Some Like it Hot - 2003s, TTTG at Steve's

Steve's House

Tasted October 15, 2015 by Saint Stephen with 322 views

Introduction

I organized a tasting of 2003 (mostly) French wines for the Third Thursday Tasting Group. Served alongside rustic coq au vin soup, medium rare spiced beef eye round roast, and plenty of bread and cheeses.

Flight 1 - Openers - 2003 Sauternes (2 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Rieussec France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
93 points
The best and most complete of 4 sweet 2003s to bookend a broader 2003 tasting. Honey, citrus, pineapple,botrytis.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
92 points
Flat delicious, this wine is a trashy hooker. I wouldn't call it out of balance or cloying but I wouldn't call it complex either. Don't think too hard. A porn star in a bottle. And I mean that in the most respectful way...
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - St. Emilion (2 notes)

Red
2003 Château Pipeau France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
84 points
This was just OK. High acid provided the only structure and left the rest of the palate feeling thin. Dominated by the Clos Fourtet sitting next to it, but I supposed that is to be expected. Drink up.
Red
2003 Clos Fourtet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
92 points
Quite good. Complete, well stuffed and balanced with a great lively nose and resolved tannin. The group liked this wine a lot. Unlike the Pipeau in the next glass I think this wine will last another decade but given the vintage I'm not sure it will make old bones.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Margaux (2 notes)

Red
2003 Château Giscours France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
84 points
Something wasn't right here. Don't think it was corked but it was somewhat disjointed and wasn't very pleasing. I hope this is bottle variation of some type given I'm sitting on the better part of a case.
Red
2003 Château Lascombes France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
92 points
One of the top wines in a tasting of 2003s. Notably better than the 03 Giscours served alongside, but it's possible something was wrong with that bottle. The group included a couple of Lascombes detractors yet everyone liked this bottle. Oaky, somewhat grippy tannins are still noticeable but I expect the fruit will survive them.

Flight 4 - Sneaky Chateauneuf (2 notes)

Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
flawed
CORKED and badly so. Sigh.
Red
2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Good heavens I don't know what to make of this wine. Fourth bottle I've opened (admittedly over several years) and each time it's like spinning the Wheel of Mystery. You never know what you're gonna get. I half expect the next bottle to taste like Chablis. This specimen was entirely ass-kicking, but not entirely in a good way. I think I recall David describing this through gritted teeth and some defibrillator gestures as young dry port on steroids.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - St. Julien (2 notes)

Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
WOTN at a tasting of 2003s. Just really good, complete, complex.
Red
2003 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
On this night the Barton in the next glass came out on top, but this was still my #2 of 12 wines in a 2003 tasting. Less flashy than I recall but this is good vittles indeed.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - Port (2 notes)

Red - Fortified
2003 Graham Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
92 points
By this point I wasn't paying very close attention but this was delicious and very well made. Worlds better than the 03 Noval Silval in the next glass.
Red - Fortified
2003 Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage Silval Portugal, Douro, Porto
83 points
Meh.

Closing

Great night with good friends. I came away thinking that the 2003s are spottier than many other vintages, but that the strong wines are very, very good.

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