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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Croft Vintage Port 2003

Port from Portugal
  • WS96
  • RP90
    0% ABV
    • WS97
    • RP95
    • WE95
    • JS95
    • WW94
    • W&S93
    • WS95
    • RP94
    • WS94
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      0% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      "The 2003 Croft Vintage Port reveals an opaque, black-colored core with notes of dark ruby on the rim. Its gorgeously creamy, profound nose displays sweet dark cherries, black plums, pepper, raisin jam, and blueberries. Thick, satin-textured, and immensely rich, this opulent yet elegant wine is engagingly warm, concentrated, and harmonious. Copious quantities of plums, black cherries, jammy blackberries and spices are found throughout its personality as well as in its prolonged, spirit-tinged, finish. Projected maturity: 2020-2045

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      WS 96
      Wine Spectator
      Gorgeous aromas of blueberries and dried flowers follow through to a sweet, full-bodied palate. Velvety and round, with lovely fruit. Long finish. Best after 2015. 6,500 cases made.
      RP 90
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The 2003 Croft has a relatively exotic nose for this Port, with cherry liqueur, peat, licorice and melted dark chocolate on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, ripe black fruit. It is plush and heady, the acidity lower than the 2007 or 2009, so that the finish is rounded, decadent and spicy, without the tension and class of other vintages. It is a hedonistic delight, but it would not be my choice of Croft at the moment.
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      Croft
      Croft, Portugal
      Image of winery
      The House of Croft, founded in 1678, was one of the earliest shippers of Port wines and since the seventeenth century, has been renowned for the excellence of its production.The family first became involved in wine shipping through their connection with a distinguished family of merchants, the Thompsons of York. The Thompsons had been trading with Portugal since 1660 and when Thomas Croft married Frances, daughter of Sir Stephen Thompson, it was only natural that the two families should combine their business interests in the wine trade.

      Near river, rail and road transport and lying against a backdrop of rugged mountainous scenery, Roêda is considered to be the finest Port estate in Portugal. And today, it is from its own famous Quinta da Roêda, in the centre of the Douro valley, that Croft annually sends down to its lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia the fine wines that constitute the best of Croft's production.The twentieth century directors and managers of Croft & Co. have assiduously pursued the fine quality and reputation they inherited. The House of Croft has continued to play a dominant role in the development of the Port trade, both in Portugal and internationally.

      Portugal

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      Best known for flavorful fortified wines but also producing excellent dry wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to the west on the Iberian Peninsula, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, perhaps due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. Portugal is a long and narrow country, which makes for considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast. With the exception of Port, most Portuguese wines have struggled to garner attention in the international marketplace, perhaps due to the unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce nature of most of its grape varieties and terminology, which means that there are many excellent values to be discovered here by the adventurous consumer. The country is perhaps better known for being the world’s leader in cork production than for its wine.

      Port, made in the Douro Valley, is the fortified wine for which Portugal is most famous. The same region also produces full-bodied dry wines made from the same set of grape varieties, which include Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo). The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast. Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão, and the bold, jammy reds of the Alentejo.

      Blended from the most important red grapes of the Duoro 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.

      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 2011, 2009, 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.

      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.

      ENG85717_2003 Item# 85717