A fabulous Valandraud with verve and distinction. So much bright blackberry, mineral and dark chocolate character. Full and ultra-silky textured. Powerful and balanced finish. A joy to taste. Purity. Greatest Valandraud ever. 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Mar 2016, www.JamesSuckling.com
A gorgeous, arrestingly beautiful wine, the 2015 Valandraud delivers on all the promise it showed as a barrel sample, and then some. Soft contours and layers of sumptuous fruit add to its considerable appeal. Readers will have to give the 2015 at least a few years to develop aromatic complexity. Today, the wine's off-the-charts intensity and opulence are attention-grabbing, to be sure, but the best is yet to come. This is a superb showing from Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud. The 2015 is 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, all fermented in barrel.
The 2015 Chateau Valandraud is founded upon Jean-Luc Thunevin's ever-reliable Merlot parcels, and this year the blend is augmented with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a glorious and damn irresistible bouquet of crème de cassis, blueberry, crushed violets and a scintilla of citrus fruit, all beautifully defined and very precise. In 2015 it is determined to put a gap between itself and the Virginie de Valandraud. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, creamy in texture but not in the slightest cloying. The acidity is well judged with layers of caressing black fruit towards a finish for which I could only deploy the word - nubile. This will be a stunning Valandraud to savor over the next couple of decades, though it will be difficult to resist temptation in its youth. Apr 2016, www.eRobertParker.com, Drink: 2022-2045
The 2015 Valandraud is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with a profound nose of baked cherries, warm black plums, blueberry preserves and smoked meats with tilled earth, mocha, Indian spices and dried herbs nuances plus a touch of licorice. The mouth is big, full-bodied and powerful with notable, velvety tannins and it is packed with savory and spice flavor layers, finishing with epic length. This big-boned, voluptuous, Rubenesque beauty will blow hedonists' minds! Feb 2018, www.robertparker.com
Displays beautiful fruit from the start, with cassis, raspberry and boysenberry notes moving together seamlessly, carried by a polished structure through the caressing finish. Seriously pure. Mar 2016, James Molesworth, www.WineSpectator.com
85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ripe, bright and dense dark fruit and spice aromas. Layered fruit on the palate with a real vibrancy – lots of energy. Texture smooth and velvety and tannins extremely fine. Persistent finish. Tension as always but with ripe tannins and generous fruit to give it harmony. Apr 2016, James Lawther MW, www.Decanter.com, Drink: 2023-2040
Jean-Luc Thunevin has made an ambitiously structured Valandraud in 2015: rich, supple and super ripe with plenty of dark berry concentration, lashings of oak and sturdy tannins. Time will tell if there’s enough acidity to keep the wine fresh in bottle. Apr 2016, www.timatkin.com, Drink: 2022-2030
New label. Very dark crimson. Almost roasted nose seems rather vieux jeu. Salty and sweet. Pushed to the limit. Sweet and sour impression. Not one of my favourite styles but I'm sure it will find favour with some palates. Awfully demanding and dry on the end. Though it certainly is concentrated. Apr 2016, www.JancisRobinson.com, Drink: 2025-2040