2003 Dow's Vintage Port

SKU #1018258 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A magnificent Dow. A deep opaque purple/black colour. Very youthful in appearance. The nose is very pure and as primal as its appearance: blackberry, liquorice, black olive and an engaging sense of minerality. But it is very tight and unwilling to express itself at this stage. The palate is very well balanced with ripe blackberry, olive and spice flavours on the entry, good acidity and focus with a fine tannic structure towards the finish. Leaves the most fresh and vibrant. More depth than the Croft, this is a superb Dow. Drink 2020-2050+ Tasted May 2009. (NM)  (7/2009)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A powerhouse, but one that shows a certain degree of lushness to its robust blackberry and mint flavors. Finishes long and minerally, bolstered by slightly drying tannins. Should be more approachable by 2015 and last for three decades beyond that.  (3/2008)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of blackberries and licorice follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of sweetness, fine tannins and a caressing, textured finish. A refined Dow. Best after 2012. (JS)  (4/2006)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full ruby. Knockout nose features black cherry, blackberry and licorice pastille. Rich and sappy on the palate, with a suave, velvety texture and unusual power for a young Dow. Flavors of kirsch, minerals and licorice are not at all overly sweet. In fact, this is ultimately quite taut, focused and powerful, with a very firm core of fruit. Finishes firmly tannic, highly aromatic and quite long. A 2003 of outstanding purity and precision, in need of 15+ years of aging. May ultimately merit an even higher score. (ST) 92+  (1/2006)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 The black kernel of flavor that often forms the core of a Dow vintage is there in this wine, surrounded in '03 by juicy sweetness. Firm, bitter chocolate tannins are present behind the lush, honeyed fruit; savory herbs parallel the sweeter, floral tones. Rounder and more approachable than most young Dow vintages, this wine's structure is masked, and it's not clear whether it's a 20-year vintage or longer. Drink 2020 through 2030.  (12/2005)

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Price: $69.99
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- Although quite small, Portugal produces a great variety of wines ranging from light and fizzy Vinho Verde to hearty and tannic Port. Portugal is Europe's fourth-largest wine-producing region, and has been exporting its wine since the 14th century. The Douro Valley of Portugal is the original and current home for the world's finest Port. The valley spans from east of the city of Oporto all the way to the border of Spain and is the country's best known wine region. Lesser-appreciated DOCs like Bairrada and Dão area also emerging for their fine, rustic reds.


- Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. Port is made all over the world with some great results in Australia and South Africa, but the most famous of these dessert wines come from Portugal. The great port houses (or lodges) are located along the Duoro River on the steep slate slopes high above the valley floor. There are several styles of port, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage Character, Late Bottle Vintage, Colheita, and Single Quinta. Vintage ports are made in special years that the houses declare.