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Cockburn's Vintage Port 2003

Port from Portugal
  • WS95
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • JS99
  • WS96
  • D96
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • D96
  • WS92
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • W&S95
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • WS97
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Winemaker Notes

"Consistently hot and dry, with no surprises and an optimal level of rain during the different seasons of the year. The vines grew with a low but steady level of water, allowing them to classically develop. A fine picking season in September lead to a harvest with above average quantity and excellent quality, mainly due to the consistency of the weather." He added, "It was a good year especially for Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, allowing a strong maturation of these leading Douro varieties."
-- Miguel Côrte-Real, Cockburn's Viticultural & Commercial Director

"Our blenders have been tasting, categorizing and identifying the wines that might go into the final vintage blend for the best part of two years now. Only after the most rigorous selection was the final decision taken; it's been a long, focused, process. This wine is intensely purple in color, with aromas of blackberries and mature plums; full and firm on palate, with a long fruity finish resonating with chocolate overtones. Try with a Stilton Blue and hazelnuts"
-- Jim Reader, Cockburn's Head of Wine Making and General Manager

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Fantastic aromas of blackberries and tar. Lightly stemmy, which is the sign of a great young Vintage Port. Full-bodied, with wonderfully integrated tannins and a lasting finish. Lots of plums and raspberries. The new 1927? Best after 2012. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 3,000 cases made.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The fresh herb-laced aromatics of the dark-colored 2003 Cockburn Vintage Port reveal loads of spirit-infused black fruits. Armed with a gorgeously rich and fruit-packed mid-palate, this chocolate, black cherry, as well as sweet plum drenched wine appears to slightly drop-off before roaring back to display a long finish. After 4 days of air, this wine exhibited disturbing levels of volatile acidity. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020. Incidentally, two other vintage ports from the Cockburn house were tasted, the Martinez (two bottles revealed excessive volatile acidity) and the Quinta dos Canais which was outstandingly engaging yet, with air, displayed disturbing volatile traits.
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Cockburn's

Cockburn's

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Cockburn's, Portugal
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Cockburn's (Coh-burns) was founded in 1815 and has grown to become one of the world's great port houses. Makers of a complete line of fine ports, including Cockburn's Special Reserve - the world's most popular premium port -Cockburn's is known worldwide for its mature, less sweet wine style.

What sets Cockburn's apart from all other port houses is a rigorous quality control standard exercised on all aspects of production. Being the largest vineyard owner in the Port district also gives Cockburn's significant access to stocks of aged wines for its many fine blends.

Cockburn's family of ports includes Special Reserve, Vintage Port, Anno (Late Bottled Vintage) and Quinta dos Canais (Single Quinta Vintage), Fine Ruby, Fine Tawny, and 10- and 20-year-old Tawnies.

Portugal

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Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.

While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.

The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.

Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.

The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.

Blended from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, Port is the famous fortified wine from Portugal. It is based on the Touriga Nacional grape with over 80 other varieties approved for use in the blend. However, typically about four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.

There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, LBV, White, Colheita, and a few unusual others.

Ruby ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates.

Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle. These are not intended to be aged once bottled.

When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2016, 2011, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate. Vintage ports tend to improve in the bottle up to approximately 30 years from the vintage.

LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

SWS132180_2003 Item# 87288