Chateau Valandraud (Futures Pre-sale) 2012
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Wine Enthusiast - "Promoted to Saint-Emilion's elite Premier Grand Cru Classé category, Valandraud's 2012 shows both a mineral character and intense acidity to go with the smooth and beautiful black currant fruits. Power and elegance.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points"
Wine Spectator - "This is well-endowed, with thick, velvety layers of crushed fig, boysenberry and blackberry fruit that meld with racy graphite notes. Lots of licorice root and alder accents line the finish, giving the fruit a textural contrast. The length lets everything sail on. A beauty. Best from 2017 through 2030."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque, fully saturated, practically impenetrable inky-ruby; this may be the darkest wine of the vintage. Deep, brooding aromas of dark berries and cherry are complicated by herbs, graphite and licorice. Chewy, rich flavors of cassis, plum, flint and herbs. The extremely long finish coats the palate with youthfully chewy yet noble tannins. Great stuff. It may surprise some that Valandraud this year is 100% merlot, but insiders know that the 2007 version was also made entirely from merlot. Thunevin didn't feel that the cabernet franc was ripe enough to go into his top wine in 2012, so he put it all into the Virginie de Valandraud--which is actually a fairly remarkable wine too, so his cabernet franc couldn't have been that bad. This is one of my favorite wines of the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 91-94 Points"
The Wine Advocate - "The flagship wine from Jean-Luc Thunevin and his partner, Murielle, the 2012 Valandraud is a classic St.-Emilion. Its opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by notes of camphor, charcoal, black currants, black raspberries, chocolate and espresso. The oak, acidity and ripe tannin are all well-integrated. Another over-performer from this couple, it should drink nicely for 12-15 years.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points"
James Suckling - "A dense wine for the vintage with layers of fruit and tannins. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish. Ripe and pretty.
Barrel Sample: 91-92 Points"
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Chateau Valandraud Winery
Château Valandraud is the fruit of an incredible amount of work done by a couple: Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud, passionated by the world of wines. Following the great success with their wine merchant business in Saint Emilion, they ambitioned to have their own vineyard and produce their own wine.
A combination of traditional and modern techniques are used at every step of the production: double Guyot pruning, de-suckering, thinning, green harvesting... The harvest is done manually, and lasts only a few days. A first grape sorting is done directly in the vineyard in order to pick only the ripest bunches. Once brought to the “organic” spirited cellar of Mr. Thunevin, the grapes are sorted one more time, before being de-stemmed. The following step consists in bursting the grapes. The very rich and pure must produced is run into the fermenting vats (wood, stainless steel or concrete). The winemaking of Château Valandraud takes place with regular pumping over and punching down of the cap. At the end of the alcoholic fermentation, the new Valandraud cuvee is poured into 100% new French oak. View all Chateau Valandraud Wines
About St-Emilion(saint eh-meel-YOHN)
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.