2003 Larrivaux


I am not a massive fan of the 2003 Bordeaux vintage, never have been since sweltering in that merciless summer heat watching vines shut down, their leaves browning and curled, gasping for breath, especially on the Right Bank. The season yielded wines tending towards warm and flabby. Unsurprisingly, many have not aged well, albeit with the notable exception of the northern Médoc, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe, whose proximity to the yawning temperature-regulating waters of the Gironde gave vines much-needed relief.

Readers do not have to shell out for the top names to enjoy the wines, as proven by a 2003 Larrivaux recently served blind by proprietor Bérangère Tesseron, the ‘better half’ of Basile Tesseron at neighbouring Lafon-Rochet. This Haut-Médoc was singing on the nose with raspberry preserve, black plums, cassis and hints of fresh fig, displaying ample freshness that moved me away from the correct vintage when asked what it might be. The palate is well balanced with sumptuous red fruit mixed with tobacco and iodine. Yes, there is weight and sensuality to this wine and it is not tense or brimming with nervosité. Yet it is clean, well-balanced, displaying none of the negative traits of the 2003 vintage and without wishing to sound banal, it is simply delicious to drink now and over the next ten years. 90/Drink 2021-2029.