x
  • Country ranking ?

    493
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

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The Story

In 1989, Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud became the proud owners of a small plot of land of 0,6 ha, in the valley of Saint Emilion, between Pavie Macquin and La Clotte. In 1991 they produced and bottled their first vintage. Since then, their estate portfolio has grown with properties in Saint Christophe des Bardes, Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens or Saint Etienne de Lisse.

In the early days, wine critics nicknamed their production « garage wine », but even as Château Valandraud had not –yet- entered the Saint Emilion classification, it was considered by most wine critics, including Robert Parker, as playing in Bordeaux major league.

In 2012, Château Valandraud has been promoted as a 1st classified growth of Saint Emilion.

In 2017, Château Valandraud became a full member of Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.

 

Because garage wines do not often grow in the best possible land, the vineyards must work twice as hard as others to reach top quality. Valandraud's cultivations are scattered around Saint-Emilion, which means that the soils are significantly different. Winemaker Dalmasso says: –We have plenty of choice in the blending stage. Only 20–30 per cent of our wines go to Château Valandraud, and the rest to Virginie de Valandraud and 3 de Valandraud.

We work as ecologically as possible, but unfortunately, a hundred per cent organic operation is not a realistic alternative due to the climate. Harvest method: hand picked Winemaking: grapes are stemmed manually, then bursted in ahand-crusher. Fermentation in oak vasts. Malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels.

Surface: 8.88 hectares Soil : clayey limstone

Grape varieties 65 % Merlot, Cabernet Franc 25 %, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%, Malbec 4%, Carmenère 1%

Average age of the vines : 30 ans
Manual harvest, several sorting including Tribaie.technology

Vinification in thermo gerulated stainless steel , concrete and wooden tanks , Malolactic fermentation in barrels.

Ageing: 18 to 30 months in new barrels Production: 150 00 bottles
Blending may differ accordin to vintage

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Vintage 2020

In Bordeaux, the heat resulted in early flowering. Also, this led to an early harvest after a very hot summer. As a starting point, there is great maturity in the grapes, and one can expect a more opulent vintage than in the last few years.

The summer this year has been the warmest since 1959, yet the rain has fallen at the right times during the growing season. The harvest took place two weeks before the norm and will yield grapes with high potential alcohol and the lowest acidity since the 2003 vintage. As they say in Bordeaux: "It has been a good and extreme growing season which hopefully also produces great wines".

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

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Written Notes

Cask sample. Overtly oaky on the nose, with layers of toast and smoke. It's a very flattering style (perhaps deliberately, for this en primeur sample?) and the fruit definitely plays second fiddle to the oak. Even so, that fruit is ripe, attractive and plush. If the oak integrates more, which it likely will, then this has a lot going for it.

  • 92p

Château Valandraud 2020 Barrel Sample (Saint-Émilion); 96–98 points. This wine from the premier classé estate is seriously structured, dense and firm. At the same time the beautiful black currant fruits, acidity and fine perfumed character balance its richness. It is an impressive, memorable wine that will develop well over many years.

  • 98p

Winemaker Jean-Luc Thunevin has hit a home run in the vintage, and his 2020 Château Valandraud is unquestionably up with the crème de la crème out there. Made in a ripe, sexy, plush style, it brings an incredible amount of ripe black fruit, chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and leafy herb-like aromas and flavors. This carries to a full-bodied, powerful Saint-Emilion that somehow stays weightless and graceful on the palate, with moderate acidity, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish.

  • 99p

Valandraud PGCC "B" – very classy nose of high-quality black cherries and fresh coffee beans, excellent purity, precision and focus, great complexity and fabulous structure, sophisticated touch, and great length. It makes a beautiful addition to 2018 and 2019 vintages! Highly impressive. 98p.

 

  • 98p

2020 Château Valandraud
MAY 21 Ruby. Blackberries, blueberries, truffles, vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, detailed, floral nose, nuanced. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, detailed, liquorice, minerals, nuanced, dense yet bright, incredible depth, layered, long indeed. 97-99

  • 99p

Full, embossed bottle 1,360 g. Undated cask sample. 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 24 months in 100% new oak!
Lustrous blackish purple. Strong nose of charred meat. This is distinctive all right… Very intense, concentrated sweet purple-fruit flavours. Cassis compote? Chock-full of ambition though the acidity on the finish makes it a less comfortable drink than many of its peers. It seems all scrunched up with ambition with a rather drying finish. It may well flower beautifully eventually but it's at a much more embryonic phase than many of its peers. Rather Pavie-ish at this point.

  • 88p

Dark purple colour with violet hue and black core. Powerful, refined and expressive nose, with aroma reminiscent of fresh ground coffee beans, dark chocolate, vanilla, oriental spices and hints of smoke. Backed by opulent and ripe fruit, blackberries,  Refined nose with very subtle yet persistent fruit, elderberries, blackberries and black cherries, fine almost smoky minerality in the background. Elegant floral hints. On the palate multi-layered character with ripe fruit, fine floral hints, distinct toasting flavour and excellent length. A wine in the typical Valandraud style with opulence, full of character. 

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

St. Emilion, Bordeaux

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