Wine Words & Video Tape

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Château Valandraud

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Château Valandraud, the fabled vin de garage from Jean-Luc Thunevin, was recently admitted to the exulted ranks of the St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classés. The 2012 is a perfumed and heavenly joy.

  • 2015 Arterial; colour right up to the edge; doesn’t get any denser or more viscous than this; tears slowly creep down the glass; lovely aromatics; very sexy and very full – could a wine be fuller, more pent up and lush I wonder? This wine is from another planet – Planet Hedonist; but there is precision here too – a wonderful seam of concentrated fruit on the nose; full attack on the palate with layers of ripe plummy, concentrated sweet fruit; not jammy in the slightest though; concentrated and quite phenomenal; weight and extract are really considerable but the tannins so soft and the extraction expert; lots of coffee and mocha tones on the finish; very big but somehow defies the gravity of its own proportions. Remarkable. Tasted Jean-Luc Thunevin, 6 April, 2015. Drink 2022-2035. 96-100
  • 2014 Deep and saturated; opaque; very dark and saturated; tight to rim; layered and tight – but a ball of the glossiest fruit; seam of sublimated black cherry and ripe plums; quite tight; layers here; fruit so glossy; creamy; pure; saturated; but not over extracted; creamy; black fruits; plums; very creamy and sexy indeed; chewy and dense but with very ripe tannins; not at all dry; full and glossy. Extract on the finish. Brillant effort in the Valandraud style. Tasted Jean-Luc Thunevin, 3 April, 2015. Drink 2019-2030. 94-96
  • 2013 Deep and saturated; colour tight to the rim; very pure and creamy; plums and black cherry notes with nicely interwoven oak; quite fabulous aromatics; coffee and mocha tones at the back; big palate, concentrated and full; exotic notes with plums, spices, fruitcake tones; there is density and matter here with chew on the finish. Something of an assault on the senses and almost from a different vintage but there is the hallmark freshness of the year. Drink 2018-2030. Tasted 2/4/14 J-L Thunevin. 91-93
  • 2012 Deep and saturated and very arterial in colour; lifted; ripe and very lush; very bold statement; extremely lush palate; quite sublimated style; chewy; very big indeed but extracted very nicely; tannins, many of them, seem extremely fine. Lots of wood on the finish presently with a fair bit of chew. Very good length. Very unctuous style but retains freshness. 15,000 bottles made. 100% Merlot 94-96+ Friday April 12 at Jean-Luc Thunevin

Virginie de Valandraud [2nd wine of Chateau Valandraud]

  • 2014 Deep and dark looking; tight to the edge; earthy blackcurrant; cool black cherry; plummy fruit; very nice seam of layered glossy fruit on the nose; ripe entry; creamy; integrated; textured and complete; creamy; ripe and creamy mid palate; tannins considerable but well managed. Chew on the finish but also freshness. Chocolate notes. Tasted Jean-Luc Thunevin, 3 April, 2015. Drink 2019-2025. 91-93
  • 2013 Very deep and saturated; thick and dark; perfumed and layered aromatics; plush and saturated; this has excellent focus; very attractive; Sweet entry, very unctuous with spices, plum tones and substance; lots of matter here and gloss. Chewy finish but not dry. Good effort. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted 2/4/14 at J-L Thunevin. 89-91
  • 2012 Deep and saturated; dark and arterial looking; colour extremely tight to the meniscus; lots of violet lift and very lush again; ripe and rich palate with plenty of matter here and also fair bit of oak; lashings of everything; lots of density. Big wine. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 35,000 bottles produced. 90-92 Tasted Friday April 12 at Jean-Luc Thunevin

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