I have a nagging feeling that this wine could be a lot better than it is, especially given the talent at the chateau. With an unusually high percentage of Merlot in the blend (40%, along with 53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot), the 2003 exhibits an herbal, peppery, spicy nose, a dark plum/ruby color, good ripeness on the attack, a constrained, narrow mid-palate, and a moderately tannic finish. Additional stuffing, substance, and flesh would be beneficial. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 12-15. Manager John Kolasa told me the alcohol was an extremely high 13%, and that the 2005 is even higher at 13.5%.
|Score: 88||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
The blend for the 2003 Rauzan-Segla, which has changed since I tasted it last year, is 53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 12% press wine was used and only 47% of the crop made it into the final assemblage. It is a wine of elegance, finesse, and medium body, with sweet notes of forest floor, spice box, red currants, and sweet herb-tinged red cherries. While nicely balanced, it lacks the extra depth and overall concentration of the finest 2003s. Give it 2-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 12-15. Drink 2007-2022.
|Score: 88/89||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005|
Remarkably, 12% press wine was added to Rauzan-Segla’s final blend. Dark ruby with purple nuances, it is an elegant, surprisingly soft, sexy, already evolved offering (a characteristic I noted in a number of Margaux offerings). Made from low yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, with only 45% of the crop included, it is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Fragrant aromas of red and black fruits, earth, underbrush, and spice box are followed by a pure, supple, fleshy claret that lacks a bit of weight and power, but is undeniably well-balanced and seductive. If it develops more mid-palate presence, it will be an outstanding effort from this famous second-growth Margaux estate owned by the same proprietors as Chanel, of haute couture and perfume fame. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018.
|Score: 88/90||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004|
Tasted against Château Pichon-Baron 2003, this has a lovely Merlot-rich nose with lovely definition, notes of blackberry, cedar, tobacco and a great sense of minerality. The palate is medium-bodied, svelte in texture with fine delineation some lovely Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry and cassis towards the finish surfeit with ripe, but not overripe fruits. A lush, feminine Rauzan-Ségla. Drink 2010-2018
|Score: 91||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2008|
Fascinating aromas of berry, currant and toasted oak. Crushed dark fruits. Full-bodied and chewy with plenty of berry and vanilla flavors. Slowly builds on the palate, with big velvety tannins and a long finish. This is tight and tannic needing plenty of bottle age. Best after 2011. 7,915 cases made.
|Score: 92||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006|
A big and bold wine with loads of blackberry, tobacco and toasted oak character. Full bodied and rich with a decadent berry aftertaste. Long finish. Wild retro red.
|Score: 92/94||James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004|
|Score: 16||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 04), April 2004|
Quite toasty then a slightly meaty Marmite (yeast extract) note. Noticeably oaky in the middle where the fruit is only just adequate, but it finishes fresh and firm with a powerful kick. Drink 2008-2015. Date tasted 23rd Jan 08.
|Score: 16.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, January 2008|
|Score: 15.5||Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007|
|Score: 16.5/17||Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004|