2012 Valandraud, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1128997 95-97 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (4/2013)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, from 11 acres sprinkled throughout the appellation. Drink it between 2020-2035. 95+ (RP)  (4/2015)

91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque, fully saturated, practically impenetrable inky-ruby; this may be the darkest wine of the vintage. Deep, brooding aromas of dark berries and cherry are complicated by herbs, graphite and licorice. Chewy, rich flavors of cassis, plum, flint and herbs. The extremely long finish coats the palate with youthfully chewy yet noble tannins. Great stuff. It may surprise some that Valandraud this year is 100% Merlot, but insiders know that the 2007 version was also made entirely from Merlot. Thunevin didn't feel that the Cabernet Franc was ripe enough to go into his top wine in 2012, so he put it all into the Virginie de Valandraud--which is actually a fairly remarkable wine too, so his Cabernet Franc couldn't have been that bad. This is one of my favorite wines of the vintage.  (6/2013)

94 points Wine Spectator

 This is well-endowed, with thick, velvety layers of crushed fig, boysenberry and blackberry fruit that meld with racy graphite notes. Lots of licorice root and alder accents line the finish, giving the fruit a textural contrast. The length lets everything sail on. A beauty. Best from 2017 through 2030.  (1/2015)

93 points James Suckling

 Beautiful nose showing candied black cherries with floral and chalky notes. Lots of dark fruits. Full body, soft tannins, good acidity and long, fruity finish. Refined style of Valandraud. Better in 2017.  (2/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Fabulous colour of elderberry juice. Restrained but hints at classy fruit. Juicy and dense and yet so fluid. One of the best Valandrauds I have tasted. Firm, dense and yet light on its feet. Fabulous and very long and so much to come. Drink 2017-2032. 18/20 points.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

* (For now...) Tight dark purple and black fruits, very concentrated and linear. One of the youngest-showing and most difficult wines to taste of the vintage at this stage in its early life, but all the elements are there. Very nice that they have lowered the price in this very good Right Bank vintage. (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux expert)

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Price: $139.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


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Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion