2009 Valandraud, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bad boy Jean-Luc Thunevin has possibly produced the finest Valandraud since his debut vintage in 1992. A blend of 65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and a tiny shot of Carmenere, the wine has an opaque purple color and a beautiful nose of spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry, charcoal, and a hint of espresso. A seamless, full-bodied mouthfeel, striking purity, a skyscraper-like texture, freshness, and precision make for the most complex and noble, as well as most concentrated and massive Valandraud to date. This wine should drink beautifully for 25 or more years. Kudos to St.-Emilion’s patron saint of garage wines. (Tasted two times.)
A powerful, rich wine, building between freshness and ripe chocolate, licorice and powerful, ripe fruits. The structure is potentially immense. Great wine.
What a nose to this young red, showing crushed blueberry and blackberry, with black licorice as well. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a racy and beautiful finish. 2010
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(an 80/20 blend of merlot and cabernet franc; pH 3.5; 14% alcohol; 100 IPT) Glass-staining opaque purple-ruby. The nose initially shows heavy torrefaction notes of roasted coffee bean and cedar, but blackcurrant and spicy plum notes emerge slowly with aeration. Then smooth, ripe and light on its feet, with lively, nicely integrated acids framing and lifting the dense, fleshy, ripe red and black fruit flavors. The long finish features polished tannins and a much lighter touch than the nose suggests, and an almost Burgundian quality to its lingering perfume. This should evolve splendidly with bottle age and appears to be a great vintage for this wine.