A sufficiently wet winter to replenish the water table.
A mild spring enabled the budding period in the vineyard to take place in a homogeneous way. Flowering was spread over a warm, windy period from May 12th to the end of the month. Some flower abortion (coulure) was noted which contributed to a diminution in the harvest (by comparison with the 2002 vintage).
Mid flowering May 25th to May 28th
The heatwave during the months of July and August led to a slow maturation ; the clayey subsoil and the deep-rootedness of the old vines played an important role in the success of this vintage : the three stormy cloudbursts during July and August enabled the vine to struggle against the heat wave. During the month of September, the variation between the day and night temperatures privileged the accumulation of large quantities of phenolic compounds. The 2003 vintage is marked by the heat wave conditions of the summer.
Picking started on September 15th for the merlots and on 22th September for the cabernets sauvignons. Picking finished on September 27th.
Jancis Robinson review: Quite respectably deep colour. Light fragrant nose - very similar to the way in which the team think at Pichon Lalande. Sweet and round start then some green tannins insist but the fruit is pretty charming at first. Good effort for the vintage. Drink 2007-2012
Robert Parker: It offers luscious kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with hints of blackberries, underbrush, and spice box. It possesses good density, a voluminous, chewy mouthfeel, and a long finish. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
Grape: 57 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 41 % Merlot, 1 % Cabernet Franc, 1 % Petit Verdot.
Chateau Bernadotte - www.chateau-bernadotte.com
Powerful & Robust