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Chateau Valandraud (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • WS99
  • JS98
  • WE98
  • JD98
  • RP97
  • D96
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP96
  • WE96
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  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WE97
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  • JS97
  • RP95
  • WS94
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  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 99
Wine Spectator
This is richly fruited, with waves of fleshy raspberry, boysenberry and red currant cruising through, inlaid with singed vanilla and apple wood notes along the way. Shows density and cut through the finish, with a tug of tobacco at the end. This is dialed up to 11.
Barrel Sample: 96-99
JS 98
James Suckling
This is a fantastic young Bordeaux with superb depth of fruit and complex tannin structure. Hints of smoke, spice and toasted oak. Full body and firm, dusty tannins. Very long finish.
Barrel Sample: 97-98
WE 98
Wine Enthusiast
A very fine vintage from this estate, this beautifully structured with rich tannins, spicy fruit and great concentration. The juicy acidity and power of the wine are impressive, giving firm tannins, great ripeness and a solid, concentrated texture.
Barrel Sample: 96-98
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck

Another great vintage for Jean-Luc Thunevin’s flagship wine, the 2018 Château Valandraud sports a glass-staining purple color as well as a mammoth-sized personality in its blue and black fruits, liquid violets, and graphite aromas and flavors. Possessing incredible depth and richness, full body, sweet tannins, and a finish that won’t quit, it’s one of the most hedonistic wines in the vintage, yet also possesses purity, balance, and elegance. It’s a thrilling, blockbuster to drink over the coming two decades or more. Barrel Sample: 96-98.

RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Valandraud develops slowly from a base of warm black cherries, blackberry compote and preserved plums with a perfume of sandalwood, Indian spices, lavender, wilted roses, mocha and fruitcake plus wafts of woodsmoke and camphor. Full-bodied, the palate is rich, ripe and flamboyant with tons of opulent black and blue fruit layers, wonderfully curtailed by a firm frame of velvety tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and very seductive.
Barrel Sample: (95-97)+
D 96
Decanter
Rich, deep, powerful and hugely persistent, this has tons of juicy black fruits but clearly in the more restrained frame that owner Jean Luc Thunevin has introduced over the past few vintages. It's a brilliant wine, full of personality, keeping its concentration and glamour and just easing towards balance, but still with its signature insouciance. Tasted several times and always delicious, this just pips the excellent 2016 for me. 3% Malbec completes the blend, the first time it's been included in the wine. 40hl/ha yield. 3.6pH. 100% new oak for extended ageing.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2042
Barrel Sample: 96

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Chateau Valandraud

Chateau Valandraud

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Chateau Valandraud, France
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Chateau Valandraud is represented by the passion of a couple: Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud. Following the great success with the wine merchant business in Saint Emilion, they opened their own vineyard to produce their own wine.

In 1989, they bought a small parcel of 0.6 hectare (1.48 acres) located in a small valley near Saint Emilion between Pavie-Macquin and La Clotte. The origin of the wine name is as much geographic (Val: Vallon de Fongaban), as sentimental (Andraud: Murielle’s maiden name). Thus Chateau Valandraud was born.

Little by little, Jean-Luc and his wife purchased several other parcels of vines, and now, the domain represents a total surface of 10 hectares (24.71 acres), located in various areas of Saint Emilion. The diversity of soils and varietals permit the production of 6 different wines: Chateau Valandraud, Chateau Valandraud Casher, Virginie de Valandraud and the 3 de Valandraud (the second wine of Chateau Valandraud and Virginie de Valandraud), Blanc de Valandraud N° 1 and N° 2.

The final blending of the various parcels occurs in the month of March, following a blind tasting with the help of the world famous oenologist, Michel Rolland.

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BMNF525425_2018 Item# 525425

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