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Wow. The blackberry, licorice and blueberry aromas are really spellbinding. Full-bodied, chewy and polished with beautiful fruit. Super depth and richness. Always subtle and polished behind the power. Try in 2023.
The 2014 Valandraud is laced with dark cherry compote, spice, new leather and chocolate notes. In 2014, Valandraud is marked by a super-appealing combination of intense dark fruit and fresher, more floral-driven nuances that beautifully express the freshness of the year. The 2014 is a wonderfully complete Valandraud to drink over the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer.
The 2014 Valandraud does not show as well as I expected and so this tasting note originates from another bottle sourced in Bordeaux. This is more representative. All that blackberry and blueberry fruit on the extravagant nose (at least for a 2014) that effortlessly soaks up the new oak. The palate is quite dense and ravishing with pure black cherry and cassis fruit. Sure, it flirts with being a bit overdone but Jean-Luc Thunevin pulls the reins back just when it is needed. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2020 - 2045
Having tasted the 2014 Valandraud blind as part of a complete vertical in December, you may ask what is the point in revisiting it a manner of weeks afterwards? Well, Jean-Luc submitted three or four bottles to subsequent tastings, so I feel that I should honor his participation by saying that these vindicated the showing back in December. There remains that exuberance on the nose with layers of blackberry and blueberry, the palate still sumptuous and stocked, full of dense black cherry and cassis fruit. It could have been pushed too far, but it pulls everything back on the finish to retain the detail and freshness you expect. Tasted February 2017. Drink Date 2022-2045
The Château Valandraud 2014 does not mess about on the aromatics. There is no holding back here with its plush blackcurrant pastille and vivacious crème de cassis and violet-scents, but as usual, Jean-Luc Thunévin has retained superb delineation and exquisite purity. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated ripe tannin and a keen line of acidity; a sense of symmetry and precision on the finish. It is modern in style for sure, but there is quality and craftsmanship interwoven into this Saint Emilion. This is as sophisticated as anything you will find on the Right Bank. Drink: 2019 - 2035
A rich wine with fine tannins and fruits. Full body, very polished texture and a wonderful length. There's an attractive mineral and a fresh tobacco character to the wine.
Tasted blind. Savoury, soapy, interesting nose. Real depth and ambition. A certain lift and lightness. Very clean and brisk.
Valandraud is painstakingly hand made in new, mainly Seguin Moreau, oak barrels by the guru of the garagistes Jean-Luc Thunevin and his wife Murielle. First produced in 1991 with the help of Ausone's Alain Vauthier, this was the first of the ""Garage Wines"" of Saint Emilion and is still the benchmark by which all others are judged. Previously seen as an ""outsider"", Valandraud was awarded Premier Grand Cru Classé status in the 2012 classification of the wines of Saint Emilion. 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in 2014. Very deep purple colour. A spicy, warm, smoky nose with blackberry, mulberry and damsons layered by tarry licquorice notes. The palate is warm and very ripe, with a black fruit compote, sweet vanilla, licquorice, bonfire, and mouthcoating chewy tannins. Very intense, dense and viscous, a really muscular, massive wine. Puckering tannins and lots of wood smoke on the dry, warm finish. Very modern and extracted.
The 2014 Valandraud from Saint-Emilion superstar Jean-Luc Thunevin is certainly up with the crème de la crème of the vintage, and while I can be a little humdrum with regards to 2014, this is one of the few that will cause your heart rate to jump. A deep purple/ruby color is accompanied by a terrific perfume of ripe black cherries, blackberries, Asian spices, decaying flowers and hints of tobacco. Deep, layered, full-bodied, and tannic, it needs to be forgotten for at least 4-5 years and will keep for two decades. It’s one of the few “do not miss” wines in 2014. 2022 - 2042
Delivers a gorgeous display of fruit, with boysenberry, raspberry and blackberry coulis notes that are fresh and racy, allied to a graphite spine and framed judiciously with a well-singed apple wood accent. This has a lot of coiled-up energy. Best from 2022 through 2035. 2,000 cases made.
The nose has smoky fragrances the start of the palate black fruited the firm black cherry backed by sweeter cassis. Chewy and chunky in the middle warm and generous the back palate is firmer the finish has vanilla spiciness. 2020-30
A wine that is very difficult to taste (and to judge) at this point, Valandraud is big, bold and compact with lashings of new oak and firm tannins that dry the palate on the finish. There's plenty of fruit too, but the wine may or may not integrate with time. All that's lacking is some freshness.