Château Valandraud is the home property of dynamic husband and wife duo, Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud. Prior to becoming a vigneron Jean-Luc was a successful négociant. In 1989, Jean-Luc and Murielle purchased a small 0.6 hectare plot close to Château Pavie Macquin. They purchased an additional 1.2 hectares of vines a bit further east in Saint Sulpice. The name, “Valandraud,” is an interesting one. The “Val,” portion comes from the location where the grapes are planted, a place called Vallon de Fongaban. The latter portion of the name, “Andraud,” is the last name of Jean-Luc’s wife, Murielle. Murielle is currently the gifted individual who makes all the wine for Château Valandraud and Jean-Luc runs the business and is the face of the operation.
This release continues the great run of vintages from this estate, based in the eastern part of Saint-Emilion. Powerful tannins are echoed by sumptuous black-plum and berry flavors. The high alcohol shows in the density although this concentrated wine does stay comfortably in balance. It needs plenty of aging.
Taste: 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.