TN: 2003 Leoville Barton

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!
JS nailed this one right on the head.

Purple and opaque. Immediately you can see where this is going to be in 15 years. Coffee, chocolate and tobacco .... and as that settles you pick up cassis and loads of black fruit. 30 second finish easily. This one is an infant and already it is a monster. I disagree with JS's 98 point score, I think he scored it too low.
If you can find it out there .... grab it.
Original Post
Thought I would add this. A gentleman using the nick BordeauxNut with a wonderful palate has posted here a few times but posts mostly on ebob. I had the pleasure of him bringing this wine. Here are the notes he posted on ebob today.

"2003 Leoville Barton St. Julien
Enormous wine of uncommon depth. Once the bottle got around, several tasters questioned where it could be purchased and for how much. I can remember many newly released Bordeaux I’ve liked as much – but, I can’t remember any that I liked more. Espresso grounds and thick black cherry and blackberry fruit. There’s an exotic note that seems so typical among the 2003s – it’s like cinnamon hard candy mixed with oak/coffee/dark chocolate. This showed much better than the 2003 Montrose we tried a couple of months ago. I would expect a very big review from just about every critic."

TOMNYC, you know who I am talking about.
Originally posted by ronmc2:
Why did you wait until now? It had QPR written all over it 2 years ago at $50-60.

Had a feeling about this one and took a gamble on it in Jan before the rating came out. Even at $65 I thought this would be a decent QPR based on Parker's writeup (not necessarily his barrel score). Now I'm glad I did.
Originally posted by TomNYC:
Yup. Wish I had known that earlier, as I missed the boat on the LB. Frown

Before WS came out with the score I asked JS if this was a "must buy" in the 2003 Bordeaux thread. His response was yes.

This was after I already bought it, but I was just looking for confirmation.
We had friends over for dinner for my 45th birthday, and they very graciously brought this bottle. Gave it a decant of about 45 minutes, then enjoyed for another 40 minutes or so with steaks. Deep, dark red color. The nose was a beautiful mixture of blackberries, pencil shavings and damp earth. Definitely old-world aromas, but no barnyard or "funk" IMO. Full bodied but without excess weight. Grippy but smooth tannins. Black fruits, spice box, coffee, cocoa powder. Despite the reputation of the vintage, this wine was not over-ripe or out of balance in any way. Fantastic! In my limited experience with higher-end Bordeaux, I think this is delicious now but with obvious upside and a long life ahead of it. Try one if you have several bottles. 95+.
I bought a big quantity right before the original release and drank a dozen also bottles. This has never shutdown and always show extremely well in the mid to high 90s.
  • 2003 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (3/9/2012)
    Baronne Guichard wine dinner, Ruth's Chris DC (Ruth's Chris on Connecticut Ave, DC): What is so impressive about the 03 LP, LB, Montrose and others is that they have never really shutdown. I also think that a lot of the wines achieved almost but not perfect phenolic maturities resulting in a very slight hint of stem/green pepper. Opulent dark fruits, crème de cassis, some red fruits as well, tobacco and cedar. This is drinking beautifully and starting to gain some secondary aromas but the generous fruit concentration will enable the wine to age for 50+ years. (96 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (4/23/2011)
    This at the initial release was a chewy big monster with impressive big upfront blue fruits and crème de cassis, then a couple years back pretty tight but still showing some primary fruits.

    It has completely settled. There is an uncanny resemblance to the 03 Gruaud Larose consumed a few days earlier in that both showed dark roasted fruits, slight hint of oak and very slight green with silky palate and fully integrated tannins which for me was surprising.

    The nose is a bit shy, black fruit, some metal, lead pencil, slight hint of oak and quite interestingly just slight hint of green which I find in a traditional Bordeaux, perhaps it has not completely reach the phenolic ripeness but just like the 03 GL, it was not noticeable on the second night, perhaps the other components of the nose got more expressive and the greenness became a part of the overall expression. The palate is very silky and tannin surprisingly resolved, almost none showing even as the end note.

    The second night both nose and palate show significant improvements. Licorice, caramel, black fruit, cedar, pine needle, ground espresso beans, sweet spices and quite floral almost a Margaux like in this aspect. What I find interesting is the sweet caramel note is very similar to the best of the 76s which I had recently as well as some of the 82s but more vibrant fruit and concentration than the 76s. The palate is more generous than the first night and it gets chewier as warms up, very silky, almost milky texture. The interplay of sweet dark fruit, cedar, earth and flower is very interesting and intoxicating. If you prefer your Bordeauxs relatively young yet with some tertiary flavor, this wine is ready. If you are looking for more cedar aspects and rounder/sweeter fruit, it will take at least five more years. At least three to four hours of decanting will be required for the nose to open but the palate is ready from the get go. 95 pts with 97 pts potential. (95 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
If you like the modern style of the right bank wines, the 11 Chateau Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse’s quality is not far behind the 09 or the 10.

Posted from CellarTracker
2003 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (1/16/2013)

Opened by Grossie. Decanted for 11 hours before dinner and it was better for it. First time I have had this wine. Very impressive effort and the best 2003 Bordeaux I have had to date (I've tried 70 2003's but no first growth). This wine is better than the 1996, 1999 and 2001 LB's and could be the equivalent of the 2000, 2005 and 2009 LB's (which is saying something). Crimson purple color. Very open for being 10 years old. An aromatic wine with floral and ripe red fruit nuances. Burnt cherry notes with cedar, leather and black fruit. Chewy texture. Firm tannins. Wonderful depth and length. The best and most ageworthy of the 4 2003 Bordeaux at the dinner. 95 points now (with severe decanting) and could improve another point or two with more aging. Glad to see this wine is doing so well since I have 9 bottles (at $45 futures pricing).

The decanting definitely helped. This thing came roaring out of the bottle full of power. The density of this wine was impressive, there were some great layers under there. Long lasting finish. Could use 5-10 more years. 96 points for me, so far my WOTY.

I'm also pleased to note that I am #1 on Vino Me's list of best wines opened by fellow board members so far for 2013. I have to somehow convince him to stay away from Allred for the whole year, I want that top spot!
Mimik opened the this wine about a year ago (and I opened the '03 LLC. This was outstanding and put the very atypical LLC to shame in comparison. Unlike many '03 Bordeaux I found it to retain the traditional profile and so, so well. Well done! Of the '03 Bordeaux I've tasted this is the best by a very noticeable margin.
I thought this wine was by far the best 2003 that I have tasted and that includes the '03 Latour. With the amount of air that Grossie gave this it was drinking beautifully. Very dense with great structure but definitely very Bordeaux to the core. I can't say that about the Latour since I would have never pegged it for Bordeaux (very Californian profile).

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