2015 Valandraud, St-Émilion (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1201342 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

 A wine that will be a candidate for perfection at maturity, the 2015 Valandraud is a heavenly wine that exhibits a deep, saturated ruby/purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, crème caramel, graphite, and chocolate. This full-bodied, expansive, super concentrated 2015 is a hedonistic dream and has exceptional purity, balance, and equilibrium. While it offers pleasure today, it needs short-term cellaring and will keep for 20+ years.  (11/2017)

98 points James Suckling

 Plenty of toasty oak and extract here. This has immensely concentrated fruits with powerful yet silky tannins. Blackberry and dark-plum aromas dominate the nose with hints of dark chocolate and candied orange. Flavors follow suit amid fluid, muscular tannins that hold long into the finish. Great wine. Try from 2023.  (2/2018)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

 Since the first vintage in 1991, this wine and its vineyard have travelled far. Now close to the top of the classification tree in Saint-Émilion, this vintage shows the impressive nature of this powerful wine. With a good balance between acidity and black fruits backed up by tannins, the wine is powerful and stylish. Drink from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (4/2018)

97 points Vinous

 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. (AG)  (2/2018)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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! 96+ (LPB)  (2/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Melted licorice, plum sauce and blackberry puree notes flow through here, with ample but velvety structure running underneath. Alluring ganache, violet and tobacco accents add nuance on the finish. Long and beguiling, featuring echoing fruit and a captivating mouthfeel. Drink now through 2035. (JM)  (3/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark purplish crimson. Dried-fruit nose. Very sweet and opulent on palate entry. Slightly astringent on the palate - almost an amphora effect! Interesting. Definitely distinctive.  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

95 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Valandraud has a very perfumed bouquet, quite feisty in the glass with macerated black cherries, griottes, blueberry jam and graphite. It feels impenetrable at the moment and constitutes one of the most opaque Valandrauds that I have encountered just after bottling. The palate is smooth as satin on the entry: well-judged acidity, neatly integrated new oak, quite rich but well balanced with a sumptuous blackberry and cassis finish that lingers in the mouth. This is a classy offering from Jean-Luc Thunevin, although it deserves several years in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2045." (02/2018)

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Price: $169.99

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Staff Image By: Ralph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/13/2016 | Send Email
Valendraud- Wow! Super ripe, exotic, big juice with very impressive tannins under control. 2 Stars! Ralph Sands

Staff Image By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/13/2016 | Send Email
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The top wine in Jean Luc Thunevin's stable of right bankers. Known for the garagist movement of the 90s, the wines from Jean Luc are definitely on the bigger, more modern style. But these days they are much better balanced and less extracted. This is a big wine with some big scores. Extremely perfumey black fruit aromas with a splash of boysenberry thrown in. Super focused with great texture on the palate. Great value here-could be 100 points someday. 85% merlot.
Drink from 2020 to 2035

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Merlot

- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion