2003 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien

SKU #1024004 98 points Wine Spectator

 **Collectibles, #3 of Top 100 Wines of 2006** Intense blackberry and cherry, with hints of currant. Toasted oak and sweet tobacco too. Roses and other flowers, such as lilacs. Full-bodied, with masses of tannins yet incredibly long and seductive. Best after 2012. (JS)  (3/2006)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (RP)  (8/2014)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Somehow Barton has overcome the heat of the 2003 vintage and has come out with a new wine that is rich and elegant. There are generous tannins, ripe black currant fruits, balancing acidity, all in an ensemble that is so much more than the sum of its parts. (RV)  (5/2006)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium ruby. Explosive nose of black raspberry, coffee and leather. Hugely rich, dense and sweet, with deep flavors of currant, plum and chocolate complicated by underlying minerality. Wonderfully dense and full on the back end, with broad tannins and palate-staining length... A standout of the vintage, and likely to be long-lived in the context of the year. (ST)  (5/2006)

92 points James Suckling

 Currants and plums with mint on the nose follow through to a full body, with soft and velvety tannins and a new wood, ripe fruit aftertaste. Tight and firm, but wait until after 2012 to pull the cork. (JS)  (3/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid garnet. Lovely cedary black fruit aromas. Almost the first time I have written fragrant in this tasting. Some oak sweetness on the palate but it's fresh too and the tannins are fine and resolved, still with some density. (JH)  (3/2013)

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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 M├ędoc 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.