Wine Advocate 94 points - The complex aromatics of the opaque, black-colored 2003 Dow Vintage Port display chocolate, dried oak, black cherries, blackberries, copious spices, and a myriad flowers. This fresh, backward wine offers a medium to full-bodied, deeply concentrated core of spice-laced dark fruits. Softly-textured and seductive in the mid-palate, it boasts abundant layers of candied Damson plums, blueberries, black cherries, molasses, and hints of chocolate before revealing its firm structure. Extremely youthful and primary, this exceptional effort demands patience. Projected maturity: 2025-2045+. (Oct 2005)
Vintage Port is the outstanding wine of an outstanding year. Perhaps on average only three times in a decade is the weather suitable for the declaration of a Vintage year and only a small handful of vineyards in the Alto Douro produce wines of the potential to become Vintage Port.
The wine is aged for two to two and a half years in wood before being bottled, unfiltered. The pride of every shipper, Vintage Port can be purchased at once and allowed, over many years, to mature and develop a unique character, completely different from all wood-aged Port.
Dow’s is perhaps best known for its Vintages, which command high prices at auction, reflecting their excellence.