2003 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien

SKU #1026031 97 points James Suckling

 This is more exotic and monstrous than the 2000. It is like a muscle builder, with lots of round and rich tannins and a core of dark fruits like black cherries and blueberries. Still very young, but structured and in need of five more years. Don’t touch this until 2015.  (5/ 2012)

97 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (3/ 2006)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 An incredibly fresh, lively 2003 (the pH is only 3.6 and the alcohol is 13.1%), this wine offers a dense ruby/purple color along with full body and a remarkable nose of black currants, kirsch, lead pencil shavings and vanilla. Opulent, full-bodied and close to full maturity, it is a seamless classic that will age for 15-20 more years. Kudos to the Delon family for such a brilliant achievement in a tricky vintage. (RP)  (8/ 2014)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is massive, hugely concentrated, topped with wood and intense tannins. Flavors of bitter chocolate are dominant, heavy fruits, blackberries and texture that fills the mouth with dark, dense flavors. Big in all senses.  (12/ 2007)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 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.  (5/ 2006)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.1