The 2012 from Valandraud has a flat-out awesome nose of crème de cassis, smoked herbs, leaf tobacco, coffee bean, and sweet oak. Big, rich, decadently styled, yet structured and tannic, readers will be lucky to latch onto a few bottles of this sensational 2012. Count me a fan – this puppy hits all my sweet spots. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink bottles over the following two decades or more.
(95-97 barrel sample.) Promoted to Saint-Emilion’s elite Premier Grand Cru Classé category, Valandraud's 2012 shows both a mineral character and intense acidity to go with the smooth and beautiful black currant fruits. Power and elegance. (RV)
Tasted blind at the Valandraud vertical at the property, the 2012 Valandraud instantly demonstrated the wide gap in quality between itself and the previous vintage. It is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc matured for 28 months in 100% new oak. It has a primal and concentrated bouquet with intense blackberry, bilberry and graphite aromas that gain intensity in the glass, and yet remain 'strict' and linear. The palate is medium-bodied with brittle tannin that impart a chalky texture. There is plenty of clean and crisp blackberry and raspberry fruit here, pencil lead and a touch of chalk towards the precise and vivid finish. The energy is palpable in this Saint Emilion, a quite stupendous wine from Jean-Luc and Murielle that must stand as one of the best on the Right Bank. This comes strongly recommended, although it still needs plenty of time. Tasted December 2016. (NM)
The 2012 Valandraud hits the palate with gorgeous depth. A powerful, racy wine, the 2012 boasts remarkable intensity and structure for the year. Mocha, bittersweet chocolate, plums and dark spices open up, but above all else, in this vintage, Valandraud is a wine of structure. This is one of the few 2012s that absolutely needs several years in the cellar. A broad frame of tannin supports the deep finish. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Stated simply, Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud have crafted one of the wines of the vintage. (AG)
This is well-endowed, with thick, velvety layers of crushed fig, boysenberry and blackberry fruit that meld with racy graphite notes. Lots of licorice root and alder accents line the finish, giving the fruit a textural contrast. The length lets everything sail on. A beauty. Best from 2017 through 2030. (JM)
Beautiful nose showing candied black cherries with floral and chalky notes. Lots of dark fruits. Full body, soft tannins, good acidity and long, fruity finish. Refined style of Valandraud.
Fabulous colour of elderberry juice. Restrained but hints at classy fruit. Juicy and dense and yet so fluid. One of the best Valandrauds I have tasted. Firm, dense and yet light on its feet. Fabulous and very long and so much to come. Drink 2017-2032. (JR) 18/20 points
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