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Opaque, red with a slight hint of brown. Attractive nose of fresh garden flowers and ripe crab apples. Soft, satin entry with dry tannins that distract from fruit that tries to escape and promises much. Very spicy redcurrant jelly late on the palate. Spicy chilli aftertaste and then a finish of sweet blackcurrants and chilli. One to tuck away for a decade. 91/100. Drunk 14-May-14.
Reading your TN I guess this wine is not "closed" at the moment (?). Conventional wisdom would have it that the Croft 03 would be in it's dumb phase right now. So there might be some truth in the theory that the better brandy used post 2000 is reducing or even eliminating this dumb phase.
The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt know thy Port
I don't think this is closed right now but - in my opinion, which is not the same as Richard Mayson's - the Taylor certainly is. I haven't tried the Cr03 for a while so I don't know if it has closed and opened or not closed at all yet.