The 2003 Chateau Margaux is slightly bricking on the rim, quite deep in color. The nose has retained satisfying freshness. Dusty red bricks and gravel scents infuse the mainly red fruit. Fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, harmonious, fresh with good tension and touches of white pepper and clove. It approaches full maturity, though this is one of the few 2003s where you can afford to wait. The late Paul Pontallier managed to conjure up a very respectable First Growth this vintage, though it is one I would be inclined to drink sooner rather than later. Tasted at the chateau.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2043
Robert Parker 93
Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2003 Margaux is fully mature on the nose. There is ample fruit here, well defined for the vintage with blackberry and cedar, this bottle demonstrating a subtle fungal character that I have not discerned in previous bottles. There are faint scents of rust iron piping that develop with further aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly dry tannin, offering more fruit than the 2003 Valandraud it was paired with: feisty black pepper and allspice finish with a decent aftertaste. There might be better bottles than this, even so, there is probably not another Margaux that touches this First Growth. I see no harm in broaching bottles now and over the next ten years. Tasted December 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027