Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2003 Bordeaux

The October 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 Friday and a Bottle Note will be published early next week.

We all know the background on the historically hot 2003 vintage. The wines are incredibly polarizing. From my experience, the top wines of the vintage are fruit forward and aging well. That being said, I think it is wise with a vintage like this, to check in on the wines periodically and at 15 years in the proof should be in the bottle.

The Contenders:

2003 Lagrange –  I expected to be able to spot the 2003 vintage easily in the vertical blind tasting of the château that I attended back at the start of 2007, but it was not easy to identify. This is of course a pretty strong endorsement for the success Lagrange has realized in this difficult and very hot vintage. The bouquet is already showing lovely, developed complexity in its more black fruity aromatic profile of dark berries, cassis, currant leaf, a bit of black cherry, woodsmoke and spicy oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and surprisingly offers up rather cool fruit tones in the mouth, with nice acids, fine focus and well-integrated, ripe tannins on the impressively long finish. A notable success for the vintage. Drink between 2012-2035. 92 points from John Gilman.

2003 Canon-La Gaffelière – One of St.-Emilion’s most consistently high quality estates…the 2003 is a soft, relatively evolved style of wine. Up-front and forward, with a complex, perfumed (smoke, incense, fruitcake) style, it offers creme de cassis, cherry, plum, fig, incense, and cedar characteristics on the palate. The round, opulent attack quickly fades in the finish. Nevertheless, it possesses plenty of appeal, and is the most accessible Canon-La-Gaffeliere I have tasted. Drink it over the next decade. 89 points from the Wine Advocate.

2003 Troplong Mondot – Red-ruby. Sappy aromas of very ripe redcurrant, tobacco and minerals. Fat, sexy and deep, with flavors of redcurrant, plum, tobacco and spice lifted by the wine’s mineral component. Wonderfully rich, full-blown wine, finishing with serious toothcoating tannins that call for at least four or five years of patience. This is close to 14% alcohol, but even this vintage of Troplong-Mondot has more acidity than the 1990. 92 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which 2003 Bordeaux Should I Open?

  • 2003 Troplong Mondot (46%, 16 Votes)
  • 2003 2003 Canon-La Gaffelière (31%, 11 Votes)
  • 2003 Lagrange (23%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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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 November installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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8 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2003 Bordeaux

  1. Easy call: 2003 Canon-La-Gaff. I’ve found that the style of Canon-La-Gaff lends itself to earlier drinking than other Bordeaux like Troplong Mondot. Cheers Tom!

  2. Just curious on the LaGrange as I am seeing some of that for sale locally with good provenance….and your palate is highly trusted Tom!

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