Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

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Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

Postby Covert » Fri May 26, 2006 7:58 am

Very much enjoyed another dinner at No. 9 Park on Beacon Hill (Boston) last night. What a gorgeous evening on the park. Joe always gives me a window table. I tried a new dish on their menu, which I believe they named after me!, since I have become a regular: Wild Boar. It was very good; albeit a bit fatty – which I no longer am, but will be anew if I keep eating stuff like that.

I ordered the only Bordeaux remaining (I thought) in the $100 range on their wine list that I have not drunk there yet. A 1998 St-Emilion. It p—d me off a little after the waiter came back some time later to inform me that they didn’t have it anymore; so partly in protest I said to just bring me their regional bar Bordeaux by the glass. I didn’t feel justified to jump to $200+ bottles when I am all alone and generally leave some of my wine behind.

Like all the 2003s I have drunk in restaurants recently, probably 10 by now, since a lot of restaurants have only the current vintage from distributors, except for maybe a $200 or $300 bottle or two from 2000, it was a little tannic, but so loudly fruity that the tannins didn’t hurt at all. And like with most of the 2003s I have enjoyed, the nose was deep, concentrated and interesting. These wines do not taste anything like New World wines to me; but they don’t exactly taste like Bordeaux, either. Almost another genre, but not bad at all.

The only classed 2003 I have drunk so far is Lynch Moussas, which is beautiful. But I have heard that other better-than-generic 2003s, such as Gloria, are drinking wonderfully already, too. I wonder if the 2003 are potentially a good, near-term drinking “gap” wine, like the 1997 was, while awaiting the more classic years, such as 1995, 1996 and 2001 to develop?
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Re: Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri May 26, 2006 9:09 am

2003 is very easy to drink right now, but given its "fruit forward" profile I am surprised you like it.

I have a small stash of some mid-high end stuff (Branaire, Barton...) that I will not be touching for a while, but wines like Fontenil are good to drink now if you can handle the style.
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Re: Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

Postby Covert » Sat May 27, 2006 7:53 am

I'm not sure if Jenise or I was the first to make the analogy between wine and children; how we like all vintages of Burgundy and Bordeaux in the same way way that people who have children often love all their kids, even when some are objectively more attractive than others.

And because Bordeaux is a hobby to me, I have an intellectual interest in understanding the various years, appellations and properties.

Why do you drink the 2003s?
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Re: Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat May 27, 2006 10:40 am

Well first off I won't drink many 2003s, as the style of the vintage is not my favorite. But I do have a few. I love Bordeaux (and Burgundy), and I agree with your "children" analogy, but for me it's still a learning experience. I've only bought 5 vintages of Bordeaux on release ('99-'03) so far, and I am still exploring. I do know a few things I like (Barton, Pontet Canet, Mouton, Branaire, Lagrange), but there's so much to explore.
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Re: Is 2003 Bordeaux a good "gap" wine?

Postby Jenise » Sat May 27, 2006 3:01 pm

Covert wrote:I'm not sure if Jenise or I was the first to make the analogy between wine and children; how we like all vintages of Burgundy and Bordeaux in the same way way that people who have children often love all their kids, even when some are objectively more attractive than others.


What you may be remembering, giving credit where it's due, is me relating a conversation I had with a Burgundy winemaker, Madame Nicolai of Chandon de Brialles. She was giving me the lesson that would permanently change the way I viewed vintages (I had up until then swallowed the good vintage/bad vintage thing whole), saying that, like children, all her vintages were good but different: some were bigger, some showed their talents early, some were late bloomers, etc. And she further made the excellent point that her winery couldn't survive if everyone outside of Burgundy adopted the point of view of "Mssr. Parker" and only bought her wines in the so-called "best" vintages. That was all further driven home as we ate in Burgundy restaurants and accepted the reccomendations of sommeliers. You didn't hear "This is an excellent vintage" like you do in America, just "This is drinking well right now." And to boot, most of the wines that were drinking well right then--and they were splendid--were mostly vintages we'd have avoided if we were selecting only from the annointed vintages. And if we'd selected only from the annointed vintages, we'd have been drinking backward wine.
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