Vintage Port Tasting | Catavino
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Vintage Port Tasting

Last week I had a chance to taste 18 young 2003 vintage port wines. Poor me, I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain, but this was not an easy task. Each one was deep dark and dense. Tannins and acids that stripped my tongue of feeling by the end of the night. So the question is what did I think? Well I was impressed. I’ve drank a lot of port but never so many young ones in one standing. I do not profess to be a port expert I leave that to people like Roy! Therefore enjoy the notes for what they are, and compare and contrast with others out there. For a experts opinion and more indepth tasting notes, make sure to check out for Roy’s reviews of these and many more.
Explanations for the notes:
I have read a lot about this vintage but I did not have anyone’s notes with me to reference, nor did I remember who scored what.
These are all but 3 or 4 of the notes that I have entered from that tasting.
Some of the notes have a 1st and 2nd designation. What this means is that I first did a speed tasting to get through all of them and to get a general idea of what they were like. Then I went back without looking at my notes and tasted out of order again, ones that I thought needed another look. It’s fun to compare what differences I found, and with some of them just a little be more time in the decanters helped them. In all honesty, if I was to do this in my home I would have left these wines to air out for a day or two, so that I could get a better idea of where they might be headed in the long run. Unfortunately that was not possible.
As for color, after the first one I realized that the lighting situation I had did not allow me to assess fairly the color. Needless to say they were all pretty dark.
In the end, if you like port and plan on living for another 20+ years, I say buy, buy, buy! Every wine I tasted was a good wine, and many if not all were great wines.

Till soon, Ryan Opaz

    • 2003 Barão de Vilar Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
      1st Wet earth, dark chocolate, and light dried fruit. Viscous with subdued tannins and strong acid. In the mouth dried fruits, blackberry, and almost candy like. It seems to be a bit out of balance. 3/5
      2nd Fruit is lacking on the nose. The palate shows dried fruit, grapes and is pretty straightforward. 3/5
  • 2003 Calèm Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Wood nuts with fruit of plum and raisin hidden a bit. Rich tannin with high acid it shows flavors of grape, raisin, date, anise, and black pepper. Currently the alcohol is a big factor. 3.5/5
    2nd Chocolate on the nose with Candy like cherry/grape on the palate. Tasty but the finish is a bit short. 3/5
  • 2003 Churchill Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Grape, earth, mineral, and melon all on the nose. Big tannin, and acid with a rich chocolate character. Flavors of cherry(dried), and anise, though there is more there it is a rich and complex wine. 4/5
    2nd Blue berry nose with wood, earth and melon on the palate. Firm big tannin and med-high acid. 4.5/5
  • 2003 Cockburn Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Melons, grape, clove and black liquorice on the nose. Tannins are soft with medium acid. The palate is candy like with earth cherry, blackberry, wood and earth. 3.5/5
    2nd Melon nuts, wood, and acetone? Candy like in the mouth with blackberry, currant, and showing a soft background of tannins and high acidity.
  • 2003 Martinez Porto – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    Melon, berry, earth, minerals and prune on the nose. Softer tannin, with a high acid. The palate is of Raisin, date, anise, and cherry. 3/5
  • 2003 Offley Boa Vista Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Roasted nuts wood, liquorice, anise blackberry, blueberry and black cherry. Med-high tannins(very soft) with high acidity. Well integrated the palate shows dark fruits and light spice. 3.5/5
    2nd Dark as night with a nose of wood, and dark chocolate. Strong acidity with fine tannins in the background. Rich though not a long finish. Cloves, and strong chocolate on the finish. 3.5/5
  • 2003 Poças Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Wood, earth, mineral, currants, and alcohol on the nose. The tannins are really tight on this one and stay with you on the finish. While flavors of grape, cherry, strong blackberry and anise round it out. 4/5
    2nd Rich dense with strong big tannins. Tasty and lingering finish. I think this will be a long lived wine. 4.5/5
  • 2003 Quinta de Ventozelo Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    Nose shows watermelon, grape, light wood, yet very restrained. Approachable palate with fine tannins that coat, and a medium acid. Flavors of grape, spice, with a med finish and light hints of cinnamon and anise. 3/5
  • 2003 Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    Blue berry, chocolate, rich fruits, light barnyard, clove, and anise. Rich small tannins, with a balanced strong acidity. Long finish, with rich cherry blackberry, chalky earth, and minerals. 4.5/5
  • 2003 Quinta do Portal Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    Dense color purple black
    1st round Light wood, clove, anise, and alcohol on the nose with a fruit background. Very viscous in texture with firm tannin and high acid. Palate is of spice, fruit, with subdued raisin and blackberry flavors.
    2nd round Chocolate, wood and nuts. The palate is fruit like candy with high acid and med tannin.
  • 2003 Quinta do Romariz Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    Dirty earth nose with wood, and cherry. Med to high tannin with high acidity. Chocolate, berry, anise, and minerals mingle on the palate. Very rich and tasty. 3.5/5
  • 2003 Rozès Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Plum, chocolate, anise, and cinnamon. Subtle tannins, with a medium acidity on the palate there is blackberry, chocolate, clove and plum. 3.5/5
    2nd Wood on the nose. The tannins and acids are quite high. Flavors of cherry, blackberry, and clove. Really quite tasty, interested to see what happens. 3.5-4/5
  • 2003 Sandeman Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Muted wood on the nose with currant, black fruits, and clove. Strong acidity with nice softly structured tannins. In the mouth clove, black fruit, earth and minerals. Tasty wine with nice balance. 3.5/5
    2nd Clove anise, date, and hazelnut nose. High acid, with fine tannins. Flavors of grape, cherry, clove and cinnamon. 4/5
  • 2003 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage – Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/6/2005)
    1st Wood, earth, dried fruit, and cinnamon on the nose. The mouth is complex with cherry, blackberry, clove, minerals earth and chocolate. Fine tannins with a nicely balanced acidity. 4/5
    2nd Dried fruit, wood, and almond/hazelnut show on the nose. High acid, big tannins though a bit rough. Flavors of grape, blackberry, and spices.