It is against my better judgment to taste the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes at such an early age, as I find they typically require at least 12 months to reveal the definition/delineation so essential in these creamy, creme brulee, and honeysuckle-flavored offerings. Nevertheless, because this vintage is so highly regarded, I tasted through most of the top estates. The 2003s appear to be somewhat in the style of the 1990s, with high levels of residual sugar (higher than 2001 for the most part) as well as botrytis, low acidity, and fat, full-bodied personalities. This region’s harvest began extremely early (early September), and was completely finished within three weeks. It does not appear that the nobleness and racy richness of the 2001 vintage will be found in the 2003s, but readers who like the big, flamboyant, over the top style of the 1990s will enjoy the 2003s even more than I did.
Unlike most of my red wine tastings, this offering was only tasted once. Readers should keep in mind that this a very early, pre-bottling judgment from very unevolved wine that is not nearly as defined and easy to evaluate as the reds.
Score: 89/92, Robert Parker
Wine Advocate (152), April 2004