gracefully, she was giving Helen Mirren a run for her money. A few more examples like this, and Hungarians can stop worrying about how well dry Furmint wines will hold up.”
“Tasting early-ripening Merlot from the scorching hot 2003 caused me to raise my eyebrows at first. But the 2003 Poggio ai Merli far exceeded my expectations. The bouquet opens to meaty tones with dark fruit and blackberry preserves on obvious display. There are distant touches of cured meat and spice as well. But you also get some of the nerve and freshness from the wine's natural acidity.”