Leoville Las Cases 2003

St Julien, Second Growth

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24 75cl Bottle Case 12 £1,780 per Case Cases [Add to shopping basket]
Tasting Notes

Tasted blind at Farr Vintner’s Left Bank tasting. Lifted red fruits on the nose with wild strawberry, raspberry, mocha and earthy aromas, touches of wild heather developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly coarse entry, but good weight with lively earthy red-berried fruit intermingled with rosemary and a touch of sage. Well defined on the finish. Very fine. Tasted October 2010.

Score: 94

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 01 March 2011

Mid crimson. Some refreshment but a bit jagged. Not much charm. Determinedly dry. From the Barton stable? Or something less exalted? Slightly green note on the end.

Score: 16

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2010-2017 13 October 2010

Full ruby-red. Plum, tar, cedar and nutty oak on the nose; less exotic than most '03s. Then massive and full on the palate; almost too big for the mouth. As silky as this is, it also possesses very good acidity for the vintage. Finishes with huge but lush tannins and superb length. The IPT here is 74, compared to 70 in 2005, and the alcohol is a tad higher, at 13.2%. A perfect vintage of Las Cases for tasters who normally find this wine too rigorous, but this still promises to be long-lived. (93+ points)

Score: 93

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2006

The solidly made 2003 Leoville Las-Cases (13.2% alcohol) is a blend of 70.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.2% Merlot, and 12.6% Cabernet Franc. In this incredibly hot vintage, the alcohol is slightly lower than achieved in 2002, a cool-climate year. While not a profound example of Las-Cases, the 2003 is muscular, deep, and full-bodied with an impressive ruby/purple color, a tight but juicy bouquet of vanilla, black cherries, crushed rocks, and flowers, a sweet attack, and moderately high tannin. Backward and fresh, displaying impeccable delineation and purity, it can be enjoyed between 2012-2023.

Score: 93

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2012-2023 30 April 2006

I do not think this wine will ever match the quality of the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1996, or 2000, and may actually end up being slightly behind the fabulous 2002. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful effort and certainly one of the top wines of the Medoc. Deep ruby/purple in color, this blend of 70.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.2% Merlot, and 12.6% Cabernet Franc tips the scales at 13.2% alcohol (actually less than the 2002), with a relatively high pH of 3.82. The wine comes across more like the 1985, which I actually had a bottle of a few days before I tasted this wine, and I was super-impressed by how slowly that wine is aging from a relatively fast-evolving vintage. Wonderfully pure notes of cassis, vanilla, and sweet cherries and minerals are present in this medium to full-bodied wine, which is soft, fleshy, and surprisingly forward for a wine from Las Cases, and even corpulent, which is not a characteristic I often associate with this estate. The sweetness of the fruit and the lushness suggest a wine that will drink well early on but age nicely for 15-20 years. I don’t believe this is one of the most profound wines from Leoville Las Cases, but it is certainly one of the best wines of this tricky vintage.

Score: 93 - 95

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2009-2025 30 April 2005

Extremely small yields of only 21.2 hectoliters per hectare, from a harvest that began on September 11 and ended September 26, the 2003 Leoville Las Cases is a blend of 70.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.2% Merlot, and 12.6% Cabernet Franc. The 13.27% alcohol is slightly less than the record alcohol level attained here in 2002, and the pH is 3.82. Only 54% of the harvest made it into the grand vin. Still a large-scaled, monolithic wine, it will no doubt move up the scale as it sorts itself out and becomes more delineated. Inky/ruby/purple-colored, it possesses the classic Las Cases purity and balance along with layer upon layer of ripe, pure, black cherry and black currant fruit wrapped around a solid core of minerals and subtle oak. Medium to full-bodied, with sweet tannin, but not as opulent as many of its peers, this classically proportioned, well-delineated 2003 is a brilliant achievement from Jean-Hubert Delon and his staff.

Score: 94 - 96

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 30 April 2004

Incredible nose of crushed berry, licorice, violets and lightly toasted oak. Pure crème de cassis. Full-bodied, with big, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Solid. Best after 2011. 10,000 cases made.

Score: 97

James Suckling, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2011+ 31 March 2006