The May Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2003 Bordeaux. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.
We all know the background on the historically hot 2003 vintage. The wines are incredibly polarizing – some find them undrinkable. From my experience, the top wines of the vintage are fruit forward and absolutely fun to drink. This installment of Pick My Next Bottle intends to check in on how some of the better wines of the vintage are aging.
- 2003 Pichon Baron – This is a brilliantly run property year in and year out, and especially since the mid- to late 1980s has produced one of the top four or five wines made in Pauillac in virtually every vintage. With 13.4% alcohol, the 2003 is one of the most powerful efforts this chateau has ever made. Its dense purple color is accompanied by sweet, jammy creme de cassis notes intermixed with roasted herbs, smoked meats, and chocolate. Although ripe, dense, full-bodied, and moderately tannic, it is silky (because of its low acidity and high glycerin) as well as accessible. It should firm up in the bottle, and be at its peak between 2008-2025. 94 points from the Wine Advocate
- 2003 Sociando-Mallet – Sociando-Mallet is the poster child for what cru bourgeois estates can achieve. This is a wine that is consistently of classified-growth quality and also one of the longest lived wines made in the Medoc. An exceptional vintage for Sociando-Mallet, 2003 has produced a spectacularly concentrated, inky blue/purple-colored wine with an extraordinary nose of blackberries, raspberries, some white flowers, and a hint of lead pencil shavings. The wine is powerful, extremely full-bodied, quite tannic, and seriously endowed. This is stunning wine that is rich, layered, and in need of 5-6 years of bottle-age. It should keep for 30+ years. It is certainly a riveting effort for the vintage and, as I wrote last year, probably a modern-day version of a hypothetical blend of a 1970 and a 1982. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
- 2003 Pontet Canet – One cannot say enough about the labors of proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who has personally overseen the dramatic increase in quality of the wines at Pontet-Canet which started in a significant manner with 1994. This is a classic Pauillac-styled wine (meaning oodles of cassis flavors), as one might expect from a vineyard on the plateau of Pauillac, across the street from Mouton-Rothschild. One of the great successes of the vintage and certainly one of the most profound Pontet-Canets made over the last decade is the 2003. Deep purple to the rim with a glorious nose of scorched earth, black currant jam, smoke, licorice, and roasted meats, it is full-bodied, incredibly powerful, dense, with low acidity but high tannin, broad-shouldered, and savory. This is a stunning, pure, classic Pontet-Canet that should be at its best between 2010 and 2035. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
Which 2003 Bordeaux should I open?
- 2003 Sociando-Mallet (38%, 17 Votes)
- 2003 Pontet Canet (36%, 16 Votes)
- 2003 Pichon Baron (27%, 12 Votes)
Total Voters: 44
Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the June installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
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