2003 Bordeaux at 15 years courtesy of Mark Taylor

Atlanta, GA

Tasted March 17, 2018 - March 18, 2018 by Eric with 416 views

Introduction

It has been 5 years since I made the sojourn to Atlanta to attend Mark Taylor's annual Bordeaux tasting.

The theme this year is 2003 Bordeaux with 24 wines tasted in 4 flights across two days. What was clear after day 1 is that these wines are quite tough to get a read on and are changing constantly in the glass. In general, while the wines are quite "big" for the most part the alcohol is quite under control. For the higher growths, none of these seem even remotely ready at this point.

Flight 1 (6 notes)

Red
2003 Château Branaire-Ducru France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
A classic albeit somewhat ripe nose with plum and cassis. Tannic and austere, cedar tinged, quite deep and reminiscent of Las Cases. Whew, this has a wall of tannic structure and finishes out both sweet and tart with somewhat spiky acidity. Correctly guessed as Branaire Ducru. Ranked 4 out of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Clos Fourtet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Roasted, bretty and dark with graphite and smoky, toasty espresso. Clearly oaked and clearly right bank. Nice structure, supple, with sweet cherry and clear Merlot character. Of all of the wines tasted tonight, this was the one that was most fun and ready right now. It reminded me a bit of the Leoville Poyferre in its youth, but I knew from the Merlot it could not be. Guessed as Pavie-Decesse, but I had it swapped with the Clos-Fourtet. Ranked 3 out of 6.
Red
2003 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
This wine opened with a weird, weird, terrible nose. Overripe with soy sauce, celery, and skunk. It was oxidative and odd. I will say that after 45 minutes this did start to blow off, but it was a troubling showing and consistent across two bottles. Despite the oxy nose, it was not a bad palate, somewhat classic but with some dried fruit character, lots and lots of structure. Guessed as Lagrange, but this was in fact a troubling showing for the Poyferre. Ranked 6 out of 6.
4 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
2003 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
A very shy nose with the faintest whiff of mustiness that did blow off quickly. Tight, tight, tight, mineral and very closed. Incredible structure, tart, not much pleasure right now. Just extremely mineral with almost painfully pure notes of sour cherry. Correctly guessed as Pontet-Canet. Ranked 5 out of 6. Let it sleep!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Iron, blood and cherry cola on a relatively forthcoming nose. Mmm, I love the palate, deep, rich, and pure with tart, lively cranberry notes, tart red fruit, fresh and very pleased. Guessed incorrectly as Poyferre. Ranked 1 out of 6.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2003 Château Pavie Decesse France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Shy nose with incense and gunpowder. Wow, this has a very sweet core, explosive, this really blasts off the palate. Clearly right bank from the sweetness. Guessed as Clos-Fourtet, but this was the Pavie-Decesse. Ranked 2 out of 6.

Flight 2 (6 notes)

Red
2003 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Classic, graphite, absolutely fabulous palate, just fantastic, so reminiscent of Leoville Las-Cases with deep smoldering intensity. Guessed as Las Cases, but this was Cos. Ranked 2 out of 6 and the group favorite.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Scorchy and ripe with some vitamin. Absolutely huge, is this Pavie? Or maybe Pichon Lalande? Lovely tobacco notes. Guessed as Cos in the end, but this was Montrose. Ranked 4 out of 6 and the group #2.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Pavie France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Is this Pauillac? Scorchy and high pitched with a huge palate. Seaweed and some green notes have me leaning to Cos, but the spicy mint and menthol on an absolutely plush, silky, blanketing palate have me thinking Pichon Lalande. Incredibly fine and silky tannins with texture that stands out. Guessed as Lalande, but this was Pavie. Ranked 1 out of 6 and the group #4.
3 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
2003 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Earthy, bretty, very dirty (in a good way). Is this the Montrose? Huge, powerful and brooding palate. Guessed as Montrose, but this was Pichon Lalande. Ranked 3 out of 6 and the group #5.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Léoville Las Cases France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Ripe, lots of alcohol, pickle juice, is this Pavie? Very sweet, red fruit, plum, nearly over the top. Guessed as Pavie, but this is Las Cases. Ranked 6 out of 6 and the group #3.
5 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2003 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
A whiff of alcohol but otherwise not much nose. Some roasted coffee. Dark and brooding. Guessed correctly as Baron. Ranked 5 of 6 and the group #6.
3 people found this helpful Comment
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