Hot year for Bordeaux in 2003, coupled with a severe drought until August 20th. The lightest soils (2003 Graves, 2003 Margaux) underwent some grape maturity blockages. Other sectors such as 2003 Saint Estephe produced a great vintage. The harvest was more important in Bordeaux than in the rest of France, but the best properties produced less of their great wines (because of a rigorous grape selection) and more of their second wines. The 2003 dry white Bordeaux wines from the greatest terroirs produced very beautiful bottles. The 2003 vintage produced very good sweet wines, very rich but less complex than the 2001. In Burgundy, the 2003 vintage experienced identical weather conditions with 40°C temperatures for several consecutive days, and a lower harvest of almost 35% compared to 2002. In 2003 burgundy red wines there are, however, notable successes such as the 2003 Corton, rich and opulent. The 2003 white Bourgogne wines had a harder time because of the drought, and the wines will have less aging potential as they may lack of acidity. In Champagne, 2003 was a weak year. In the Rhone Valley, the lack of rain in the 2003 vintage affected the vineyards of the North (2003 Cote Rotie). The sectors with old vines produced beautiful wines such as 2003 Hermitage and 2003 Cornas and in 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape, that were fairly warm but well concentrated. In the Loire Valley, 2003 was the year of Cabernet Franc, which offered depth and sustained substance with southern aromas; the 2003 Loire white wines suffered of a more extreme heat. In Alsace, the 2003 vintage is atypical: good in Pinot Noir, but the whites lack of freshness and present high alcoholic degrees and some residual sugars. Very small amount of sweet late harvest and SGN wines in 2003 (because almost no botrytis).
In Bordeaux, the wines are full bodied and of low acidity, but the following wines are to be sought: 2003 Calon Segur, 2003 Cos Estournel, 2003 Montrose, 2003 Lafite Rothschild, 2003 Latour, 2003 Pichon Comtesse de lalande, 2003 Leoville Las Cases, 2003 Haut Brion (white and red) , 2003 Angelus, 2003 Ausone, 2003 Pavie, 2003 Lafleur, 2003 Petrus. In Sauternes: 2003 Climens, 2003 Rieussec. In red Burgundy, red 2003 Corton (from Bouchard) or a 2003 Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru or 2003 Chambertin Grand cru (Armand Rousseau) , or even a 2003 Nuits saint Georges 1er cru (Henri Gouges). In white, the cooler area of Corton Charlemagne (Bonneau du Martray) suffered less from the heat in 2003. In the Rhone Valley, a 2003 Hermitage by Jean Louis Chave (red or white). In the Loire Valley, a 2003 Chinon, or perhaps a 2003 Saumur Champigny from Clos Rougeard .
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