"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."
"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."
"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."
"Enjoyable ripe fruit and earthy components. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with lovely ripe tannins. Finish goes on and on. Best after 2010. 3,700 cases made. 91 pts. - WS"
"94 Points- Wine Enthusiast. The wine is big, full, opulent and super-ripe. But the tannins are also there, giving a dark, brooding edge, which comes through powerfully on the finish. This is the best vintage yet from this Roederer-owned house."
"89 Points - Wine Enthusiast. A good, brisk, dry wine that's somewhat tough and resistant now, but seems to have the stuffing for the cellar. The tannins are strong and make for a sandpapery mouthfeel. But the core of blackberries, black cherries, cherry liqueur and cedar is very intense. You want to give this fresh young wine a good six years in the cellar."