70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Château de Valandraud is a producer in Saint-Émilion classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé B. The Merlot-dominant grand vin is part of a relatively large portfolio which includes a number of red wines made from the classic Bordeaux blend, as well as a couple of white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
The estate was formed in 1989, when wine merchant Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud (who has been the fulltime winemaker since 2008) bought a 0.6-hectare (1.5-acre) plot of vines near Château Pavie Macquin.
There are now 10 hectares (25 acres) of vines. Merlot is the predominant variety, followed by Cabernet Franc and small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Carmenère. The 2ha (5 acres) planted to white varieties are split evenly between Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris.
The 2018 Valandraud is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel, maybe more. Power and vertical, with tons of explosive energy, the 2018 dazzles right out of the gate. Inky dark cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, new leather, licorice and chocolate all race across the palate. The 2018 is a wine of tremendous stature that distinguishes itself in a vintage peppered with stunning wines. I would allow for a few years in bottle to help the tannins soften.
Jeb Dunnuck 98
James Suckling 98
Wine Enthusiast 97
Robert Parker 96
Wine Spectator 95
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