The wine has a vivid, brilliant colour with a lovely cherry tint.
Attractive fresh red berry fruit and cherry aromas mingle with more floral notes on the nose which, marked by the very hot weather of the vintage, becomes increasingly complex with airing, displaying a highly elegant mineral touch. Full on the palate, it combines round, velvet tannins with the very ripe fruit typical of the vintage, striking a nice balance between black berry and caramel flavours and the overall structure and freshness of the wine.
The well-rounded finish crisply and generously expresses the heft of Merlot.
Wine Advocate 91 points - The 2003 harvest began on September 15 and finished ten days later. The result is an outstanding 2003 Mouton-Rothschild, but it is not one of the superstars of Pauillac or the Northern Medoc. Its nearby neighbors, Lafite-Rothschild, Cos d’Estournel and Montrose, all produced wines that qualitatively dominate this effort from Mouton-Rothschild. Nevertheless, there is a lot to like. The tannins, which were so tough initially, have softened somewhat, and the nose offers up notes of cedarwood, roasted coffee, tobacco leaf and red and blackcurrants. This spicy, earthy, fleshy, medium to full-bodied 2003 is not one of the stars of the vintage. It is close to full maturity, where it should remain for another 10-15 years. (Dec 2014)
Wine Spectator 94 points - Blackberry, cherry and currant with just a hint of toasted oak. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a lovely combination of ripe fruit and vanilla character. Goes on and on. Long and very stylish. Balanced and refined. Best after 2011. 23,330 cases made. –JS (Mar 31 2006)
Wine Advocate 95 points - Backward, powerful, and extremely tannic, the dense purple-colored 2003 Mouton-Rothschild, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, fashioned from yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare, with a finished alcohol of 12.9%, improves dramatically with aeration. With full-bodied, meaty, powerful, dry flavors as well as a huge finish, this high class wine should be at its finest between 2012-2040+. During its sojourn in barrel, it reminded me of a hypothetical blend of the 1982 and 1986 Moutons, but since bottling, it appears different, and even more tannic than those two vintages. I still believe the finest recent Mouton-Rothschild is the 2000.