Farr Vintners Logo

Léoville Barton 2003

SubregionSt Julien
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Léoville Barton

Tasting Notes

A spectacular success, the opaque plum-colored 2003 Leoville Barton is still on the young side of its plateau of maturity. It exhibits a striking bouquet of forest floor and black currants as well as a full-bodied, exuberant, youthful style, an opaque plum/ruby color, a lot of complexity, and striking depth and richness. This is a profound, stunning effort from Anthony Barton and his team. Bravo! It should continue to provide immense pleasure for 20-30 years. Drink 2014-2044

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014
Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, May 2007

One cannot admire enough proprietor Anthony Barton and his classic, potentially long-lived wines that are models of power, elegance, and longevity – in short, these wines symbolize what makes Bordeaux so world-renowned! Probably capable of rivaling the 2000, the uncompromisingly made, formidably powerful, masculine, and highly extracted 2003 has an inky purple color to the rim, a big, deep personality with a tight but promising nose of forest floor, creme de cassis, smoke, charcoal, licorice, and perhaps even truffle. It is layered, rich, and set for an exceptionally long life, but don’t expect to get a lot of joy even in this somewhat overtly styled vintage for at least another 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

This is a stunning inky purple-colored effort revealing a tight but promising bouquet of damp earth, forest floor, powerful ripe cassis and black raspberry notes intermixed with licorice and leather. Formidably-endowed, structured, dense, concentrated, and backward, this brawny 2003 should prove to be one of the vintage’s most enduring successes. It needs to be forgotten for 7-10 years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2035.

One of the classic wines of Bordeaux and still realistically priced, Leoville-Barton is becoming increasingly popular because of the extraordinary quality/price ratio it offers.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005

One of the superstars of the vintage, Leoville-Barton’s 2003 (tasted four times with identical notes) is a powerfully rich, muscular offering possessing a saturated plum/purple color as well as high levels of tannin, low acidity, and inky flavors that have profound depth as well as penetration on the palate. It recalls the 2000 in color saturation and power, but has lower acidity, and a fleshier, fatter mouthfeel. I would assume the alcohol is also slightly high. This formidably endowed St.-Julien should prove to be one of the longest lived wines of the vintage. It will require 4-8 years of cellaring, and will keep for 25-30 years. It is a brilliant offering from proprietor Anthony Barton, who has demonstrated a Midas touch over the last 15 or so years.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004
Read more tasting notes...

What a fabulous Léoville Barton this is turning into! The nose takes a while to get going but reluctantly reveals some complex black fruits, minerals, a touch of cooked meats all with breath-taking definition. The palate has a lovely satin texture and is so harmonious and natural. Blackberry, cedar, tobacco vie for attention, perhaps you could argue lacking a little structure, but ultimately beguilingly elegant and wonderful poised on the finish. Completely seductive. Drink 2012-2025. Tasted April 2008.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2008
James Suckling, Wine Spectator Insider, March 2006

Intense blackberry and cherry with hints of currant, toasted oak, sweet tobacco, roses and lilacs. Long and seductive.

James Suckling, Wine Spectator, February 2006

Intense blackberry and cherry, with hints of currant. Toasted oak and sweet tobaco, too, with roses, lilacs and other flowers. Full-bodied, with masses of tannins yet incredibly long and seductive. Best after 2012.

James Suckling, Wine Spectator Insider (25/1/6), January 2006

Very impressive licorice, blackberry and mint. Some pencil. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Super-long. Wonderful. Is it as good as 2000? Maybe.

James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 04), April 2004
Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007

The 2003 Léoville Barton was sensational on release, closed down slightly for 4-5 yeas, and is just now starting to emerge from its adolescence and is on the early side of its drink window. Possessing a saturated purple/ruby color as well as a sensational bouquet of crème de cassis, charcoal, lead pencil shavings and damp earth, it’s full-bodied, gorgeously concentrated, balanced and long. While from a freakishly hot vintage, it has terrific purity, as well as complexity. It’s a blockbuster, yet classic wine from Anthony Barton that’s going to provide incredible amounts of pleasure over the coming 2-3 decades.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, August 2017
Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.