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More Vintage Ports from 2003  

At the recent (September 2005) New Douro tasting I had another chance to taste some of the Vintage Ports from the 2003 vintage, filling in some gaps from my earlier report. I was impressed by the consistency of the 2003 Ports, almost across the board: these are universally high quality wines. You'll probably notice that all the wines here score in the range of 90-94. While this no doubt reflects the facts that I have already reviewed most of the serious hitters, and also that only top quality wines get to be released as Vintage, I suspect that if I tasted these again in five years time there would be a slightly bigger spread of scores. Many of these wines could be drunk tonight; they typically show great concentration but not the massive structure often associated with young Vintage Ports. Yes, they'll probably be better with age, but there's something compelling about the upfront fruit in the young wines from this vintage.  

I've also added these to my report on the 2003 vintage here.

Ferriera 2003
Soft, sweet, bold and open. Pure fruit. Itís not a big structured Port, but it is nicely balanced. Very good/excellent 91/100

Sandeman 2003
Intense, bright sweet fruit. This is sweet and dense with a nice gingery, spicy structure. Good weight to this tasty wine. Very good/excellent 92/100

Quinta do Vale D. Maria 2003
Bright dark fruit on the full spicy nose. Concentrated, sweet and intense on the palate. Itís supersweet, but with some spicy richness and structure too. A fine effort in a forward style. Very good/excellent 93/100

Quinta de la Rosa 2003
Ripe, smooth, sweet and concentrated. A little simple, but nicely structured. Very good/excellent 91/100

Quinta do Crasto 2003
Intense, spicy, open herby nose leads to a complex, rich, herby palate. The spicy/herby character of this wine is very appealing. Nice and quite winey. Very good/excellent 93/100

Whytinghamís 2003 (Quinta do Vale Me„o)
Vivid, intense, smooth rich nose showing some spiciness. The palate displays a massive concentration of smooth, intense, sweet lush fruit. Itís a big softie. Amazing concentration, but is the structure there for the long haul? Very good/excellent 94/100

Ramos Pinto 2003
Fresh, open perfumed nose with a herby, spicy edge. Soft, sweet, concentrated and intense on the palate. Big and rich, but not massively structured. Very good/excellent 91/100

Churchillís 2003
Fresh, vivid intense nose leads to a palate with lots of ripe fruit. Not super-concentrated but quite elegant. A very appealing Port. Very good/excellent 93/100

Churchillís Quinta da Gricha 2003
Bold, structured and spicy with good concentration and nice purity of fruit. A really appealing wine. Very good/excellent 93/100

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