Chateau Valandraud Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2012
Cabernet Blends | France
“...quite stupendous wine.”
“...one of the best on the Right Bank.”
Just a LITTLE praise there for this bottling from the “original garagiste” St. Emilion, Jean-Luc Thunevin, eh? On a recent buying spree in Bordeaux several months back, we were able to grab a few boxes of this gem, one of our favorite Saint-Emilion producers year in and year out. Amazing juice at a truly stupendous price today.
The Chateau did the aging for you. At a tender 8 years old, this is juuuuust coming into a drinking window and has another decade (or two?) of life ahead of it. Takes a bit of time to open, but then gets into gear and does not let up. While definitely an opulent style, it has mellowed, gotten more harmonious and has surprisingly good energy and acidity peeking out. Keeps opening and putting weight on, super rich and lengthy.Did you see that price?? While it lasts…!
About The Producer
95–97. Barrel sample. Promoted to Saint-Emilion's elite Premier Grand Cru Classé category, Valandraud's 2012 shows both a mineral character and intense acidity to go with the smooth and beautiful black currant fruits. Power and elegance.
A tribute to the partnership of Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud, the 2012 Valandraud is a magnificent wine and one of the superstars of the vintage. Inky purple, with notes of white chocolate, crème de cassis, blackberry fruit and lively background minerality, it has great precision, acidity, sweet tannin and a voluptuous full-bodied mouthfeel. It is very vigorous, young and backward, but bursting with unbelievable potential. This is a fabulous effort from perfectionists Andraud and Thunevin. Thunevin, the father of the “garagiste” movement in St.-Emilion, usually fashions this wine from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and the balance Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, from 11 acres sprinkled throughout the appellation. Drink it between 2020-2035.
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2012 Valandraud instantly demonstrated the wide gap in quality between itself and the previous vintage. It is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc matured for 28 months in 100% new oak. It has a primal and concentrated bouquet with intense blackberry, bilberry and graphite aromas that gain intensity in the glass, and yet remain "strict" and linear. The palate is medium-bodied with brittle tannin that impart a chalky texture. There is plenty of clean and crisp blackberry and raspberry fruit here, pencil lead and a touch of chalk towards the precise and vivid finish. The energy is palpable in this Saint Emilion, a quite stupendous wine from Jean-Luc and Murielle that must stand as one of the best on the Right Bank. This comes strongly recommended, although it still needs plenty of time. Tasted December 2016.
The 2012 Valandraud hits the palate with gorgeous depth. A powerful, racy wine, the 2012 boasts remarkable intensity and structure for the year. Mocha, bittersweet chocolate, plums and dark spices open up, but above all else, in this vintage, Valandraud is a wine of structure. This is one of the few 2012s that absolutely needs several years in the cellar. A broad frame of tannin supports the deep finish. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Stated simply, Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud have crafted one of the wines of the vintage.
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