The world of wine has been good to me. It's allowed me to meet interesting people with broad tastes and vastly different backgrounds. Ray O., after over a year of following my blog, recently took a trip from his hometown in Austin Texas to the Big Apple. We met for dinner at a small French BYOB called La Sirene, and Ray brought a bottle of Chateau Leoville Poyferre St. Julien 2003. He had originally bought a case to commemorate the birth of his 2nd son, and I thought it was very generous of him to show up with this wonderful Bordeaux blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
First up are the amazing aromas, the impression of clay and wet soil is so present right out of the bottle, with cassis and violets floating up from the ground. The deeply opaque purple colors translate onto the palate as delicious ripe cherry, paired with Christmas spices, accompanying floral notes and verdant black fruit. Velvety tannins and perfect balance make this wine an incredible masterpiece with a silky smooth and extremely long finish. Thank you, Ray!
I have had this wine three times out of bottle, rating it 97 once and 98 twice. It is a colossal success and a potential legend in the making. Its saturated, dense inky/blue/purple color offers up notes of crushed rocks, acacia flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, and creme de cassis. A synthesis of power and elegance, this multi-layered wine has spectacular concentration, sweet but high tannin, and low acidity A stunning effort that showcases this legendary terroir, it is a brilliant, brilliant success. The quintessential Leoville Poyferre? Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030. Score: 98. —Robert Parker, April 2006.
Pure cassis on the nose. Impressive. Full-bodied, thick and powerful, with loads of fruit and big, velvety tannins. Goes on for minutes on the palate. Huge wine. Very, very impressive. This is one of the big surprises of the vintage. Best after 2012. 19,165 cases made. Score: 95. —James Suckling, March 31, 2006.
A huge, opulent wine that packs sweet, rich tannins and spicy fruit. In the midst of all this decadence, though, is a kernel of tannic dryness. This estate, long the weakest of the three Lèoville wines, is now back in top form. Score: 93. —Roger Voss, May 01, 2006.