2009 Valandraud, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1059046 95-98 points 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.)  (4/ 2012)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 A powerful, rich wine, building between freshness and ripe chocolate, licorice and powerful, ripe fruits. The structure is potentially immense. Great wine.

93-96 points Wine Spectator

 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

91-94 points 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.  (6/ 2012)

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Varietal:

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.
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. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion