This exceptional vintage produced one of the best Pavillon Rouge so far. As usual, there are a number of different reasons for this success, but we feel it is important to stress the equal success of our four grape varieties. The high quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Petit Verdot is not surprising in such a vintage, which enabled all the grapes, even those in the latest-ripening plots, to ripen with no problem. It was the quality of the Merlot which surprised us the most; we feel that they were the best Merlot grapes we had had since 1985. During the blending it was a real job to find the less good batches to make up the third wine…
The Pavillon Rouge 2003 is a monumental wine, richer in tannins than any Château Margaux produced over at least the last 40 years, until 2005 (which is even more concentrated!). This unusual power is happily balanced, as in the first wine, by a delicacy and smoothness, which almost manage to hide the impressive tannic structure.
2003 was a very early vintage which will above all be remembered for its exceptionally hot summer weather. Such conditions, which at times were described as extreme, caused many questions to be asked and sometimes gave rise to concerns; however, the greatest terroirs fared remarkably well, producing grapes of perfectly balanced ripeness.
The picking began on September 10, as in 1989, which was the earliest vintage since 1893.