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TN: The 03 Bordeaux dinner at RIS in DC
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THE 03 BORDEAUX DINNER AT RIS IN DC - RIS Restaurant, Washington DC (11/1/2012)

Jim C organized the 03 Bordeaux single blind dinner at RIS restaurant. Eight of us got together in this cost sharing event. As usual it was a good ole time also very educational.

I was extremely impressed with the 03s in general and my ratings felt between 93-97 pts for all wines. Despite the typical vintage characters none seemed to display any burnt characters or prune/raisin albeit very ripe fruit impression was quite obvious. All showed opulent generous sweet fruits but the firm tannin structure was also evident. Although very approachable and enjoyable, they all seem to be very youthful and at the right stage of the development. IMO, these are beautiful wines and there is absolutely no reason to think the wines will rapidly age.

Blind tasting can be really humbling and I was able to correctly guess ZERO wines! The closest was the first two wines which I swapped. It was interesting to note that for me the 03 Cos displayed the ripest fruit where the 03 Pavie showed cool fruit expression although sexy and opulent.

Most of the wines were purchased at EP and all had no issue with provenance. All except the 03 Latour were double decanted. We intentionally served wine cold as the room was a bit too warm.

Starters
The 94 Rayas developed beautifully with air, becoming great with four hours of decanting. Both the 96 Krug and the 04 Masseto were incredible as usual. The SQN white is not for everyone as usual but some may love it.
  • 1995 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
    Fully matured, as usual light caramel, vanilla, yellow fruits, and a hint of mint. Round palate, slightly lacking acidity, full body and good finish. Towards to the middle to end of the drinking peak. I prefer the 95 Folatieres or pucelles. It gets fresher with about an hour of air. (91 pts.)
  • 1995 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
    The color looks great but TCA tainted. NR (flawed)
  • 2010 Sine Qua Non The Monkey - USA, California
    The nose reminds me la doriane, first note is lychee then pineapple, mango and other tropical fruits. Unctuous and big, a hint of sugar and noticeable alcohol for me. This is somewhere in between Kongsgaard Roussanne/Viognier and La Doriane. My rating may seem too high for some and too low for others. Not for everyone. (91 pts.)
  • 1994 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Although expressive, slightly metallic that clips the finish. Smoked, earth, cherry liquor, garrigue and earth. Medium concentration, silky and excellent overall balance. Almost four hours in a decanter, it opens up and no hint of metal which results in long finish and also the nose becomes explosive. Started as 93 point wine but more like 96 at the end. If the wine is correct upon opening, I highly recommend minimum two hours of decanting. (96 pts.)
  • 1996 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
    It is always fun to compare this to the 96 Salon. The Salon is Kathleen Battle where the Krug is maria callas. Apple peel, copper, cinnamon, honey, a slight hint of brioche and limestone. Fully body, fine mousse, mineral and piercing acidity. It is a deeply toned yet very precise champagne. Although enjoyable now, will need at least ten more years to reach the peak. If I have to use one word to describe the wine is “resonate” (97 pts.)
  • 2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    I just had a small pour. This always flirts with perfection this was no exception. So expressive and hedonistic yet so perfectly balanced. For me, this is the best Merlot based wine in its youth. (98 pts.)

First Bordeaux Flight
The 03 LB was showing extremely well.
  • 2003 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Wine No. 1 - crème de cassis, black fruits, a lot of lead pencil, chocolate and earth. Silky, subtle, excellent concentration and long finish. A classic left bank wine. Guessed LP. (97 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Wine No. 2 - Very similar profile as the number one. Cassis, chocolate, plum and cassis. A bit softer and a bit more reserved. Guessed LB. (93 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Wine No. 3 - Softer than the first, perfume, cassis, lead pencil and noticeable lactic/caramel note. Drinking beautifully. (93 pts.)

Second Bordeaux Flight
  • 2003 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Wine No 10*, served in the place of No. 4 wine. - Justin mentioned it is a ringer and the bottle shape is clearly none Bordeaux. Very ripe, cassis, also some cherry, bitter chocolate and eucalyptus. This is a big scale wine with very ripe fruits. (93 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Pontet-Canet - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Wine No. 5 - Expressive nose, blackberries, cassis, lead pencil, black pepper and cedar. Big scale wine. Excellent concentration and structure. Guessed Cos. (96 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Latour Grand Vin - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Wine No. 6 - Subtle nose of cassis, bitter chocolate, coffee and lead pencil. Subtle, silky but excellent concentration. Guessed PC. (95 pts.)

Third Bordeaux Flight
What is the chance of both of the Margaux being not correct! Some thought the second bottle showed great for the record.
  • 2003 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Wine No. 7 - Initially cassis, blackberries, lead pencil and cedar. With air, port and extremely ripe fruit. Big scale and the most ripe wine. Guessed Pavie at the end. (96 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Montrose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Wine No. 8 - Jammy, subtle, green, eucalyptus. Another big scale wine with opulent fruit. Guessed Angelus. (95 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Wine No. 9 - Understated, subtle, floral, coffee and cassis. Very minor TCA taint I thought but others thought otherwise. The nose is fine but the finish shows a hint of TCA. Gussed CF. NR (flawed)
  • 2003 Château Margaux - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    So slightly corked. Not in the nose initially. At the dinner, some thought no TCA initially but it got obvious as the wine got warmer. NR (flawed)

Fourth Bordeaux Flight
If you are a Pavie fan, buy this wine NOW!
  • 2003 Clos Fourtet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Wine No. 10 - Smoke, espresso, polished. Excellent concentration, polished and noticeable but not obtrusive tannins. Guessed Margaux. (96 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Pavie - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Wine No. 11 - Sexy, opulent, big, ripe, excellent concentration. Cool impression. By process of the elimination, it has to be ducru but I doubt it. (96 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Angélus - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Wine no. 12 - Ripe but cool nose expression. Unctuous yet subtle and silky. Big scale wine. Guessed Latour. (96 pts.)

Mystery wine No. 2

Stickies
We had the 03 La tour Blanche (93 pts) which was good but lacking acidity, the Rieussec (95 pts) which showed better acidity hence precision and the D’Yquem (95 pts) which seemed too reserved.

A last few thoughts;
Although some wines were bit too cold, I definitely prefer the wines to be a bit too cold than too warm.
The 03s show better with at least a couple hours of decanting.
The top 03s are quite youthful and will age like the 90 counterparts.
At least in 2003, FGs are not better than SGs.
2003 LB, LP and CF are some of the best Bordeaux QPRs.
2003 Pavie is coming together beautifully for the Pavie lovers.
The 94 Rayas with air rocks!

It was a great evening sharing great wines with great friends. Thank you Jim for organizing this great event.
Posted from CellarTracker
 
Posts: 84 | Location: washington dc | Registered: Feb 27, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great notes. I am always interested in feedback of the 03 vintage since that was the first vintage of Bordeaux I purchased at release.

Agree on the 2004 Massetto, it is has been drinking so well since release.
 
Posts: 1295 | Location: Orange County, CA | Registered: Feb 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the detailed notes. I didn’t buy much of 03 due to the heat, but I agree that the 03 Leoville Barton rocks! Glad to also see that Pontet-Canet showed well as I have a few.
 
Posts: 6469 | Location: OC, CA  | Registered: Aug 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, thanks for taking the time to post these notes. You guys do drink well!

I had both the 2003 Cos and LB this year and enjoyed them, although if pressed they would have scored low 90s in my estimation. I found a lack of balance that I hope more time will iron out.

PH
 
Posts: 15066 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
I had ...the... LB this year and ...if pressed they would have scored low 90s in my estimation. I found a lack of balance ...

PH

+1
 
Posts: 15478 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love dinners that START with 1996 Krug and 2004 Masseto

Nice work!
 
Posts: 1637 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Aug 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Yes, thanks for taking the time to post these notes. You guys do drink well!

I had both the 2003 Cos and LB this year and enjoyed them, although if pressed they would have scored low 90s in my estimation. I found a lack of balance that I hope more time will iron out.

PH


Welcome to the 2003 vintage.
 
Posts: 596 | Location: Dallas, TX.  | Registered: Jul 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the notes, dcw.

I had an 03 Leoville Barton not long ago and I agree with PH. I really enjoyed the wine, and gave it 93 points, but I hope it will gain a little complexity with time. The vintage perplexes me, I think the wines will improve, but this one drank too well for a wine of this age/pedigree. Time will tell. I'm not in a rush to open my other 2003s, but OTOH I have a bunch (105 more bottles of 03 bdx) and I won't hesitate to sample through them.

I don't mind the vintage, it's just a little different from other great ones, eventually we'll find out if it was great or not. I pondered opening another 03 tonight, but caved in to a 98 Barolo that had its eyes on me.


*******
Go Habs Go
 
Posts: 5562 | Location: Chicago | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
2003 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Wine No. 7 - Initially cassis, blackberries, lead pencil and cedar. With air, port and extremely ripe fruit. Big scale and the most ripe wine. Guessed Pavie at the end. (96 pts.)



Seriously...one of the best wines I have ever tasted.
 
Posts: 1519 | Location: Murrieta, CA | Registered: Mar 14, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"the 03 Pavie showed cool fruit expression although sexy and opulent"

Wasn't this the controversial wine that Parker loved and Robinson hated for being too port-like? How interesting to see the different impression in this tasting. Thanks for your great notes.

I only have a few bottles of 2003 -- Ducru, LB, LP, and Pavie. Would like to taste Cos and Montrose someday, but unwilling to fork over the current tariff for those bottles.


"You can never get enough of what you don't really need to make you happy." -- Eric Hoffer
 
Posts: 1122 | Location: San Diego CA | Registered: May 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Javachip:
"the 03 Pavie showed cool fruit expression although sexy and opulent"

Wasn't this the controversial wine that Parker loved and Robinson hated for being too port-like? How interesting to see the different impression in this tasting. Thanks for your great notes.


good thing I listen to neither JR or RP when it comes to port ;-)

it is a very good wine, the sexy and opulent is a good descriptor but it is certainly no port.


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Posts: 12026 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds like an exceptional evening. Great notes - thank you for posting them.

I've had the 03 Leoville Las Cases and Cos D'Estournel and was similarly impressed with both.

Some lower end 03s however (e.g. Batailley) do seem to be on the quick ageing path.
 
Posts: 1857 | Location: Etobicoke (Toronto burb) | Registered: Apr 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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