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“The 2003 Léoville Las Cases becomes more and more reminiscent of the 1982 as it ages.”William Kelley
“A seamless classic.”Robert Parker
France’s 2003 vintage has always been an enigma. The hottest summer since 1893, many assumed that no great wines could have been made under such conditions. But that pessimism was not borne out in reality. While great 2003 dry whites may be rare, there were in fact a number of extraordinary reds made.
And none may be more extraordinary than 2003 Léoville Las Cases. While one would have expected the heat and drought to push sugars above 15% alcohol, 2003 Las Cases came in at an elegant 13.1%. And from the beginning, the balance has been exquisite: creamy, rich, soft, gentle tannins, with none of the hardness you expect from a young Las Cases. In fact, it’s the opposite: pure hedonistic opulence, but with the hidden structure for long aging.
If we’re surprised by how Léoville Las Cases turned out in this year, we only need to look back at the vintage most like 2003, and its most famous wine: 1893 Ch. Margaux. Considered by the château as the greatest Margaux of the 19th century, it too combined the seeming contradictions of ravishing style and being built to last.
And like 2003 Las Cases, 1893 Margaux’s extraordinary quality became more and more apparent as it aged.
To this day, no one seems to understand just how Margaux could have made a wine like that in a summer like 1893. It was a miracle, just like the Miracle of Léoville.
We have succeeded in acquiring a very rare parcel of 2003 Léoville Las Cases that was still slumbering in the château’s library last April. Consequently, the provenance is simply extraordinary. Yet our price is about what you would pay for examples that have been floating around the market for nearly two decades. We know which one we’d want in our cellar!
You'll find extensive (and lavish) reviews at the bottom of this offer.
“… there isn't a trace of the heat you feel in many 2003 wines from Bordeaux. It's still full of life and tasting absolutely delicious right now. If you have reservations about Léoville's ability to welcome you in, this is the vintage to try. Pencil lead and slate give the character of the soils, while liquorice, black cherry, blueberry and bitter dark chocolate add gourmet notes that you rarely see in a 15-year-old Léoville … head and shoulders above most 2003s. Drinking Window 2019 – 2036.”
“… a terrific, almost Pauillac-like bouquet of ripe blackcurrants, freshly sharpened pencils, chocolate, violets, and a touch of chalky minerality. It builds beautifully with time in the glass and is full-bodied on the palate, offering ripe tannins, a round, expansive mouthfeel, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. Hats off to the team at Las Cases for such a gorgeous wine from a challenging vintage!”
“Incredible nose of crushed berry, licorice, violets and lightly toasted oak. Pure crème de cassis.”
Robert Parker - The 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.”
William Kelley - The Wine Advocate
“… the 2003 Léoville Las Cases becomes more and more reminiscent of the 1982 as it ages. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, petroleum jelly and vanilla pod, it's medium to full-bodied, with a broad, fleshy profile and a concentrated core of fruit framed by ripe, velvety tannins.”
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