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2018 Valandraud, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1408032 98 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Another head-turning wine from Jean-Luc is his 2018 Château Valandraud, which is mostly Merlot blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its dense purple hue is followed by an incredible array of smoky black and blue fruits supported by notes of tobacco leaf, white chocolate, candied orange, and spice. This beauty has a deep, rich, powerful style yet holds onto a beautiful sense of purity and freshness, possessing ripe yet present tannins, plenty of textbook Saint-Emilion minerality, flawless balance, and a gorgeous finish. It reminds me of a slightly more approachable, elegant version of the 2016. Either way, it's rock star stuff. It can be drunk today with pleasure yet deserves 4-6 years of bottle age and will keep for 20-25+. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is really rich and intense with beautiful blackberry, violet and blueberry aromas that follow through to a full-bodied palate with extremely polished tannins that caress your palate. Love the texture and purity to the wine. Fantastic. Try after 2025. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2018 Valandraud is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel, maybe more. Power and vertical, with tons of explosive energy, the 2018 dazzles right out of the gate. Inky dark cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, new leather, licorice and chocolate all race across the palate. The 2018 is a wine of tremendous stature that distinguishes itself in a vintage peppered with stunning wines. I would allow for a few years in bottle to help the tannins soften. I loved it. (AG) 97+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This release continues the great run of vintages from this estate, based in the eastern part of Saint-Emilion. Powerful tannins are echoed by sumptuous black-plum and berry flavors. The high alcohol shows in the density although this concentrated wine does stay comfortably in balance. It needs plenty of aging. Don’t drink before 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Valandraud is still sporting a fair bit of oak on the nose, with the cedary notions giving way to a profound core of Black Forest cake, stewed plums and boysenberry preserves, plus suggestions of espresso, clove oil, unsmoked cigars and charcuterie with a waft of Chinese five spice. The full-bodied palate is jam-packed with rich black fruit preserves, framed by sturdy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and tinged with exotic spices. It will need a good 5-6 years for everything to marry and for the nuances to be fully expressed, then enjoy it over the next 25+ years. (LPB) 96+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Polished gourmet fruit right from the first nose, this is an accomplished and powerful Valandraud that has seductive and appealing notes of burnt caramel and pencil shavings set against rich black cherry and damson fruits. Clear ripeness through the finish, with full concentration of fruit. This is a big wine, confident and sure to please, but worth noting it's at a full 15.5%, higher than many in the vintage. 100% new oak. (JA) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This shows off a range of loganberry, black currant and fig notes that are enticing in feel thanks to racy acidity, while singed sandalwood, incense and bay details line the finish. Sneaky length too. Lovely. (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

K&L Notes

95 points Neal Martin in Vinous: "The 2018 Valandraud packs a punch on the nose, delivering a complex array of scents: blackberry, raspberry, freshly picked violets and a touch of mint. The oak is beautifully integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins and commingled blue and blackberry fruit. Sweet and candied toward the finish, which has an almost Burgundian texture. Somehow quite Asian in style, with touches of hoisin on the aftertaste, this is a very classy and completely delicious Valandraud." (3/2021)

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Price: $199.99

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This product is expected to arrive for shipment or pickup by Monday, November 15, 2021.

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