Chateau Leoville Barton 2003 Grand Cru Classe ~ Bordeaux, France
96/100 - Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
95/100 - Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider
94/100 - Falstaff Magazin
93/100 - Jamie Goode
92/100 - Jean-Marc Quarin
93/100 - Stephen Tanzer
19/20 - Gault & Millau
19/20 - La Revue du Vin de France
98/100 - Wine Spectator
95/100 - Wine Enthusiast
17.5/20 - Winedoctor
17.5/20 - Vinum Wine Magazine
18.5/20 - Bettane et Desseauve
2 Stars - Le Guide Hachette des Vins
Wine Spectator 'Wine of the Year' (2019 Vintage)
Wine Spectator "Léoville Barton has always been one of the best values in blue-chip, ageworthy Bordeaux."
Wine Spectator "Full-bodied, with masses of tannins yet incredibly long and seductive....Intense blackberry and cherry, with hints of currant. Toasted oak and sweet tobacco too. Roses and other flowers, such as lilacs."
Winedoctor " A very dark and almost opaque hue when decanted, and this is true in the glass too, with a dark cherry character. A fine nose, quite expressive, with a chalky perfume to the fruits which have a broad, black style. What is more enticing is the lifted, defined, soft-stone purity it also displays; it seems here the vintage manifests not through roasted exuberance, but in ripe yet still well-framed fruit. There is a little dark sweetness to it though. As expected the texture on the palate is rather fleshy, although it certainly isn't fat or blowsy, the initial weight at the very front of the wine lifting a little through the midpalate to reveal a more stony edge with a well-buried seam of spicy tannins as well. And the acidity has a soft but appropriate, balanced texture which sits well with the rather dry (not sweet or pillowy-soft as the vintage might suggest) substance. Towards the end it shows a more awkward, youthful character, as the structure starts to dominate a little, and the finish is also spiky and tannic (but in a good way). Certainly fine potential here. And definitely no rush to drink here."
Wine Spectator "For many collectors, 2003 was an outstanding Bordeaux vintage, but not quite the equal of 2000. Nevertheless, the 2003's auction prices took off almost immediately upon release. Of the 45 wines that make up Wine Spectator's Bordeaux 2003 index, 25 currently sell above release price. But a close look shows that while the group's total value has increased 46 percent, a handful of wines have outperformed the rest, driving most of the gains. Among them are Ausone, Lafleur, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré, Pétrus and three first-growths—Lafite, Latour and Margaux."
Château Léoville Barton is a vineyard in the Saint-Julien region of Bordeaux, ranked a second growth in the 1855 Classification. Quality has soared since the 1980s, and it is now considered as one of the most exciting wines in Bordeaux, gaining regular praise for its reasonable pricing. Léoville Barton is Cabernet Sauvignon-predominant winery.
Wine Spectator "Château Léoville Barton, which has been owned by the Barton family since the 19th century, epitomizes the best of classic Bordeaux: character, elegance and ageability. The Barton family has deep roots in Bordeaux. Thomas Barton left his native Ireland and settled in Bordeaux in 1725 to launch a wine merchant business. Thomas’ grandson Hugh was the first to purchase vineyards there. During the French Revolution, Hugh and other foreign nationals living in Bordeaux were arrested and their assets seized. After eventually being released, Hugh returned to England and managed the business from afar, buying Château Langoa in 1821 and a plot of the Léoville estate in 1826, which he renamed Léoville Barton. The latter estate earned its second-growth status in the famed 1855 Classification; the Barton family has the distinction of being one of only three Bordeaux families to continuously own their estate since the classification."
Wine Spectator "For its emblematic representation of Bordeaux, emphasis on a great price for a wine of such high quality, incredibly consistent track record and long-running family ownership, the Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2016 is Wine Spectator’s 2019 Wine of the Year."
Wine Spectator "Sustainability is embodied in the Bartons’ approach to the environment as well. The only forest in the St.-Julien appellation lies within the boundaries of Léoville Barton’s property. The family could clear the land and plant more vines, increasing their bottom line. Instead they have chosen to leave it as forest, feeling that maintaining a healthy ecosytem is the better long-term plan."
Saint-Julien is a small but important red wine appellation of the Haut-Médoc district on the Left Bank of Bordeaux in south-western France. Its reputation is based on its status as a reliable source of consistently elegant, age-worthy wines.
Saint-Julien is home to 11 classed growths, which generate three-quarters of the appellation's output. Five of these are highly rated second growths: Châteaux Léoville-Las Cases, Léoville Poyferré, Léoville Barton, Gruaud-Larose and Ducru-Beaucaillou. The first three were once a single estate, which would have been extremely large for its time. The third growths are Langoa-Barton and Lagrange; the fourth growths are Châteaux Beychevelle, Branaire-Ducru, Talbot and Saint-Pierre. All but the latter property are likely to be familiar to most collectors; Château Saint-Pierre is relatively small with 17 hectares (42 acres) of vineyard which supply a wine made at the unclassified Château Gloria.
A Bordeaux Blend is any combination of those grape varieties typically used to make the red wines of Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux Blends are known for their powerful structure and deep flavors. Dark fruits and berries such as plum and blackcurrant are commonly used to describe the flavors of red Bordeaux, although there is an unlimited range of terms that have been ascribed to them. Tannins tend to be relatively high in these wines, giving them a firm structure.