Château Valandraud started life in 1991, as one of the original "garage" wines, which sparked a trend for thoroughly modern Bordeaux wine styles made in such tiny quantities that they could be - and sometimes were - made in a garage. The man behind the wine, Jean-Luc Thunevin, was called the "Bad Boy" of Saint-Émilion by Robert Parker for defying centuries of tradition and making a highly stylised wine: bold and rich with lavish new oak (at one point it was aged in 200% new oak). Prices were as outrageous as the first wines, exceeding the First Growths on a number of occasions.
With his wife Murielle Andraud, who is the brains in the vineyard and gives her surname to the wine, the pair made a huge impact on the Saint-Émilion scene. Once dubbed the "Black Sheep" of this wine village, Jean-Luc is now part of the established order, achieving Premier Grand Cru Classé status in 2012 in the appellation's official classification