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  • Country ranking ?

    512
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2028
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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 2023

Challenges and triumphs: the 2023 vintage in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux wine region has long been revered for its exceptional wines, shaped by a delicate dance between nature and human skill. However, the 2023 vintage was proof of the resilience and adaptability of winegrowers in the face of difficult weather conditions. From the relentless weather conditions to the current activity in the vineyards in November, this year has been a rollercoaster ride for Bordeaux winemakers.

One of the most important events that shaped the 2023 vintage was the unpredictable weather. Unpredictability prevailed: early warmth was followed by atypical cold spells, accompanied by sporadic and often intense rainfall. There were several periods of frost during the budding period, a danger that sent shivers down the spines of the winegrowers. Spring frosts, especially after the first budding, can be devastating for the sensitive vines and affect the yield and possibly also the quality of the grapes.

The summer months brought with them a number of challenges. Unusual heat waves and prolonged drought put the vineyards under additional stress. A lack of water can affect the quality and yield of the grapes, which can lead to smaller berries and an imbalance between sugar and acid content. But the winegrowers in Bordeaux have always been resilient and have used their expertise to adapt to these adversities.

There has been much speculation and hope about the quality of the 2023 harvest in the Bordeaux region. Despite the stormy weather conditions, we are cautiously optimistic about the overall quality of our harvest. Initial tastings and assessments suggest that the grapes that have weathered the storms, while yielding less, show promising complexity, concentration and a balance of sugar and acidity – a possible testament to the craftsmanship and expertise  - a vintage that could surprise with its quality and character.

 

Suckling, the first major critic to publish his views on Bordeaux 2023 vintage, is ebullient about the quality of the vintage. "In many ways, I like them better than many of the highly touted 2022s", he begins, "because they are so Bordeaux in their nature with their tensioned mouthfeels and energetic finishes. Many 2022s are very powerful and rich, highlighting the extremely hot and dry grape-growing conditions of the vintage. Some are almost international in their essence."

According to Suckling several senior chateau prefer 2023 to the widely celebrated 2022s, including L'Eglise Clinet's Noemie Durantou Reilhac, whilst Pierre-Oliver Clouet sees 2023 as "much more Cheval Blanc".

Like Jane Anson, he also notes that this is a heterogeneous vintage that favours "top terroirs and top winemakers", where you can find "terrific-quality wines, but they are different than 2022. I would compare these 2023s to 2019 or 2001 – even 1990 – for their freshness and balance of ripe fruit."

Suckling's top scoring wines include Canon (99-100), Le Pin (99-100) & Pavie (99-100), whilst value picks include Haut-Brisson (95-96) and de Ferrand (94-95).

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Tasting note

Be the first one to make a 20s tasting note!

Written Notes

It has a very complex nose with an intense aroma of morello cherries and fragrant violets. There is a refreshing acidity that connects extremely well with lush fruit and velvety tannin. Splendid complexity and fabulous structure, great midpalate, and long aftertaste. Highly impressive. 97p.

  • 97p

  Cassis, blackberries, dark fruits, liquorice, fruit forward nose, detailed. 
Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, blackberries, anise, detailed, fruit forward, liquorice, elegant texture, layered, detailed, long. 

  • 97p

Dark purple colour with violet hue and almost black core. Rich and aromatic nose reminiscent of dark chocolate, prunes, candied cherries and balmy spices. On the palate well structured and balanced with rich and sweet fruit, ripe tannins, excellent length. 

  • 96p

Wow, this is really something. Very fruity, with dark blackberries and blueberries, as well as blood oranges. It’s full and layered with great depth of fruit and chewy, polished tannins. Turns lightly salty at the end. Power with precision. 84% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon. 97-98

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

St. Emilion, Bordeaux

Inside Information

Located in Saint-Émilion, Château Valandraud produces high-quality red Bordeaux blend wines. Château Valandraud wines are known for their texture and balance. The first vintage was produced in 1991, with vineyard management and winemaking done by hand to best preserve fruit quality. The proprietors of this estate, husband and wife team Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud, first found success as wine merchants in the St. Emilion area in the early 1980s. Their long-term goal was to own and produce wine from their own vineyards, and in 1989 they took a first step with the purchase of a small parcel in Saint-Émilion. They have continued to acquire small plots, slowly adding to their holdings, which are now over 10 acres. This strong commitment to a highly involved winemaking process has helped Château Valandraud rise in status to establish itself among Saint-Émilion’s quality producers.

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