"Peppery aromas, with lots of crushed berries. Medium- to full-bodied, with light sweetness and a soft, round tannic structure. Not on the same level as the fabulous 2000. Best after 2010. 3,000 cases made. 90 pts. - WS"
"This beautifully rich Cabernet has grace, power and sophistication. Its deep garnet depth will catch your attention while the complex layers of ripe black fruit, spicy cedar, violets & minerality will keep it. With hints of truffle oil, a slight meaty edge and perfect balance this full bodied elegant wine exhibits both power and finesse from its generous mouth feel to its long delicious finish."
"92pts-RP The deep ruby/purple-colored 2003 Hermitage is extremely concentrated. It is the biggest, richest Hermitage I have ever tasted from Belle. A striking liqueur of mineral component is accompanied by notes of flowers and pepper. Opaque purple-colored, full-bodied, powerful, and potentially long-lived, yields for this cuvee were only 18 hectoliters per hectare. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025."
"90-92 pts. - Parker Made completely from the Cote Blonde, the 2003 Cote Rotie Lancement exhibits sweet aromas of exotic white fruits intermixed with raspberry and cassis notes. It offers a flattering, voluptuously-textured style, medium to full body, and superb purity as well as intensity. Sadly, there are only 100 cases for the world."
"92Pts. Wine Spectator- Unctuous, boasting bold candied orange and grapefruit peel flavors that lead the way for lush date, glazed pear, pie crust and honey notes. Long and sweet through the finish. Shows the tropical power of the vintage, but stays refined enough. Drink now through 2025."
"90RP It offers a dark ruby color, a sweet but monolithic nose of scorched earth, chocolate, dried herbs, black currants, and figs, medium body, low acidity, a soft, round, hedonistic, plush personality, and a slightly diffuse finish."
"Firm, intense and concentrated, with a tight tannic edge to the wild berry, blackberry and beefy, leathery scents. It turns smoky and tannic in the end, giving the finish a clipped feeling. Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache"
"Almost Zinfandel-like in its spicy peppery aromatics and flavors. Well-balanced with creamy oak adding a nice touch finishing with tapered tannins and good length. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. New winery from the Hyde & de Villaine families."
"93 RP ...The inspirational spirit for Bordeaux's garagiste movement is Valandraud. The 2003 is a full-bodied, powerful St.-Emilion offering up notes of espresso roast, chocolate, sweet currants, cherries, and hints of minerals as well as cedar. Expressive and pure with copious tannins lurking behind the cascade of fruit and glycerin, this wine requires 2-4 years of bottle age and should drink well for two decades or more."
"92 WS Really lush, but well-defined, with salted butter, macadamia nut, papaya, dried mango and paraffin notes that glide through a long, creamy finish. A modern style, but still grounded in its terroir."