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2016 Valandraud, St-Émilion (Previously $200)

SKU #1439169 98 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Including 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot-dominated 2016 Château Valandraud is a brilliant example of this cuvée that should match or exceed the incredible 2015 at maturity. Brought up all in new oak, its deep purple color is followed by a powerful bouquet of crème de cassis, graphite, smoked earth, and hints of earth. Possessing full-bodied richness, thrilling purity of fruit, ripe tannins, and just about perfect balance, it's another tour de force from the incredibly talented Jean-Luc Thunevin. It's slightly more elegant than the L'Interdit de Valandraud cuvée and will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for two decades or more. 98+ Inner quote mark (2/2019)

98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Incredible perfumes and beauty with ripe plum and berry character, as well as an array of spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Full-bodied, firm and silky with beautifully polished tannins. Rendered and defined. A wine with lovely, classy nature and personality. One of the best Valandrauds I have tasted at this stage. Try from 2026. Inner quote mark (2/2019)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2016 Valandraud is exceptionally beautiful. Powerful and explosive in the glass, the 2016 is superb today. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, spice, espresso, leather and smoke add layers of nuance. One of the things I like most about Valandraud in 2016 is the combination of fruit richness and vibrancy. Those elements make for a stunning, punchy Saint-Émilion that hits all the right notes. This is a fabulous showing from Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud. (AG) Inner quote mark (1/2019)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Juicy, spicy and with wonderful fruit, this is developing splendidly. With black-currant flavors and tannins that give structure while allowing plenty of room for the fruit and balanced acidity, it is certain to age well. Drink from 2025. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (2/2019)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Valandraud packs a wallop on the nose with bombastic scents of baked black plums, cherry compote, coffee beans and licorice plus hints of hoisin, cedar chest and sautéed herbs. Full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and a fantastically long finish. (LPB) 96+ Inner quote mark (11/2018)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark The 2016 Valandraud offers an exquisite bouquet of pure dark cherry and crushed strawberry scents mixed with pressed flowers and hints of spice. The medium-bodied palate is harmonious and silky-smooth, with supple tannin and just a touch of black pepper and cedar toward the persistent finish. Jean-Luc Thunevin has crafted a supremely gifted Saint-Émilion. (NM) Inner quote mark (1/2019)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This is a full display of fruit, with raspberry preserve, plum reduction and creamed boysenberry notes streaming through in lockstep, while light bramble and singed vanilla accents happily take a back seat throughout. An echo of chalky minerality at the very end adds refinement and length. (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark An estate that is fascinating to taste in this vintage. Cassis, blueberry and liquorice flavours have huge persistency, with a dense but creamy texture across the palate. For the past two years they have carried out much less green harvesting and the yield in 2016 is at 50hl/ha, the highest ever. 'Us, the big proponents of low yields', Jean Luc Thunevin tells me with a smile. He knows, as I do, that this is a big success, an extremely lovely wine that still impresses plenty. No surprise that this counts as my favourite Valandraud to date. 92 IPT. 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new oak. More than 96% of the production in this grand vin. (JA) Inner quote mark (4/2017)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Deep purplish crimson. Pretty sweet, ripe, ‘1990s’ nose though there is energy on the palate. An interesting conundrum: how to evolve the style. Slightly sandpapery tannins on the end. Needs time but there is certainly drive here. 16.5/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

K&L Notes

96 points Neal Martin in Vinous: "The 2016 Valandraud is inky black in color. It has a very pure, precocious bouquet of intense black cherries mixed with cassis and blueberry, but after a couple of minutes’ aeration it develops more refinement and harmony. The palate is medium-bodied, offering supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, gentle grip and great precision on the persistent finish. Excellent. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting." (8/2020)

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